Succulent Insight: How Fast Do Cacti Grow?

Most succulents are slow growers, but cacti may be the slowest! Most species of cacti grow slowly—even the ones that get huge like saguaros. It can take a saguaro up to ten years to become just an inch tall. That’s a long time for such little growth!

So if you’ve had your cactus for a few years and you’ve barely seen it grow, don’t worry—that’s completely normal! You’re not a bad plant parent, and you’re not taking care of your cactus wrong. Even cacti that are well taken care of will only grow about an inch taller each year unless you have one of the rare few species that grow quickly.

If you want to know why your cactus is such a slow grower and what you might be able to do to support its growth, then keep reading!

How Fast Do Cacti Grow
Cactus growing in a black pot @cactusmagazine

Why Cacti Grow Slowly 

Soil and climatic conditions

For cacti, slow growth is a matter of survival. In the desert, water and nutrients are incredibly scarce. It barely rains, and the soil is dry and almost infertile. Plants need water and nutrients from the ground to carry out photosynthesis, so the fact that cacti get so little of both means they can’t grow very much.

Cacti have also adapted to focus their limited resources on survival rather than sprouting lots of new growth. They conserve water and resources so that they can survive through long periods of drought and extreme heat.

Check out “The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica” for a fun look at an amazing type of cacti you can take home with you.

ALSO READ:

How Fast Do Cacti Grow
Cactus growing outdoors @mallachtsplants

Lack of leaves

Another reason why cacti grow so slowly is that they don’t have leaves. Plants transpire through their leaves. About 99% of the water absorbed by a plant’s roots evaporates through its leaves. So if cacti had leaves, they definitely wouldn’t be able to grow in the desert!

One downside of not having leaves is that it limits their ability to soak up the sun and convert it into food through photosynthesis. Plants with big, broad leaves have more green tissue, which means they have more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the chemical that makes plant tissue green, and it’s also a vital part of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll can soak up energy from the sun and convert it into glucose, which primarily plants’ food. Plants are then able to utilize that glucose for energy and growth.

Because cacti only have stems and not leaves, they have less green tissue and less chlorophyll than other plants. This limits their ability to soak up the sun and convert it into food that they can use to grow. Cacti have spines and sometimes wool on their stems that shade them from the sun, which likely limits their ability to soak up the sun even more. No wonder they grow so slowly!

How Fast Do Cacti Grow
Aerial view of cacti growing in pots @plantadictos

Stomata in cacti

Another adaptation that slows down their growth is their stomata. Stomata are the pores found on the surface of all plants that allow them to take in carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is needed to carry out photosynthesis, so for a plant to grow quickly, it needs to take in a fair bit of carbon dioxide.

Whenever plants open up their stomata to take in carbon dioxide, though, some of the water in their leaves evaporates. Cacti couldn’t survive in the desert if they lost lots of water through their stomata, so they’ve adapted to have fewer stomata than other plants. Because they have fewer stomata, they can’t take in as much carbon dioxide, further limiting their ability to carry out photosynthesis.

All the adaptations that make cacti cool, distinctive plants are the reason why they can’t grow as fast as other plants. Bummer, right?

How Fast Do Cacti Grow
cacti mounted on a wall @planter_me

Can I Make My Cactus Grow Faster? 

We bet that you get a little impatient waiting for your cactus to grow—we certainly do! We’ve spent a lot of time researching how to make cacti grow faster. And unfortunately, we’ve learned that there’s not a whole lot that you can do to speed up your plant’s growth without potentially harming it.

Can fertilizer help?

If you give your cactus extra fertilizer or water to try to speed up its growth, it can develop several defects. Giving your cactus too much water could actually cause its skin to split. Cacti have adapted to soak up as much water as possible whenever it rains and store it in their cells. They’ll try to soak up all the water you give them, even if their cells aren’t big enough to fit all of it. This can cause their skin to split as their cells and tissues bulge from all the extra water, which will create an unsightly scar when it heals.

