Cactus soil: 12 Helpful Tips When Growing Cacti and Succulents
If you’re looking for plants that are eye-catching and pretty but practically stand on their own, cacti and succulents are the perfect plants for you. These plants do not seem to go out of style since I can remember I have seen them in gardens of all kinds and beautifying our planet. Learn here how to take better care of them at home.
1) Better Light and Sun than Shade
If you want to grow cacti or succulents, you have to be able to provide them with a space that has good light or even direct sunlight. Some types of succulents can adapt to places with low light, but they mostly need the rays of the sun.
Both cacti and succulents need 4-8 hours of sun daily. So if you plan to grow them indoors, place your plants next to a window or in a place where the light is quite strong most of the day. Ideally on a balcony or terrace.
2) Good Drainage is Indispensable
Just as important as sunlight is drainage. What this means is that both the pot and the soil should not accumulate excess water or create puddles. For this, there are holes that bring the pots in the lower part. The terrain should be a fairly loose and light one.
3) The Type of Terrain for Each Species
The ideal soil for this genus of plants is a combination of organic materials such as planting soil, sand, and gravel. Although most of the succulents and cacti can live in a fairly similar type of terrain, there may be certain differences depending on the species. Some may even prefer more moisture in the soil, such as the Christmas cactus.
If you do not want to spend the work of combining materials, today most nurseries sell this type of soil already prepared and in small bags.
4) Shallow Pots
The roots of succulents and cacti are quite shallow, so they will not need much pot depth. Even the flatter pots are beneficial as they do not accumulate water. Remember that the deeper the pot, the more soil it will carry and the more likely it is to accumulate excess moisture.
5) Use Gloves to Work
When working with your plants, use gloves made with resistant materials so that you do not get stuck with the thorns. There are also plants such as the so-called crown of thorns, which release a sage that can be irritating when in contact with sensitive skin. Then look for gloves that are strong and that do not allow the passage of liquids to your skin.
6) Moderate but Deep Risks
With cacti and succulents, less is always more, especially when it comes to irrigation. However, this does not mean that they should be left in a dry spell for too long.
Both types of plants accumulate water and food for those times when these are scarce. So the best way to water them is by giving them deep waterings, that is, pouring enough water until it comes out through the holes in the drain. Then do not water again until the medium or ground is completely dry.
7) Organic and Well Diluted Fertilizers
As I mentioned before, both types of plants accumulate water and food for those times of drought. So you don’t need to fertilize often or powerfully. On the contrary, these plants take better advantage of the food that may exist on the ground such as the organic waste that exists in the compost.
If you use another type of fertilizer, try to dilute it with twice as much water as the instructions indicate and only fertilize two or three times a year.
8) Transplanting in Spring
One of the best times to plant and a transplant is spring. One of the main reasons is that the weather is still cool but sunny and quite dry. So by transplanting around this time you give your plants time to adjust to the new soil before the summer heat hits.
9) Leave Space Between Your Plants
A common mistake when planting cacti in the garden is planting them too close together. It is important to remember that although many of these plants are quite slow-growing, some species such as Agave can grow to enormous sizes. Then before planting, find out about the final size your plants can reach and avoid planting them too close to roads or places with a lot of passage.
10) Combine Different Species in One Pot
One way to create an impact in your garden or terrace is by combining different species of succulents and cacti in the same pot. You can also plant them directly in the yard ground. Place hanging succulents like Jade on the edges of the pot and add other types that grow sideways and up in the center.
11) Create Hanging Baskets
The fact that succulents have a fairly shallow root system makes them ideal for planting in baskets. Many species of succulents tend to grow all the way down even when grown on the edge of a pot or basket. Combine species of different colors and textures for greater impact.
12) Create a Vertical Garden
Vertical gardens are very fashionable and one of the most used plants to create them are the versatile succulents. These have a fairly simple root system and can be adapted to almost any type of pot. Also the variety among these plants is huge and they are very easy to keep in shape all year round.