Its long life and few care requirements make the cactus a popular houseplant. Cacti come in many forms, in fact the cactus family consists of 111 genera and approx. 1500 species. Common to them is that they are native to South and North America. Here you will typically find cacti in desert biotopes, where the roots dig under the rocks to find moisture.
A cactus requires very little care and can be grown in places where many other plants cannot live, for example in a sunny window sill or close to radiators. Therefore, a cactus is a good beginner houseplant that with its beautiful structural design fits well into most homes.
How To Plant Cactus
Cacti thrive well in pots where they like to stand in porous soil. It can be potting soil, which you mix 1: 1 with gravel or coarse sand and possibly add a little fertilizer. By planting your cactus in this type of soil, you reduce the risk of the plant being damaged by overwatering, and you ensure that the roots get enough air.
The cactus should be transplanted every two to three years, preferably in the spring, when the plant is growing. Be aware that for each transplant, you need to choose a pot that is two to three inches wider than the previous one so that your cactus is allowed to grow.
Transplantation Of Cactus
Grasp the cactus, possibly with a cloth wrapped around it, so you do not sting. Take care of the roots when picking up the plant as they may have grown firmly on the inside of the pot.
Find a new pot that is slightly larger than the previous one. Feel free to choose a clay pot, as the water here evaporates faster than a plastic pot, and the cactus therefore thrives better.
Put the cactus at the same depth in the new pot as it did before and fill the soil around it. Make sure the new soil is moistened and water it too after you have replanted.
Now put the cactus in a place where it does not get strong sun for the first ten days after transplanting.
Avoid watering the cactus again until the soil is almost dried out. Also, do not fertilize for the first six weeks after transplanting.
How To Care For A Cactus
Cacti need lots of light as they originally come from areas with a lot of sun. Therefore, place them on a windowsill or in the garden room, but make sure that there is good ventilation in the room.
If your cactus gets very light, it will become large and colorful, whereas too little light will make it thin and pale.
How Often Should A Cactus Be Watered?
Although the cactus is known to survive in dry places, it must still have water if it is to continue to grow – but not too much water, as it then risks splitting or rotting.
However, it is not always easy to read when your cactus needs water, because they do not wither like other plants. Therefore, it is a good idea to constantly check how dry or moist the plant is.
Cactus benefits from drying out completely between each watering, but it varies depending on the type of cactus, how quickly it dries out. Room temperature, pot size and soil type can also play a role.
As a rule of thumb, it is better to water cacti once a week instead of watering it a little every day. You can remedy rot in the root collar by spreading a layer of gravel or pebbles on top of the potting soil.
Cactus In Winter
In the winter, the cactus goes to sleep, and here they like to stand cool without too much water. A room temperature of about 12 degrees is the most optimal for a cactus in winter – especially if you want it to bloom the following summer.
Can A Cactus Stand Outdoors?
When the weather is warm and dry, a cactus thrives well on the terrace, in the garden room and on the balcony. However, it requires that there is not too much wind and that the cactus does not get too much rain.