Be sure you also check out our article “5 Dangers Of Overwatering A Cactus” to see all the possible dangers of too much watering.

Cacti also don’t respond well if you give them extra fertilizer. Their new growth will often be deformed, which ruins their appearance. This especially happens with columnar cacti. Their new growth is much more significant and more circular than the growth below it, so it looks like a big round ball is sitting on top of your cute, skinny cactus! They also become very top-heavy and can even fall over if they get this way, so you don’t want to overfeed your columnar cacti to speed up their growth.

What about watering?

You should only water your cacti about once every two weeks when the soil is completely dry. They don’t need much fertilizer either—feeding them once or twice during their growing season will probably be enough given the fact that they’re used to infertile desert soil. But you can safely fertilize your cactus about once every month or two during its active growing season without harming it. Just don’t start fertilizing it every week!

Check out our guide “How Often To Water Cactus” for all things watering when it comes to taking care of your cactus plant.

How Fast Do Cacti Grow
Thorny cactus plant @sibosunkaktusukulenti

Which Species of Cacti Grow the Fastest? 

If you love to see your plant babies grow as we do, then you might want to get a species of cacti that are known for growing faster than the rest. We’ve heard from other succulent gardeners that Cereus and Trichocereus cacti species are particularly fast growers.

Pilosocereus cacti, a beautiful genus of blue cacti, are also known for being pretty fast growers. Go check out the article we just wrote about them to learn more! 

It’s a bit of a bummer that most cacti grow slowly, but trust us—their growth is worth waiting for!

Also, be sure to check out “Totem Pole Cactus (Pachycereus Schottii Monstrosus)” for another type of cactus to get you excited over.

How Fast Do Cacti Grow
Potted cactus plant @succulent.pro

We hope that this article has answered all your questions about how fast cacti grow. But if not, feel free to leave your questions below or ask them in our awesome community of succulent lovers, the Succulent City Plant Lounge.

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth tips on “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents” or even “The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers”  today!

Happy Planting! 🌵

What Is Special About A Cactus?

These thorny succulents that complement any environment always have and up to this day remain a wonder to humans as well as animals in the wild. A hungry creature will eat anything in its path to stay alive, and as such, they are continually looking for food. The ones that have tried extracting the juices from this plant have done it at their own risk. Most of the time, coming out of the ordeal with nothing but painful stabs in their mouths and paws by the sharp spikes the cactus plant has.

The cacti species has been widely researched to find what makes them worthy of having a whole family named in its honor. What sets them apart from most flora is the physical outlook that no other plant on the planet possesses. And in this piece, we shall look into more features that make these succulents unique and widely loved.

What Is Special About A Cactus?
Variety of short cacti in planters @tara_desert

They Grow Anywhere and Everywhere

Contrary to belief, cacti can be grown in almost all climates in the world and not only the desert climate. This is supported by the fact that some species have been found to thrive in the rainforests and colder environments in different parts of the world. Their resilience to the harsh conditions as experienced in the deserts makes them even more popular. Whatever the location they are brought up in, they find ways to survive, thrive, and produce. As long as they have all their nutritional needs met- in the desert or your backyard, they will grow. Cacti are not fussy plants.

Check out our article about “The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica” for a look at an amazing cactus variety you probably have not seen before!

They Are Nocturnal Plants

Humans are wired differently, and as you will see, plants too. Some people are morning persons, and others aren’t. Others are more productive during the day and others during the night. Animals also behave the same, some hunt at night and others during the day. And the cacti family are loyal members of the night club. The cacti open their stomata during the night as opposed to a majority of plants. If they open the pores during the day, they will lose most of the water they hold within their tissues, and this will mean a shorter life span. They do prefer the night time because the temperatures are cooler, and the calmer breeze helps them retain most of their water storage.

They Are Stem Succulents

Most succulents are characterized by the fact that they have thick leaves as their primary water storage tanks. But this is not the case when it comes to the cactus. To begin with, cacti do not have leaves. They instead have another site to store the water they absorb; otherwise, they wouldn’t be here today. Their swollen stem takes up this role, which explains why they are thick, round, and tight to touch. Some even look like they are almost bursting out. Well, now you know why their stems look that way; they are the plant’s primary water reservoir.

