Did you recently get a cactus plant, and you are wondering how often to water cactus? You are not alone! Many people get cactus not knowing what to expect in terms of the work required to grow the plant. Cactus also need water to survive, but too much or too little will kill the plant. We have done intensive research to guide you on how often to water cactus.
When To Water Cactus?
Being conversant with when to water the plant determines how often to water cactus. Cactus has been documented by media houses as a desert plant, creating the impression that cactus do not need water to grow.
While in the desert, these plants fend for themselves by directing their roots where the soil is moist. You will realize that some cactus plants have deeper roots, while others have horizontally spreading roots. This is one indicator of how often to water cactus.
Generally, cactus should be watered after a week or two, depending on the species. However, you cannot water cactus on schedule. On the contrary, the plant should be observed keenly to determine how often to water cactus. You can use a gauge to determine the water content in the soil. If you do not have one, you can stick your finger in the mud.
To know whether to water the cactus, the soil should be completely dry. If testing using your finger, there should be no soil particles when you remove your finger from the soil. It is essential to observe plants to determine how often to water cactus to avoid overwatering or underwatering.
The species of the plant plays a significant role in how often to water the cactus. Some cacti species require more water than others. Desert cacti, for instance, require more water than jungle ones, meaning you need to water them more often.
Also, remember that potted cacti require more water than those planted directly in the ground. The season will also determine how often to water cactus. Some seasons such as summer, are dry, meaning that the cactus absorb a lot of water, leaving the soil dry quickly. Cactus should be watered often and thoroughly during hot weather.
You should also water cactus more often during the growing season, which is usually between spring and fall. Late fall to spring is usually the semi-dormant months for cactus.
The plant requires less water during these months and should be watered less often or not watered thoroughly if growing in an area with high moisture content than its natural habitat.
Where do you place your potted cactus? The position will determine how often to water cactus. If your plant is in direct sunlight, the soil absorbs the moisture faster. You, therefore, bed to water the plant more often than not.
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How To Water Indoor Cactus
Once you have evaluated how often to water cactus, you need to know how to go about it. Contrary to the misconception, cactus requires a lot of water since they are succulent plants. Cactus are desert plants that are not used to prevalent moisture and water. Do not mist them.
Cactus should be watered till the sol is logged with water. The water should flow out of the pots holes as an indication that the soil is sufficiently wet. Avoid watering the cactus overhead as cactus are naturally desert plants that search deep in the soil for water.
You can use a hosepipe to slowly drip water into the soil for hours until the soil is thoroughly wet. You can also wet the surface if the cactus has horizontally spreading roots. Another way to water the cactus is by immersing the pot in a container full of water so the soil can take up water through capillarity. The holes in the bottom of the pot will be used to suck up water.
The Best Pot For Cactus
Knowing how often to water cactus alone will not guarantee a healthy plant if you do not choose the correct size pot. The pot you use for your cacti can have adverse effects on the health of the plant if not chosen correctly. How do you choose the best pot for cactus?
Cacti have different root systems. Some are deep-rooted, while others have roots that are short but very wide. The root system of the cactus will determine the pot it needs. The general rule of thumb is, however, that the cactus should be kept in a pot that is just small enough to fit the plant. The pot should be slightly larger than the root balls but still as small as possible.
When transferring the cactus from a dish garden to a pot, you should first remove all the soil from the roots
and observe the roots. Take note of whether the roots are deep or wide to be able to select the best pot for the cactus. Also, you need to take the measurements of the roots to pick the right size of the pot.
Once you have measured the roots, ensure the pot is a quatre inch away from the body of the cactus. A cactus with deeper roots requires a more bottomless growing pot to mirror the natural cactus habitat. A slender and deeper container entices the cactus to grow downwards. You will, however, need to report the cactus often to ensure there is enough room for the cactus to grow as the roots deepen. The roots should never touch the base of the container.
Some cacti grow shallow roots, which spread horizontally. If the cactus has wide roots that grow sideways, a wide and shallow pot should suffice. Ensure the pot is around one or two inches wide for the cactus to grow comfortably. To know when to report the cactus, check for roots that are exposed as the cactus grows.
Always ensure that the bottom of the pot is perforated to let out excess water. If the container does not have these drainage holes, the cactus will rot!