To grow a healthy cactus, you must firstly personalize yourself to the cactus. Cacti need customized care to ensure healthy growth. One of the primary requirements of this process is to know how to water your cactus.
Improper watering is one of the main reasons for a sick cactus. So, it is important to know the amount of water your cactus needs. Generally, the cactus needs to be watered deeply once a week. However, the amount of water your cactus needs is determined by several factors.
Factors affecting watering of Cactus
So, some of the factors which decide the amount of water your cactus needs are –
- Type of Soil
- Cactus plant Pot
Different types of cacti require different amounts of water. It is very important to customize your watering schedule to suit the specific needs of the plant. Generally, cacti from arid areas such as prickly pears don’t need excess water as they are adapted to minimal water requirements but are more prone to being overwatered. However, some types of cacti such as the orchid cactus originate from tropical rainforests. These types of cacti require more water and are more prone to being underwater.
The amount of water your cactus needs varies from season to season. During summer, when the temperature is hot, the soil dries is faster due to evaporation. Thus, the cactus requires more water. Water the plant two to three times a week to ensure your cactus receives sufficient water during summer.
Similarly, during winter, the plant enters the dormant phase. It causes the plant to stop growing and reduces the water requirement of the plant. The cactus can be easily overwatered during this phase. Hence, water the cactus only when the soil is dry or once a month.
3. Type of Soil
The cactus requires a course, gravel-type soil which retains a minimal amount of water. Ideally, it is best to use a potting mix that is sterilized, fertilized, and porous. However, if the same is not available, mix sand with organic matter while potting the cactus.
If the soil is clayey by nature, reduce the watering frequency as it is likely to retain more water. Similarly, for soil that is excessively sandy and porous, the frequency of watering should be increased to ensure that the cactus gets sufficient water for growth.
4. Cactus plant Pot
The type of pot plays an important role in deciding the amount of water the cactus needs. Generally, terracotta and clay pots are porous, and cacti planted in such pots require more frequent watering due to the faster drainage.
However, if the cactus has been planted in a plastic container with no drainage holes, the water will take a much longer time to evaporate. Hence, they require a more carefully regulated watering schedule.
Similarly, if the container is wide and shallow, it will most likely evaporate faster than in smaller containers and will require more frequent watering to ensure that your cactus receives sufficient water.
Thus, these are the factors that need to be kept in mind while deciding the amount of water your cactus needs.