Water: Simply- when watering, you want to emulate what happens in your cacti’s natural habitat. Usually an arid desert.
When rain does occur, it comes down heavily for a short period and then does not again for many days, months or even years in some extreme locations. With proper soil drainage, when watering, you should see a considerable amount flowing out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. We recommend watering around the inside rim of the pot (not at the base of the plant) to help avoid over-watering the plant.
We always recommend erring on the side of caution as the most common cause of malaise with a cactus is over-watering.
LATE SEPTEMBER thru
Cacti enter dormant season - water once every eight to twelve weeks.
Make absolutely sure soil is dry before watering. Dip your finger down into the soil to the second knuckle- if you feel any moisture hold off for another week. Also, water roughly half normal volume.
*Note- some species, namely Adeniums, Mesembs, etc. require NO water during dormancy. Again, please further research your species!
Cacti enter growing season - water once every three to four weeks.
If you’ve begun any fertilizer treatments, fertilize with quality product as directed- not too much!
*Make sure you thoroughly water when you do water. With proper soil drainage you should see a considerable amount flowing out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
Cacti enter summer season - water once every three to four weeks.
Hold off on the fertilizer! These babies are laying off the growth as their habitat heats up.
*Placement of cacti can slightly alter these directions. If specimen is in strongest, and therefor hottest, direct southwest light- soil will naturally dry quicker than if specimen is placed in a less lit or hot location. Adjust appropriately.
Light: Sunlight is absolutely essential for all cacti and again- you want to do your best to emulate the conditions in your cacti’s natural habitat.
As a general rule- it’s always best to put your cacti in the most well lit location possible. Think maximum to start, and begin to pull back slightly from there if the plant is doing ok after a few months of acclimation.
It’s almost impossible for a cactus to get too much light in an indoor environment.
Most of these bad boys are evolved to be a-ok in the harshest of desert sun with absolutely no shade. Bringing them indoors shortens their daily in-sun duration as well as direct intensity as a pane of glass is now present between the sun and the specimen itself.
Placement of cacti can slightly alter these directions. If your specimen is in strongest direct southwest light soil will naturally dry quicker than if the specimen is placed in a less lit or hot location.
Rotation is also an extremely important task to keep each cactus healthy. Rotate your plant with every watering to make sure they get an even amount of sun and shade. Uneven light can cause serious issues over time- yellowing, bleaching or a general off-color appearance can be a cause of uneven lighting conditions. Take care to prevent yellowing and discolor due to under-lit conditions as well as bleaching and scarring due to excess heat and direct light on only one area of the cactus.
Etiolation is a concern with bringing cacti indoors and subsequently receiving too little light. Essentially, the appendages of the plant grow unhealthily and in an awkwardly uncharacteristic way to ‘grab’ the sunlight it’s not receiving. This is usually a last-ditch effort to find adequate light before finally dying.
Dust and dirt build-up on cacti foliage can greatly reduce the amount of sunlight getting to your plant. Gently dust your plants bi-monthly.
Alternatively, if transitioning a cactus from a lower or inadequate lighting condition it’s best to transition slowly as the plant will be prone to scorching and scarring if the direct sunlight is too strong.
*Please, please, please keep in mind this guide covers general care to get you started. We highly recommended further Google research on your specific species to educate yourself on their exact needs including more precise info on water and sunlight preferences particular to the plant(s) at hand. Thank you! Thank you!