Take a look at our piece “How Often To Water Cactus” and see techniques we came up with to better water your cactus.

Their Unique Growth Habits

Cacti display quite an array of different growing patterns that make them very bizarre. The first growth habit is the arborescent cacti, which grow like a tree with a single trunk topped up by several branches. The second type is the columnar cacti that consist of an erect and cylindrical-shaped stem. The stems may or may not be branched, depending on the species. Smaller versions are the ones that grow in a globular manner. These are the ball-shaped shorter and smaller versions of the columnar cacti. The cactus that grow in this pattern are mostly solitary succulents or may develop several clusters that may be sharing the same root.

Other cacti growing in tropical regions develop as epiphytes, which are plants that grow on other plants deriving their nutrients from the surrounding air. Others emerge as climbers that can grow to enormous sizes. These kinds usually have flattened stems with little or no spines.

ALSO READ:

What Is Special About A Cactus?
A thick-stemmed and thorny cactus @cappucinoforpt

Unique Physical Cacti Characteristics

Specialized skin surface

The cacti have a waxy, shiny skin that helps them survive the harsh weather conditions in some of their natural habitats. The coating on the skin is ribbed and covers the exterior of most cacti species. The ribs allow the crop to easily stretch without breaking the surface when the plant absorbs water during the rainy season. The ribs also provide some shade to the plant’s skin. The waxy, shiny texture works towards reducing the rate at which evaporation is taking place.

The spines

Well, the needles are perhaps the most known feature that characterizes a cactus as one. The sharp prickly features are not only for aesthetics but also helps the plant to survive. One of the ways it has done so is by taking the place of leaves when compared to other plants. The reduced number or lack thereof the leaves means the plant has fewer stomata, which consequently means less water loss. Secondly, the spines protect the plant from animals and humans from interfering with it. The needles also help the succulent shed its skin and insulating the crop during the cold, dry weather.

In some cactus, these spines help collect rainwater by directing the droplets towards the plant’s roots. The needles also provide shade to the succulent from the hot glazing sun.

Take a look at the article for “Taking Care of the Old Lady Cactus” for a look at a cactus with little spines and interesting features.

What Is Special About A Cactus?
Different cacti species @kaktusyesilii

Specialized root system

Cacti plants have a somewhat different root system as compared to the other flora found growing in harsh conditions. As opposed to having deep roots, they have an extensive, shallow root system that spread widely to all directions and sit right below the surface. Whenever there is a downpour, torrential, or light, the roots absorb the water from the surfaces above them faster and more efficiently. These roots grow exponentially during these wet times, but when it gets drier, they wither and break off from the parent plant to conserve water further.

Their flowers

All cactus species have flowerets that grow at least once in their growth cycle. Some get flowers very early in their infancy and some take months and years to develop. Some even never get to bloom because of the conditions they are exposed to in their habitats. Well, the flowering part is not what makes them unique but how the individual flowers look like. The flowers have both the petals and the sepals combined, and they have numerous stamens around a multi-lobed stigma. The petals are at least ten in number. The flowers bloom in different sizes and colors, all dependent on the species.

Some of these flowers develop into fruits that both humans and animals can eat, although one should take caution, as some of these fruits are poisonous and not safe for consumption.

Be sure to not miss our article “Why is the Prickly Pear Cactus One of the Most Popular Cacti?” to see this cactus. See why it’s so popular!

Areoles

An areole is a raised structure on the surface of the cactus that the spines originate from. This is the distinguishing trait that only the cactus family possesses. These parts of the plant are circular or oval-shaped; they appear like raised fusion-discs and are fully covered by small hairs or sharp spikes. Some other plants have spines, but if they do not come from an areola, they are not cacti.

