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Indoor Cactus Plant: 3 Best ways to take care and repotting

Indoor Cactus Plant: 3 Best ways to take care and repotting
Indoor Cactus Plant: 3 Best ways to take care and repotting

Thousands of cactus plant species exist in the wild, including two major groups of houseplant cacti: desert cacti and forest cacti. Both groups thrive indoors with little care and come in a variety of sizes, with small to moderate varieties being the most popular. Desert cacti are typically shaped like paddles, balls, or obelisks and have spines or hair. Forest cacti are native to the subtropics.

They grow in wooded areas of temperate forests, and subtropical and tropical regions, and resemble other succulent plants such as bromeliads. They are climbing or epiphytic plants that naturally cling to trees and make excellent indoor hanging plants. The Christmas cactus, which is native to Brazil and blooms in red, pink, purple, and yellow, is the most well-known decorative forest cactus. Desert and forest cacti are both slow-growing, have lovely blooms, and are among the toughest of all.

Common NameCactus
Botanical NameCactaceae
FamilyCactaceae
Plant TypeSucculent, perennial
Mature Size1-96 inches tall, 2-30 inches wide depending on species and cultivar
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeWell-drained, sandy
Soil pHNeutral, acidic
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorOrange, pink, red, yellow, white
Hardiness Zones9 to 11 (USDA)
Native AreaNorth America, South America

Indoor Cactus Plant Maintenance

Desert and forest cactus plants are among the toughest of all houseplants, with a unique, stark beauty that makes them a statement piece for any windowsill or brightly lit room. Some species bloom after three or four years of cultivation, while others never bloom. Both types of cacti are simple to care for, requiring only bright sunlight and infrequent watering. When the plant goes dormant in the winter, water and feeding can be reduced. Pruning is usually unnecessary unless growth needs to be controlled, and deadheading only applies to flowering varieties, which tend to drop on their own anyway.

Light

Cacti need four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. However, some desert and forest cactus species can burn in direct sunlight. Choose a location near a sunny window that receives filtered bright light in the summer and direct light (such as a south- or west-facing window) in the winter. You can move your cactus plant outside during the summer to provide adequate light, but only when nighttime temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Soil

Desert cactus plant thrives in a fast-draining soil mix designed specifically for cacti. They also thrive in regular potting soil that has been amended with sand, pebbles, or perlite to improve drainage and aeration. Forest cactus prefers well-draining soil as well, but they can often thrive in a standard potting mix.

Water

When your cactus plant is actively growing and blooming in the spring and summer, give it a good drink every ten days, allowing the water to drain thoroughly. Reduce watering to once every four weeks during the winter rest period (and every six weeks for some desert species). Between summer waterings, the soil should be dry to the touch, and mostly dry in the winter.

Humidity and temperature

Cactus plant prefer warm temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant prefers a cool-down period in the winter, with temperatures hovering around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Desert cactus is adapted to cold nights in its natural habitat, and some species can withstand temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Even so, any indoor plant that hasn’t been hardened off should be protected from winter draughts.

Cactus plant prefer humidity levels of 40-60%, which are relatively easy to achieve in most homes. Forest cacti prefer slightly moister air than desert cacti. So, if you notice your succulent plant wilting, mist it from time to time.

Fertilizer

Some of the worst environmental conditions on earth can’t kill cactus plant. Although it is not required, any fertilization effort is appreciated. Some gardeners experience poor growth with common houseplant fertilizers (perhaps because of an incorrect nutrient ratio), so look for a specialist organic cacti fertilizer with a higher phosphorus-to-nitrogen ratio. Only fertilize your cactus during the growing season, and follow the manufacturer’s suggested dosages two to three times a year. During the winter, cut back on or stop using fertilizer.

Types of indoor cactus plant

Cacti come in a variety of forms that may be grown inside, from those with classic spines to ones that resemble other succulent plants. Among the most popular kinds for indoor cultivation are:

Native to Northern Mexico, the Bunny Ear (Opuntia microdasys) cactus has stem-like pads that resemble rabbit ears. This species needs to be handled carefully since the pads have yellow glochids, which resemble cotton but actually have many spines. White flowers are produced by the Bunny Ears cactus, which can reach heights of two to three feet.

Easter Cactus (Rhipsalideae gaertneri) is a forest cactus with spine-free, segmented stems and bright star-like flowers in white, red, and pink. It’s one of the simplest cacti to grow indoors and is best suited for inexperienced growers.
Star Cactus (Astrophytum asterias), also known as sand dollar cactus or sea urchin cactus, is a star-shaped mound with yellow flowers. This small variety grows one to two inches tall with a diameter of two to six inches and is commonly found in indoor terrarium gardens.

Pruning

In general, unless you’re trying to control its growth, a cactus doesn’t require extensive pruning. However, dead or damaged parts can be removed with clean, sharp garden shears. Gardeners usually only trim their cactus to remove new offshoots (or pups) in order to propagate new plants. Wear protective gardening gloves at all times to avoid injuring yourself in the process.

