How to Grow Cacti in 3 Easy Steps

Cacti are succulents, a kind of flowering plant that grows best in the desert. There are many different kinds of cacti, but they are all from the same family, Lamiaceae orakeriana.

Instead of leaves, cacti have spines for protection and thick, fleshy parts that allow them to store water. This allows them to fend off animal predators and to survive extremely dry climates. More so, there is also its considerable but shallow root system for instantly absorbing groundwater.

Cacti are also characterized by its long dormancy period and short growing season. This will be discussed more in detail, along with the materials, species, and climate that are ideal in learning how to grow cacti.

Cultivating cacti from cuttings can sometimes be a little time-consuming. But understanding how to grow cacti using them is a real buzz, especially when your succulents and cactus cuttings become fully grown.

There is just something quite rewarding when you get to witness your beautiful, new plants sprout from tiny seedlings into full mature plants over time.

How to grow cacti

Step 1: Choose the right soil and pot

Cacti are usually planted in soil that is somewhat loamy, especially if it has had plenty of water. It is best to have a sunny location and not too much clay soil so they will have their own root drainage system. If you grow cacti in soil that is too dry, they will wilt and die.

The best way to do this is to make sure you have a container that has good drainage—not overly deep so the cuttings don’t rot or the base doesn’t go moldy inside the container. Your cuttings should also have lots of sun. If you plan on putting them in pots, then you may want to use plastic pots as they retain more moisture than clay ones, and are also easier to keep clean.

For additional cactus potting information, watch this Youtube video by Az Flora Eng on the Top 5 Common Mistakes on Cactus Care.

Step 2: Select the cacti that’s best for you

For some reason, people seem to think that it is fine to grow cacti up to the height of the exterior walls of their home without any support. While this may be delightful in the area of increasing plant growth, it will certainly slow things down if you try to transfer them into the pots or places that you want.

To grow cacti, you may find it useful to choose species with leaves that do well in pots, rather than those that have big and bushy leaves, which needed to be held tightly in with the roots. This way, your plants will have a higher chance to grow into lovely and healthy specimens.

Varieties like Golden Ball Cactus and Peanut Cactus are highly attractive and easy to take care of for beginner cactus growers. Old Man Cactus, is said to be easily grown from seeds and cuttings, and is distinctive for its columnar growth and white, wool-like hair.

To learn more about cactus species, check out this useful guide by The Spruce about the best cacti to plant in your garden.

Step 3: Keep in mind the cactus growing season

It is vital to know how to grow cacti the right way, especially if you are growing them indoors, where they only get a little bit of natural sunlight. These succulents like to get a lot of sunlight, so it is a good idea to put them out in the garden or along fences so they get all the sunshine they need.

You should never leave them out in the backyard all year long. The winter months bring cold temperatures, and they can only survive this by holding onto the leaves of the plants they are growing.

Cacti are much more likely to flourish in the late spring. If you don’t want them to start growing too early, you should wait until the after the winter months before starting to loosen up a little and planting them.

Additional pointers

Some seeds can stay dormant for long periods of time and then germinate during the warmer months. For this reason, you will have to take a look at how to grow cacti that are not seasonally dormant.

If you cannot wait until after the summer heat starts to push them back into the soil, it might be best to plant them so they can set seeds in the early summer. When they do come out, the cacti will probably have many new shoots and roots to help spread around. This will increase the chances of them growing into a fully grown specimen.

You should know how to grow cacti in pots so they have a good chance of not freezing. They should have a thin lid on them so they will remain warm while the inside of the pot freezes.

A good idea is to put a little bit of wood or cardboard on top of the lid so the soil won’t stick to it. Once you transplant the seeds and keep the lid closed, leave it alone for a few days. This will help the soil to thaw out and your specimen will begin to grow.

The final step in how to grow cacti is to dig a hole for the cactus and fill with dirt. Place the lid and gently rock it in place, adding compost as you go along. As the soil freezes you can remove the compost and plant your seeds and roots into the holes.

When the soil gets warm, add some Aloe vera. It will keep the plant healthy and ensure it produces healthy leaves and stems. Make sure to dig a hole that is a couple of inches larger than the cactus.

Keep in mind our pointers on how to grow cacti correctly, and you will end up with a beautiful specimen. If you are looking for the perfect succulent specimen for a room setting, then you will have to visit your local garden store.

You can also check out our online bookstore for a selection of books about cactus species and ideal climates to learn more. Browse also through our Stocktake sale for a series of discounted books all about cacti!

Take a look at Cactus Caffeine’s beginner guide on cactus growing below or in this link:

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Kim Hamilton


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