Tips for caring for your Cactus or Succulents

Ideal plants for people of any age, cacti and succulents grow in most positions and locations. They are suitable for both indoors and outdoors, from patios to gardens. They come in many shapes and sizes, shaded to full sun, drought resistant as well. Beautiful flowers and shapely forms that can be a centre point in any garden.

Cacti and succulent plants can take care of themselves for short periods at a time, but read on for tips and advice about caring for Cacti and Succulents. Why not join our Newsletter to get ongoing tips and advice from our blog posts sent directly to your email every week?

Position

Place your cactus or succulent in a position where it will get good sunlight for approximately 4 hours to 6 hours a day. If plants start to grow thin on top, it is telling you that it needs more light.

Watering

Watering needs for Cacti and Succulents vary, according to the season. Ideally water when the soil has dried out or follow the below suggestions.

Summer

During Summer you should water once a week unless the temperature gets consistently higher than 30 degrees, in which case you may need to increase watering to twice a week.

Autumn and Spring

During Spring and Autumn you can reduce the watering of your Cactus or Succulent to once a fortnight.

Winter

During Winter you only need to water a Cactus or Succulent once a fortnight for mildly cold conditions or even once a month if it is particularly cold.

Potting

It is time to re-pot your cactus or succulent when the plant is too big for the pot, or it has become root bound. In the case of plastic pots, you can tell when it has become root bound when you can no longer squeeze the pot, (as the roots have taken up all available space), and in the case of hard pots, e.g. terracotta, you will see roots growing out through the water holes at the base.

When you do re-pot, make sure that whatever soil you use has good drainage. As an example, add sand or small stones to the mix, as well slow release fertiliser, this will help to keep your plant healthy.

Pests

Here’s how to control any Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Scale, Spider Mites or White-flies that may take a liking to your Cacti or Succulent.

Control

Scale just brushes off but for other pests you can either choose to use insecticidal soap or various other chemicals or, for those looking for natural alternatives that also act as an ongoing deterrent, spray them regularly with pure Neem Oil or dust with Diatomaceous Earth.

Diseased or Damaged

Should your Cactus or Succulent ever get damaged due to breakage, excessive cold, over watering or even due to diseases such as Root Rot, portions of the plant can be saved if you can take healthy cuttings that are free from discoloration and rot.

Winter Preparation

Withholding fertiliser and cutting back on water in the Autumn, will prepare hardy plants for Winter. In a house or greenhouse, circulating fans will even out the temperature and prevent cold spots.

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