How to care for: Cactus
In nature the cactus grows mainly in Africa, Central and South America. From dry to hot climates. It doesn’t really matter where the cactus grows up. They are succulents in nature, which makes them require little care, and are also used economically. Most cacti have sharp prickly surfaces, which we usually recognize a cactus by.
Water once a month
How do you take care of a Cactus?
A Cactus can grow on almost every location. From bright light to partial shade. The optimum light for a Cactus depends on the type of Cactus; for example, Rhipsalis likes partial shade, Echeveria enjoys bright light, and a Christmas cactus can’t stand intense, direct sunlight.
If your Cactus turns yellow or orange the plant gets too much light. It's best to position the plant on a location with less (bright) light.
Being a desert plant, there’s a common misconception that a cactus doesn’t need much water to grow. Even though a Cactus can hoard moisture in its plant cells to save water for drier climates or drought-like conditions, it certainly can't live with just a little water. However, it doesn’t like being drowned in too much water either.
It is best to water a Cactus every month in the growing season, from spring to summer. In the fall and winter it is best to only water the plant once every 3 months.
Being a succulent, a Cactus is low-maintenance and doesn't need much nutrients. However, any good houseplant nutrition diluted to half of the recommended strength can be a nice addition for your cactus. Fertilizing a Cactus once or twice a year is enough.
Repotting a cactus can be quite a job because of its prickly surfaces. We therefore recommend repotting a cactus only when really necessary. If you're going to repot provide gloves, a newspaper or an old towel to hold the cactus. You can then slowly pull the cactus out of its pot and place it in a new flowerpot. Make sure this flowerpot is at least 20% larger than the previous one.
A cactus is not the best air-purifier, but it can reduce radiation and eliminate bacteria. Cacti also absorb carbon dioxide from the air and releases oxygen in return, hence cleansing the air and removing toxins. However, the amount of oxygen they return is not a lot.
Is a Cactus toxic?
Generally, cacti aren’t too poisonous, but the juice inside the cactus is. What you may also find detrimental about them is their prickly appearance.
Diseases and peculiarities
Cacti can't withstand high humidity. If they do live in high humidty moulds can occur. This can be prevented if you don't position the cactus in the bathroom or kitchen. It can also happen that your cactus suffers from mealybugs. Mealybugs can be dissolved by spraying the cactus clean with a powerful jet of water. Make sure there is enough distance! Otherwise you could damage the plant itself. Stubborn mealybugs can be combated with chemical pesticides too.