Nowadays, a lot of plant lovers have started growing succulents, specifically, cacti plants because they look amazing and can be a great addition to any garden landscape. If you are one of the curious individuals who want to grow and care for a cactus plant, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Eden Succulents, we will be discussing the answer to the question “How often do you water a cactus?” If you want to know more information, make sure to continue reading below!
A cactus plant is a succulent. Like most succulent plants, a cactus plant needs specific care to live and grow healthy. Cacti belong to the family of plants called Cactaceae. The name cactus comes from the Latin word “kaktos” which means a spiny plant whose identity is uncertain.
Cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. This means cacti have fleshy, thickened stems that are effective in storing water. Cacti are native to the Americas and some can live in the driest deserts and arid areas, with extremely dry climates. Most cacti have spines which are modified leaves, effectively defending the plant from predators and its stems carry out the process of photosynthesis.
How Often Do You Water a Cactus?
Most individuals think that succulents require only a small amount of water to survive, that thinking is wrong. Yes, succulents are a type of plant that can thrive with a small amount of water but it will depend on the circumstances and its growing conditions.
During the growing season, cacti just like other plants need regular watering. Most plants grow during springtime until fall. Most plants will stop growing during the colder months and they will undergo winter dormancy.
While your cacti plant is growing, it should be watered once a week, although some plant lovers’ water more often. Important reminder: when watering the cacti, you must give the soil a good soaking. Allow the water to flow out of the drainage holes of the container and drain the soil of any excess water that can cause the plant to become prone to rot. You must use a terracotta container with drainage holes, you can get yours here. This will help improve the draining ability of the soil. You must also use a well-draining soil – make sure to use a succulent/cactus soil mix like this.
When the weather becomes cooler and the days become shorter, the cacti plants may enter a rest period. You can increase the interval or frequency of watering. You must always remember to allow the soil to become thoroughly dry before watering again. During a cacti’s dormancy period, you must provide enough water so they will not wither, shrivel, or become dry. You must treat your cacti different from your other plants as some cacti plants still grow even during wintertime. You can ask your local cacti or succulent nursery for your cacti plants’ growth habits.
When watering your cactus plant, there are a few things to take note of. Tap water may contain dissolved minerals, and it can be alkaline or hard which can build up in the soil of the plant over time, and this can cause harm to your plant. Make sure to repot your cacti every couple of years so you can remove old potting soil that has built up minerals in it. Do not use water that has been treated using the softening system as it often uses salt as a recharging agent and this can increase the sodium content on the water. This can be quite harmful to your cacti plant. If you have access to rainwater, you can collect, store, and use it to water your cacti.
Cacti plants in pots or containers may need more watering than those planted directly in the ground. You must also watch for any signs that the stem or leaves of the cactus plant are becoming stressed because of a lack of moisture. An under-watered cactus will look skinny, pale, withered, and shriveled.
How often do you have to water your cactus plant? Here are some tips to help you determine how often to water it.
Does the cactus have leaves or stems?
Does the cacti have spines?
Does it have a thick and fleshy stem?
Size of the cactus
Temperature and Humidity
If you live in areas with warmer climates, it will increase the evaporation rate of water from your cactus plant and the surface of the soil. Higher temperatures will also mean that the cacti will be growing and using more water in the process.
You must also check for the airflow because increased airflow in the area will also increase the evaporation rate of water from the plant and the soil surface. When the cactus plant is placed outdoors, airflow is much higher, so therefore, you must increase the frequency of watering accordingly.
The humidity will also affect the watering conditions of a cactus plant. Evaporation levels will increase when the area has increased humidity. The wet potting mix will dry faster. Cactus plants do better in arid and dry conditions. Make sure to monitor the dryness of the soil so you will know how often you will need to water your cactus plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How Do Cacti Live Without Water?
Question: How Do I Prevent Overwatering of My Cactus Plant?
Answer: Cacti will die and wither if exposed to too much water. You must allow the soil of the plant to dry out in between watering. The top few inches of the soil must be thoroughly dry. Usually, plants will need less watering during wintertime, and cacti plants are not an exception to that rule.
A cactus plant can be watered once a month or less during wintertime. Never allow the roots of the cactus to sit in standing water. Too much moisture can cause the plant to rot and may die in the process. Just remember to use a pot or container that has drainage holes and allow the water to drain properly every time you water the cactus plant.
Cacti are popular among plant lovers because they need little to no maintenance. They can be the easiest plants to grow but you must always remember not to water them too much. An overwatered cactus is prone to root and stem rot. Yes, too much water can kill them. An overwatered cactus plant usually shows increased growth and signs of good health during the beginning.
When a cactus plant is overwatered, the roots will die and rot and the plant will start to deteriorate, become soft and change in color. If this occurs that means it is too late to save it, if you can catch the symptoms earlier you can slow down and decrease the frequency of watering. You can use this watering can when watering your cactus plants.
Are you planning to grow a cactus? Do you know how often do you water a cactus? If your answer is no, you came to the right place! Eden Succulents is an online source of information for everything about succulents. If you need a specific guide or if you are looking for information for a specific succulent, make sure to check out our website www.EdenSucculents.com. If you have any inquiries or questions regarding succulents, please let us know, we will do our best to help you out!
- natural terra cotta material. Each measures 3.25″ H x 4.5″ diameter or 3.5″H x 5.25″ diameter with tray
- machine pressed, kiln fired
- hand inspected with a drain hole
- Organic cactus and succulent soil mix
- Professionally formulated for use with both jungle and desert cacti
- Provides the drainage cacti need to flourish; ready to use; pH balanced