Indoor Cactus Propagation

If your cactus produces offshoots (or pups), you can use them to propagate other plants. Most pups form at the plant’s base, sharing nutrients and water with the mother plant, while others form along the stem or on the pads. Harvesting and propagating pups benefit the mother plant’s health while also allowing you to replicate the plant.

Here’s how to propagate cactus from offshoots:

Gather the following materials: gloves, a sharp knife, alcohol pads, rooting hormone, a cactus plant potting mix, and a pot.
Allow your knife to dry after wiping it clean with an alcohol pad. Put on your protective gloves.

Locate a pup and use a 45-degree angle to cut it away from its mother (a slanted angle allows the wound to callus before it rots).
Allow the puppy to sit in a dry place for a few days (or up to a week) to callus.
Fill your pot halfway with potting soil.
Dip the pup’s cut end in rooting hormone and gently press it into the growing medium’s surface.
Mist the pot frequently and place it in bright but indirect sunlight.
In four to six weeks, your new cactus should have strong roots.

Growing Indoor Cactus From Seed

Both desert and forest cacti can be grown from seed, but patience is required. You will also need to obtain cactus seeds, which can only be obtained from the plant if it flowers. Because some cacti may never flower indoors, purchasing packaged seeds from a nursery may be your only option.

Before planting, most cactus seeds must be stratified (fooled into thinking they have experienced winter). This can be accomplished by placing seeds in moistened peat and then chilling them until they crack open (in approximately four to six weeks).

Prepare a pot with cactus potting mix and plant the seeds as deep as they are wide after stratification. Water them lightly, then cover the pot with plastic and place it in a bright, out-of-the-way location. Most cacti germinate in about three weeks, after which the plastic covering can be removed during the day. Seedlings should be ready for their own pots in about six months.

Cactus plant Potting and Repotting

Cacti are slow-growing plants that require little to no repotting. Many cacti, in fact, bloom better when they are slightly root-bound. Cacti should only be repotted at the start of the growing season if they require new soil or are infected with rot. To begin, put on a pair of protective gloves. Next, use a clean trowel to loosen the roots of your plant and remove it from its current pot. Fill a terra-cotta or clay pot halfway with a fast-draining cactus potting mix. Backfill around the sides and cover the roots with your plant, then lightly water.

Overwintering

An indoor cactus plant requires special care during the winter, but this usually means less attention, not more. To begin, place your cactus in the brightest window possible. Because the winter sun is low in the sky, your cactus will thrive without burning. Next, stop fertilizing during this dormant period and reduce watering to once a month, at most.

Pests and Diseases That Are Common

Infestations of mealybugs, scales, fungus gnats, and spider mites can affect all types of cactus. Shriveled leaves, a mold-like coating, and the appearance of bugs on the stems or in the soil are all symptoms. In most cases, pests can be carefully washed away with a sink hose spray or cotton swabs. Most plant pests have developed insecticide resistance, so using chemical insecticides indoors should be your last resort.

Overwatering can cause fungal rot, which appears as dark, sunken spots on the stem that eventually turn mushy. Bacterial rot can also cause your cactus to erupt in a black liquid. If either of these conditions appears, remove the affected areas of the plant and treat it with a diluted pesticide.

How to Make an Indoor Cactus plant Bloom

Blooming cactus plant or succulents are a rare treat because most do not bloom indoors. You’ll need to recreate the cactus’ natural habitat, which calls for warm daytime temperatures and cool nighttime temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If your ambient house temperature is higher, you may need to move your plant to a garage or basement at night (which most home gardeners will not do).

Cacti also require at least four to six hours of sunlight and the appropriate amount of water (but not too much!). Allowing your cactus to go into dormancy, when sunlight and water are reduced, is perhaps the most important factor for blooms. Some forest cacti (such as the Christmas cactus) bloom during this time.

The Most Common Issues with Indoor Cactus

Overwatering in the winter is the most common cactus gardening mistake. This can cause rot at the plant’s base or at the tips where new growth appears. If the rot has progressed, it may be necessary to start a new plant from cuttings or to discard the entire mother plant.

Because most chemical fertilizers contain heavy metals that eventually poison the plant, using non-organic fertilizers can also harm your cactus. Because cacti lack protective bark or leaves, physical injury is common, resulting in a bump that can lead to infection. To avoid this, keep your plant healthy so that it can callus over before becoming infected.

Some points relates to Cactus

  • Cactus flowers: cactus is usually planted outside but should be inside during colder periods of the year. They bear flowers in spring, and the flowers are usually red, pink, or purple.
  • fairy castle cactus: Cereus tetragonus is native to North, South, and Central Americas. It is a very slow growing plant that will eventually reach 6 feet (2 m.) tall
  • boobie cactus: they have green-blue stems grow up to 24 inches tall and have breast-like protrusions with areoles with 3-5 spines on each bump
  • types of cactus
  • cute cactus: Small cactus looks very cute so you can go for planting a small one in your house or office.
  • purple cactus is also very famous now a day.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Working at Walmart

    October 25, 2022 at 11:47 am

    Thank you.

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