Beginners Guide to caring for Cacti and Succulents

  1. Start with affordable plants that are suited to your region

By starting with affordable cacti and succulents, it is not such a shock if you lose one. Choose common varieties that grow well in your region. The team at Australian Desert Blooms are more than happy to help you pick the perfect starting plants.Generally, succulents are easier to care for. Cacti can be more challenging.Cacti and succulents come in all shapes and sizes! You can move on to rare varieties, once you’ve gotten used to caring for more common plants.

  1. Give them as much sunlight as they need

Cacti are desert plants so they definitely need sun! However, depending on where you place them, the topical sun can sometimes be too much. Make sure your plants aren’t burning.

  1. The medium is important

The medium is the soil mix used for your plants. You can buy premixed cacti soil or make your own. Good drainage is essential. To make your own succulent soil, you only need three ingredients, and you can find them at any garden centre or home improvement store that has potting soil for sale: Potting mix (3 parts) Coarse sand (2 parts) Perlite or Pumice (1 part)   (Mix quantities to amount needed)

  1. Water cacti

The general rule is: water when dry. For plants that have already grown a stable root system in their pots, it is best to water until the water runs through the pot hole. It takes cacti 4-6 months until they are stable.Succulents, on the other hand, are easier to establish. You can water them like normal plant as long as the root system is already stable.

  1. Be observant

Observe how your plants are. How they grow will generally tell you what they need!If the plant is growing out longer as if trying to reach more sunlight, it is probably etiolation and that means it needs more sun. If your plant softens up, you may be watering too much or there may be fungal rot. If they start to shrivel, then they need more water.

  1. Pot your plants properly

Always, have a drainage hole on your pot otherwise water may pool at the bottom and the roots of your plant will rot. If using a glass bowl or container with no drainage, make sure you have a good layer of gravel or pebbles in the bottom. You can create an amazing display with cacti and succulents.

  1. Beware of pests

You may choose to use fungicide to treat your plants if you do find pests but an organic option would be a solution composed of 1 spoonful of dishwashing liquid, vinegar and water that you can spray your plants.

  1. Handle with care

Plants don’t like being moved around so much. You may repot a plant when it gets too big for its pot. Succulents are handled like any other plant. For cacti, however, it is best to use a towel when handling the plant so that you won’t hurt yourself with the spines in the process.

  1. ID your plants

When buying plants, research about the plant’s normal growing conditions and needs. You can also label the plants so you know which ones are growing well and ones to avoid next time..

  1. When in doubt, ask

There are many plant groups you can join. Or, contact us via the website and we would be happy to answer your questions.

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