Cactus cutting placed in semi-shaded area grown thin on top (above image)

I thought I would do a blog on what not to do with Cacti and Succulent plants.  As I have found some growers don’t know what to do with them when purchasing online.

A fast service is ideal with buying cactus and succulent plants, as you don’t want them sitting in the box for too long. Cactus can live up to three months without soil, and succulents one month. Packed plants should be wrapped in paper loosely without tape or tissue as they can become soggy, causing rotting. After receiving your plants, pot them up in non-acid or salty mix with well-drained soil. Your mix should be made up of a third (1/3) of drainage material. As you will find, the plants roots can become cooked in summer due to not having aerated mixed or holding water too long in the soil, causing rot.

Don’t water when you first pot your plants, as you need to leave them to settle and repair any roots that could have been damaged from traveling or potting. After that, in their growing season, water once a week to twice a week if it reaches over 40 degrees. In non-growing seasons, decrease watering down to once a month for cactus and succulents fortnightly.

Last of all, give your plants the right position. There are three main factors that affect their rate of survival: light, water and temperature. Little light can cause your plant to stretch out of shape, root rot and discoloration. If they do stretch they will recover if given more light. Too much light will cause burning. If wanting plants in a shaded area, use Haworthia or Gasteria plants, as they can tolerate shaded areas.

When watering, it is better to provide too little than too much, as it is safer. If you see your plants not looking plump, more wrinkle in the leaves or body, then give them more water. If giving too much water, the signs are browning or blackening leaves or stems, browning or blackening at the base of the plant, mushy or leaking plants, or the plants literally rotting before your eyes.

Cold temperatures can encourage blooming, but low temperatures go hand in hand with dew and frost, so water stays in the pot longer than it would in the heat. If water doesn’t dry out quickly, it will cause roots to rot. Less water is best in low temperatures. High temperatures can cause burning if too close to a window or just being in a shaded spot or greenhouse. If you want to move your plants, it’s best to do it in winter so they can adjust to the temperature before summer hits.

Please tell me any problems you have faced or are facing in growing Cacti and succulent plants, and I will share them and learn more with you at the same time.  

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