Cacti are plants that look like spiky desert shrubs. They're native to North America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Many gardeners love them because they're easy to care for and resilient. You'll want to give your cacti extra attention if you live in a dry climate.
When it comes to watering a cactus, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
The frequency with which you water your cactus will depend on several factors, including its type, pot size, climate, and time of year. However, as a general rule, you should water your cactus every two to three weeks.
How often should you water a cactus?
The amount of water needed by your cactus depends on the type of cactus. Some types of cacti need more frequent watering than others. For example, succulents such as aloe vera, agaves, and echeverias need regular moisture. On the other hand, cacti such as euphorbias, cholla, and yucca do well without much water.
The amount of water needed also varies depending on the season. In summer, your cactus needs less water when temperatures rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). During winter, your cactus requires more water when temperatures drop below freezing.
You should water your cactus once or twice weekly during the spring and fall.
When temperatures are high, you should water your plant about once every two days. Also, the best way to determine how often to water your cactus is to check the soil before watering. The soil should be moist if the soil is dry, so give your cactus a drink.
If the soil feels moist but not wet, you don't need to water your cactus immediately. Instead, wait until the soil dries completely before giving your cactus some water. This will help prevent overwatering.
Signs That Your Succulent is Underwatered
As mentioned earlier, if the soil around your cactus looks dry, it's probably time to water your succulent. But what does "dry" really mean?
Dry soil means that the top layer of soil has lost its ability to hold water. As a result, soil can become dry even if the rest of the soil appears damp. To test whether the soil is truly dry, use your finger. If the tip of your finger leaves an indentation after touching the soil, then the soil is dry.
The soil should be watered if it is dry around your succulent immediately. You can use either tap water or distilled water.
Signs That Your Succulent is Overwatered
If the soil around your cacti seems too wet, you may have over-watered your succulent. On the other hand, watering too frequently can cause root rot.
To avoid this problem, wait until the soil becomes dry before watering again. It's important to note that if the soil is very wet, you shouldn't water your succulent. Instead, let the soil dry naturally.
How to save your Cacti from Drowning and Rotting
Cacti are among the most popular houseplants for their low maintenance and hardy nature. However, even cacti can succumb to problems if not cared for properly. One of the most common problems is drowning and rotting from too much water.
If you think your cactus is drowning, it's essential to act quickly. Your first step should be to stop watering your plant immediately. Then, if the soil is soggy or waterlogged, gently remove the plant from the pot and allow it to drain. Once the plant has drained, replant it in a fresh, dry potting mix.
It's also essential to make sure your cactus is getting enough light. Cacti need plenty of bright, direct sunlight to thrive. If your plant is kept in too much shade, it will be more susceptible to rot and disease.
Rotting can occur if your cactus isn't receiving adequate sunlight. Any time you see brown spots on the leaves or stems, then you should repot your cactus into fresh soil.
When Should I Repot My Cactus?
Repotting is the easiest way to keep your cactus healthy. A new pot provides a clean environment for your cactus. In addition, repotting allows you to change the shape of your cactus so that it grows in a different direction.
Repotting is recommended when:
- Your cactus begins to grow roots in the wrong place.
- The soil starts to look dirty.
- You want to move your cactus to a larger pot.
- You want to add another cactus to your collection.
How to revive an under-watered plant
If your plant is wilting, drooping, or its leaves are turning yellow, it's likely underwatered. Don't worry, though. In several ways, you can revive an under-watered plant.
First, check the soil to see if it's dry. Suppose it is; water the plant thoroughly. If the soil is moist, water the plant less. Second, try giving your plant some humidity. To achieve this, mist the leaves or place the pot on a pebble tray filled with water.
Third, ensure you're watering your plant at the right time of day. Water in the morning so that the plant has time to absorb the water before nightfall. Fourth, check to see if your pot has drainage holes. If there aren't any, consider adding them. Finally, don't overwater your plant. The soil must dry completely before rewatering.
Mistakes When Deciding When to Water Cacti
People make a few common mistakes when figuring out when to water their cacti. Here are some of the most common mistakes:
- Not checking the soil before watering is a big mistake. Always check the soil before watering your cactus. If the soil is already moist, your cactus doesn't need more water.
- Over-watering: This is probably the most common mistake people make when watering cacti. It's easy to overdo it because they assume that the plant must have enough water since they've been watering regularly. But this is a huge mistake. You shouldn't give your cactus more than 1 inch (25 mm) of water per week.
- Giving your cactus too little water: Another mistake many people make is giving their cactus too little water. They assume that since they've watered daily, the plant needs no additional water. However, this is a mistake. Your cactus needs regular water to stay healthy.
- Waiting too long between waterings: Many people wait weeks or even months before they water their plants again. While waiting is fine, you should only wait a couple of days after watering. Otherwise, the soil could become soggy.
- Using the same type of pot as your previous cactus: If you use the same pot for all your cacti, you might have to change the pot sooner rather than later. For example, if you used a plastic jar for your last cactus and now use a ceramic pot, you'll need to change the pot for your next cactus soon.
The potting soil should be 90% dry before watering the cacti.
1. Should I spray my cactus with water?
Pouring water on your cactus is the most common method. It's quick, and you can be sure that each spine gets a good soaking.
2. How do cacti survive with little water?
One essential adaptation is that they have deep root systems that can access underground water sources. They also have thick, waxy skin that helps them to retain moisture. And finally, they can store water in their stems, allowing them to survive for long periods without rain.
3. How do I know if my cactus is happy?
If your cactus is doing new growth, that's a good sign that it's happy. Of course, cacti grow slowly, so don't expect too much new growth each year. But if you see any, it means your plant is doing well.
4. Can cacti live without sunlight?
Yes, cacti can live without sunlight.
5. How long can a cactus live without water?
It is possible for a cactus to live for a very long time without water. Some cacti can go for years without water. However, most cacti need at least some water to survive.
In conclusion, cacti are easy to care for and only need to be watered about once a week. As a result, they are tolerant of a wide range of conditions, so even if you forget to water them for a while, they will likely still survive. However, if you want your cactus to thrive, it is best to stick to a regular watering schedule.