What Is Special About A Cactus?
Potted cacti @nannipereira

The cactus species never ceases to amaze, and if you were to house all the types in your backyard, you would run out of space. The traits mentioned earlier should, with no doubt, convince you that the cacti are a unique and special family of plants. With their exotic-looking features, any setting should be glad to host these wonders of nature.

Thank you for reading! Don’t run out of cactus content! Check out more from the cactus species like “Everything You Need to Know About the Brain Cactus” or “Does the Bunny Cactus Hop?” for more fun cactus facts and info.

If you liked this read, you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy Planting! 🌵

Succulent Tips: 5 Dangers Of Overwatering A Cactus

Cacti plants are loved by many because of their low maintenance regime. These exotic beauties enjoy their sun bask sessions and the once in a while watering soaks. A lot of cacti plant owners, however, face a challenge of overwatering their cactus without even knowing it. And before they realize, the damage has spread and in some cases cannot be treated.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the dangers that can result from the malpractice of overwatering. We shall look at what might be the root cause of this problem.

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
Overwatering A Cactus @_yunion

1. Using The Incorrect Watering Schedule

Applying water is a fundamental part of taking care of any plant, let alone a cactus plant. Although, cacti should be watered much less frequently compared to a conventional house plant. The very anatomy of cactus gives it the ability to go long periods without water. Consequently, if one uses the same plan to water cacti as other plants, they are bound to overwater it. They should adjust the schedule in accordance with the weather, humidity, location of growth, and finally, the particular growing cycle of the plant.

Be sure to check out “How Often To Water a Cactus: Essential Guide” for a more in-depth look at when you should water your cactus. Also check out “When You Should Water Your Succulents” for a look at watering the succulent family as a whole.

2. Using The Wrong Planters

Planters are yet another reason you will end up overwatering your cactus. Ideally, you should plant your succulent in a container that is breathable and one that contains drainage holes. Clay pots with drainage holes are probably the best due to their porosity, followed by ceramic types.

Plastic and glass planters are the most disadvantaged as they do not facilitate breathability and drainage, especially if they lack holes at the bottom. Wrong planters will, therefore, result in a waterlogged cactus as the water has nowhere to go, and will likely lead to rot.

Now that you know what may be the cause of a water-logged cactus, below are the dangers your cacti are bound to face if the above is not corrected in time.

Our Pick
6-Pack: Large 6'' Terracotta Shallow Planters with Drainage Hole

Made from high-fired terracotta. The bottom of each clay pot has a drainage hole to help protect against over-watering and is frost resistant.

Be sure to not miss our very own ebook that talks about “Different Types of Planters“. Take it with you today to never make a mistake with planters again. Also, check out “6 Best Marble Planters for Succulents” for some stylish, breathable pot ideas!

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
Growth of Your Overwatering Cactus @zzsofig

3. A Soggy & Droopy Cactus Plant

The super fast-growing cacti will have new growth of stems and branches that will, after some time, start to appear saturated and droopy. To touch, you will notice the typical sturdy stems will now feel soft and mushy. The reason behind this is that the cells are filled up with the excess water molecules and begin to bulge.

The cactus tissues consequently swell up, and when the pressure builds up, they rupture. The bursting distorts the plant’s internal transportation structure such that the cactus is unable to move water and nutrients from the roots to the individual parts of the plant. As a result, the cacti plant starts drooping and the arms fall off one by one. For the larger cacti species, the whole plant slants and topples over because it becomes top-heavy.

Be sure to also check out our piece on “5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents” for more helpful info after this article to help you save your succulents.

 

4. The Cactus Loses Color

Most cacti plants have different tones of greens ranging from the deep virid shades to the lighter lime hues. An overwatered cactus’ color will appear washed out and dull. The discolorations start subtly such that the cactus owner may miss the differences between the original and the resulting color. Over time, the green color turns yellow due to chlorosis which may have been caused by the overwatering malpractice.

Chlorosis is the loss of the usual green coloration of the cactus, which results in stunted growth and hinders flower and fruit production of the cactus. This is as a result of too much water in the soil, which prevents the plant from absorbing nutrients properly. The succulent, therefore, cannot grow healthy because now it lacks the essential nutrients in the right amounts.

