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How To Grow Cactus Plants: The ABC of Growing Cactus

cactus growing tips

Cactus is one the easiest plants to grow. They offer different size shape and color. There are more than 2000 cactus plants known to men.

The best part of cacti is you can grow them inside or outside of your house. They can be either with spines (desert cacti) or totally spineless (Jungle cacti).

Here in this article, we will give you some tips on how to grow cactus plants. Even if you already growing them it will be beneficialfor you.

Why Grow Cactus?

Here are some of the reasons why you should grow cactus:

  • Cactus plants are not only easy to grow but offer a variety of shapes, color, and form.
  • You can grow cactus in any sunny, well-drained area.
  • Cactus can be excellent houseplants and you can grow many hardy varieties outside in the garden.

Cacti can grow in very hot temperature to very cold temperature. Depending on your climate choose the cacti variety.

How To Grow Cactus

There are two ways to grow a cactus plant:

  1. From the seeds.
  2. From the cuttings.

Growing Cactus From Seed:

Growing Cactus From Seed
Growing Cactus From Seed

You can grow cactus from seeds. But remember they are very slow in their germination. Some cactus seeds might take a year to germinate, and you might have to wait for a few years to see how your young cactusplant looks.

When and How To Sow Cactus Seeds:

In normal conditions, don’t sow seeds before late April or early May. If you have a greenhouse or heating arrangement you can sow at the end of January or early February.

The earlier you sow the seeds better is the chance for the seedlings to survive the next winter. Try to maintain a heat in the range of 40-45 deg F in the greenhouse.

The ideal growing medium for sowing cactus seeds is A good potting mix with a layer of sand on top. While sowing never cover the small seeds with potting mix but give a sprinkling sand for anchoring.

How to plant cactus?

The best way to grow a cactus plant is from the cuttings. Though many gardeners grow cactus from seeds we recommend cuttings as the chances of survival is far better in this case.

How to prepare cactus cuttings?

How to grow cactus from cactus cuttings
How to grow cactus cuttings

Use a sharp knife for cutting. Select a healthy plant and cut a branch from the plant which has grown recently (within one year). Leave it for some time. For example and you will find a callus is growing. This callus will prevent the plant from rotting.

After a couple of weeks, bury one-third portion of the cutting in the soil putting the callus-end inside. And keep it in a shaded location.

Do not water the cutting for a week, then water the plant from time to time and when the soil dries up. But do not over water it.

How To Water a Cactus Plant:

Watering a cactus plant can be a little tricky. Cactus generally won’t show any signs for drought stress, and only offers a few cues that it needs water.

 The basic rule is to add water when you feel the top 2 to 3centimeters of soil is dry. This also changes as per the season. For example in summers cacti need more water whereas in winter months water once in a month just enough to make sure the roots don’t die.

Regardless of the season, never let the plant stand in water. A waterlogged condition can really harm your plant. It quickly lead to rotting of the roots with disastrous consequences for the plant.

Related article: How to water your plants

Here are some important points to remember:

  • Cactus plants need watering and fertilizing, but not as frequently as other plants.
  • Allow the soil to dry thoroughly between watering.
  • Never give your cacti a large amount of water. These plants have evolved from a condition where there is a scarcity of water.
  • Do not water during rainy spells, during winter (very rarely you need to water) or immediately after repotting.
  • Some cactus varieties have dormant periods. Never water in those times.
  • If you are using unglazed clay pots, you might need to water more frequenltly than say, if you are growing cactus in glazed clay or plastic pots.
  • Small pots require more frequent watering than large pots.
How To Fertilize Your Cacti:

Add a mix of compost along with the soil before planting cactus.They require reporting every one or two years. Best time to use fertilizer is in the time of reporting.

You can also use a weak solution of liquid fertilizer about once a month during spring and summer on most varieties of cacti.

Cactus Flowers:

Cacti are also known for their flowers. The flower in a cactus plant looks very different from any other plant. Some cactus plants like Orchid Cactus have fragrant flowers and can grow up to 8 inches.

Growing Cactus Indoors:

Not have enough space to grow cactus outside? Try growing cactus indoors as houseplants. Some of the most pupular varieties are star cactus, bishop’s cap, ball cactus, golden barrel etc.

Related Article: How To Grow Aloe Vera

If you are planning to grow cactus indoors keep an eye on 3 basic things:

  • Food,
  • Water, and,
  • Light.

Food:

If you are buying a potted cactus, just remember it has probably used up all the nutrients in the soil. So it is essential to repot it and use proper fertilizer.

When repotting, use a soil mix prepared specially for cactus plants or make your own.

Never feed a huge amount rather give them small feeding time to time. As a general rule give your cactus plant feeding 3 times a year (spring, summer, and fall).

Water:

Use the above guide for watering your cactus plants.

Light:

Cactus always does well in the light. So place them near a window where they can enough sunlight throughout the day. Cacti usually flourish if you place them on windowsills facing south.

Here is a trick, never just buy cactus and directly put them in the bright sunlight. First, keep For example in a partly shaded area for a few days before they get used to the sunlight.

Share this article with people who are also interested in growing Cactus.

We would also like to hear from you about your experience with cactus. Please use the comment box to share your views.

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