Cacti are extremely adaptable plants. It can tolerate relatively higher amounts of neglect than the other typical houseplants. However, for your cactus to flourish, it still needs some amount to basic care.
Basic Cactus Care
Some of the ways to ensure that your cactus is well cared for are –
- Proper Planting
- Infection Control
For your cactus to thrive, you need to place your cactus in the right location. The cactus requires an ideal amount of light and protection. So place your cactus in an area of partial shade, where it receives at least six hours of bright, indirect light through the day as an improper amount of light can cause damage to your plant.
Excess sunlight can cause sunburns, while the lack of sunlight may cause the cactus to etiolate. Similarly, if you leave your cactus outdoors during extreme temperature or weather fluctuations, it will cause damage to the cactus in the form of freeze damage or due to hailstorms.
2. Proper Planting
You need to plant your cactus properly. Ensure that the seedling is not planted too deep or shallow by placing it at a depth of 1-2 inches. Choose the pot with proper drainage which allows the cactus to grow but is not of an excessive size to ensure proper growth.
Use soil that is high in minerals and is porous to fill the pot. Infected soil is one of the main reasons for fungal infections. So, always use sterilized soil to fill the pot.
Overwatering your cactus can be a fatal mistake. It can cause rotting in the plant and if left untreated, the plant may die. Similarly, underwatering the cactus may cause it to start turning brown and dry. Thus, the cactus requires minimal but appropriate watering, especially in winters when it enters the dormant phase.
So, water your cactus twice weekly in the summers and once monthly during the winter season to ensure that your cactus is provided with the right amount of water. Avoid using excessive hard or soft water as it may oversaturate the plant with minerals. Ideally, rainwater should be stored and used to water the cactus as it contains the right amount of minerals for the healthy growth of the cactus.
4. Infection control
Cacti can be susceptible to infections if grown in unhygienic conditions. If it is not treated immediately, it can cause severe irreversible damage to your cactus.
Fungal infections such as root rot or crown rot occur due to reasons such as infected soil and excessive moisture. It can cause the plant to start rotting and be fatally damaging to your plant. If you detect any such infections, immediately isolate the plant to contain the spread.
Check the plant for damage and cut off the infected parts. Spray with an effective fungicide in regular intervals till the plant starts to heal before repotting it with fresh, sterilized soil to prevent reinfection.
These are a few tips to help you care for your cactus and ensure that it grows well.