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
It Effects on Color Also @mmmayumiii0914

5. The Roots Rot & Die

When any plant is exposed to excess moisture, decomposition is bound to happen. Especially when those plant parts are as delicate as the roots are. A waterlogged soil to begin with experiences a deficient air supply and when the cactus roots are in contact with the soil particles, rotting begins.

The rotting attacks the cactus starting from the root tips spreading upwards. Because the rot happens below the surface, a plant owner may not realize the damage until it is too late. At its worst, the cactus becomes stunted; its stems fall off to touch, the plant turns black and eventually dies.

ALSO READ:

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
You Can Judge by The Roots @iiikericoto89

An overwatered cactus plant, however, does not have to die. If the damage is not widespread, a few things can be done by you to save your plant. First, you tone down on the watering frequency, change the location of the cactus, exposing it to more sunlight. If the soil is not to par, you should change the soil mix, and repot the plant in a container that has drainage holes.

But if nothing can be done, dispose off the cacti and the soil mix you used. And if you are to use the soil again, screen it to kill pathogens.

Well now that you know what happens to your cactus if you over water it, take better care of it so that it keeps on thriving adding dazzle on your windowsill.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy Planting! 🌵

Beautiful Easter Cactus – Hatiora Gaertneri

Easter cactus which is also known as spring cactus is related to Christmas cactus. It is a species of the epiphytic plant in the Rhipsalidiae tribe, which is within the subfamily, Cactaceae. It is named so since it blossoms during the Easter holidays in the northern hemisphere. The beautiful succulent makes a lovely houseplant. Hatiora Gaertneri grows on trees or rocks only. When growing, it requires a regular amount of water for it to survive.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Easter Cactus @brcuyanikvolkan

How to grow Hatiora Gaertneri

As a newbie gardener, you may wonder where to start for you to have this wonderful plant in your garden. Below are the guidelines on what to do and the conditions required to grow Hatiora Gaertneri.

Light

Hatiora Gaertneri does well in bright natural light. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight as this will burn the fleshy leaves of a spring cactus. When growing them outdoors, ensure they are under a bright shade. On the contrary, you can opt to grow them indoors and let the light penetrate through the open windows.

Water

Despite being in the cactus family, they differ from the desert cactus. They are epiphytic cacti, growing on other plants and rocks, not in soil. This gives them the need to breathe. Water your plant with plenty of water and let it drain thoroughly out of the pot. Before another watering session, make sure the plant has gone dry to avoid the roots rotting out due to constantly moist. The watering process is exercised until the plant blooms. At this particular period of blooming, water your plant more often since you don’t want it to go completely dry at this time.

Soil

Hatiora Gaertneri requires rocky soil to grow well due to its nature of growth being on trees and rocks. You will need a mixture of soil to tree bark, perlite, or pumice in the ratio of 1:1. The use of pumice is the best. This soil should be neutral and well-drained.

Temperature

Hatiora Gaertneri is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They do best in warmer temperatures. Ensure that you keep them away from any heaters and any cold drafts. To set the plants blooms, ensure the evening temperature is cool. This could be between 45-55 degrees. If you are in template climates, growing them outdoors is advisable.

Humidity

The Easter cactus requires a humid environment for it to survive. To stimulate the needed moisture, mist the plant daily with a sprayer, even during the resting period. Alternatively, you can place the plant on a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. The air around the plant will be moistened through evaporation.

Fertilizing

Hatiora Gaertneri requires fertilization, preferably every 14 days. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half strength. Do not fertilize the plant during the resting period. You can also top-dress the plant with an organic granular fertilizer. They always respond with abundant growth during summertime when fed regularly despite them being moderate feeders.

Propagation

Propagate any segment that is at least 3 inches long. This is done in late spring. Allow the cut surface to dry before being placed in slightly moist soil.

