If you were to ask anyone to describe the cacti plants in the simplest way, they will most possibly include the words; thick, spiked, dry and desert. And in that simple definition, you will conclude that these plants are sturdy plants that can survive unrelenting climatic conditions. Nothing here is disputable. As a matter of fact, every character mentioned so far is correct. However, it’s not the only description these lovely plants deserve.
Most people actually fail to realize that cactus plants are a very vast and broad family of plants with more than 100 differing species under its belt. One kind is unique to the next, but all share a similarity of having thick, plump, fleshy stems. And another awesome thing about cacti is that they can survive almost all environments making suitable for household planting. As long as all their needs are met, they could add sparkle to your house window sill or your office desktop. Check out “9 Types of Cacti” to see more kinds of cacti out there.
Why Cacti Love Water So Much!
Just like other plants, cacti need water for their survival. Their characteristic, fleshy appearance is as a result of the presence of h20 within its cells. The mere factor that they are hardy plants and are quite low-maintenance presents itself as both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that, for one with not so much time for plant care in their hands, they can still keep the little beauties. And a curse in that there is a thin line between under and overwatering them. Take a look at “When You Should Water Your Succulents” for more tips on watering your cactus. And many are the times we face the predicament on how often to water them. Well, we assure you that it is not as mind-bending as you presume, but more straightforward than you could ever imagine!
Be sure to check out our Ebook “The Correct Way to Water Succulents” for a full guide to watering your succulents.
Factors That Influence The Watering Schedule Of Your Cactus
The Soil Composition
These plants flourish in a well-draining, sufficiently ventilated coarse, gritty, loose, sandy soil. The soil must be light-weight with a minimal composition of organic matter. And we all know that mixing water and decomposing matter is a bad idea. It promotes root rot, eventually killing your cactus crop. The porous nature of your soil mix encourages fast water flowing such that the soil dries faster, allowing proper aeration. This means the more granular your soil mix is, the more frequent the watering.
Don’t know what root rot is? Well take a look at “What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix It?” for more info to protecting your succulents from rotting.
Of the four seasons, cacti plants thrive in the warmer ones: summer and spring when the watering is mostly done. This is because, during these seasons, the atmosphere is hotter. Consequently, the evaporation of water from the soil and the plant itself is at its highest making the soil dry. The colder seasons, however, the air is cooler, and evaporation is on the lower side; hence, the soil will lose less water. Undespitudedly, the watering is more frequent during the warmer seasons as compared to the colder seasons.
Check out how some succulents are able to survive in desert conditions like parts of Mexico in “5 Most Popular Succulents From Mexico“.
The Cactus Growing Cycle
Every plant has a time in their life cycle that the growth is most active and durations when they go into dormancy. The productive seasons is when the plant grows upwards, blooms and even produces seeds giving rise to new offsprings. On the other hand, during their dormancy, the plants’ growth slows down and preserves its energy getting ready for the active periods. And this influences how often one should water the cactus. This, consequently, goes without saying that irrigation is more frequent during its production cycle.
Location Of The Cactus Plant
This simply entails where the plant has been cultivated; indoors, outdoors, in a planter, or on the ground. A cactus plant grown outside will be watered more regularly because of moving air, which carries moisture from the soil. As compared to its counterpart grown indoors, where the wind does not move more freely in the confinements of walls. Cacti plants borne in containers and the ground are both watered when the soil becomes dry. But other weather conditions will determine the rate at which the dirt dries. Notwithstanding, watering must be done to bypass the drying off of your plant. Look at “5 Succulents You can Grow in a Coffee Mug” for techniques for growing your succulent in different places.
Exposure To Light
It has been known that light goes hand in hand with the production of heat energy. This means that the more the exposure, the more radiation is produced, and the faster the transpiration and evaporation. A cactus plant and the soil exposed longer will, therefore, lose more water. And that dictates that the irrigation will be done more often since the soil will dry faster. Plants bred under grow lights will go by the same principle. The more the exposure, the more the watering. Do you grow your cactus under a grow light? Check out “Best Grow Lights Reviewed by Succulent Lovers”.
Be sure to check out our Ebook “Best Lighting Practices for Succulent Growth” for a full tutorial in lighting for your plants.
The higher the humidity, the lower the rate of evaporation. And the lower the humidity, the higher the dissipation. Humid air contains a large amount of moisture within itself, which simply means there will be no space for evaporated water to occupy. And the vice-versa is so in a dry humid atmosphere.
Size Of Cacti Plant
A bigger cactus plant has a smaller surface area to volume ratio, which decreases the amount of water that is evaporated. More miniature cactus, on the other hand, lose much water, meaning they will require more watering. Want to know more about larger sized cactus, go to “3 Popular Large Succulents You Don’t Have” for more.
Type and Size Of Pot
The size of the pot will determine the number of times you will water your cactus in a week. Bigger containers with more soil mix will obviously need a higher water volume to wet the entire cactus pot. Although one should make sure the soil is porous not to harbor any extra water.
What the container will also influence is the rate at which you will water your crops. For instance, terracotta pots have porous walls that seep up water, which is evaporated through their walls. This dramatically reduces the time the potting mix takes to dry out completely.
Plastic containers, on the other hand, trap moisture, increasing the time duration between watering.
- Overwatered Succulent Remedies: Everything You Need To Know
- Succulent Tips: 5 Dangers Of Overwatering A Cactus
- When Should You Really Water Your Succulents
Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!