Repotting

Once the flowering has finished, you can repot your plants. It is always important to use a well-drained potting mix with good air porosity preferably the ones used for any succulent or cactus.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Cacti Family @jana_hylocereus

Getting the Hatiora Gaertneri to bloom

Having followed and maintained the points above, you should have a healthy green cactus. For you to accomplish flowers, you will be required to have a special set of conditions. The first thing to do is to stop feeding them. Secondly, move the plant to a place where it will have 12-14 hours of darkness. Ensure the temperatures are 10 degrees Celsius for the best bud set. Thirdly, water the plant sparingly from October to November. By the time it hits December, moves the plant to somewhere warmer with 16-18 degrees Celsius range. The plant will be ready to flower from February to March.

Challenges faced when growing Hatiora Gaertneri

Despite having followed the procedures for its growth, they are met by some challenges, one of being infested by insects.  Scale and mealybugs are the common insects that attack this plant. It usually occurs if the plant is indoors. To curb this, you can wipe the stems down with some alcohol. This will remove the insects and the honeydew they excrete- which can attract fungal spores and the dust that has accumulated. 

If the infestation becomes severe, take your plant outdoor and use insecticide made for succulent plants to treat it. Always follow the directions on the package for application.

Another great problem with this Easter cactus is the root and stem rot caused by a wet, heavy potting mix. To avoid this, you can use the special cactus soil available for use with succulents and cactus. Consider growing your plant in a clay pot which will provide a quicker dry down of the potting mix and better soil aeration. Also, the Easter cactus will fail to flower in the following year, if it is fertilized in the 30 days following blooming.

ALSO READ:

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Hatiora Gaertneri @leaf_as_we_know_it

The next time you are interested in adding some springtime color to your home, be guaranteed to witness it by having this plant in your garden or in that corner of your house. It is easy to grow and brings that bliss in your home. Make your next Easter colorful with Hatiora Gaertneri.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy Planting! 🌵

Giant Barrel Cactus – Echinocactus Platyacanthus

At first sight of echinocactus platyacanthus, you will automatically fall in love with it. Their flowers and stem will leave you awe-stricken. Whether you are looking for succulent to plant indoors or in your garden, then you can never go wrong with giant barrel cactus. The plant originates from Mexico and is the largest of the barrel cacti species. They are diurnal, tubular, and yellow flowers hence offer a magnificent sight. The fruits come in different colors of yellow, purplish, orange, and at times fragrance and bloom during summer. In Mexico, people use their hair for weaving. The stems are grayish blue, offering a warm look. Well, this article covers everything you need to know about giant barrel cactus. Read on to get the insights.

Giant Barrel Cactus - Echinocactus Platyacanthus
Giant barrel cactus planted outdoors @raulmaldonadobrito

How to Care and Grow Echinocactus platyacanthus

To grow this magnificent plant, you have to be cautious. The plant is vulnerable, and you need a lot of care to make it bloom and flourish excellently. The seeds take a long time to fully develop, five years or more to reach the size of a soccer ball, and 20 years to reach the size of a peach ball. You require lots of patience. But, there’s no need to worry. You can acquire a larger version of the plant at your local nursery. The following are some conditions you need to consider when taking care of them:

1. Water

The barrel cactus doesn’t require a lot of water during their growth. But, during the first week of planting or repotting, you need to water it generously. Also, you should water the plant when the soil begins to dry. Also, you should avoid doing it entirely before or during winter. Overwatering the plant would destroy it and make it rot.

2. Light

Succulents love the sun, and the giant barrel cactus is not an exception. Ensure they get enough light, but not too much of it to prevent them from elongating.

3. Soil

A well-draining soil serves plant justice. When planting in a pot, mix compost, a little topsoil, and perlite in the bottom of the container, place sand lastly, water once in a week.

You can also take advantage of this amazing succulent soil we found just for you.

4. Humidity

The giant barrel cactus requires moderate humidity. Exposing the plant to high humidity would make it rot. 

5. Fertilizer

They do not require lots of nutrients to thrive and use low liquid nitrogen fertilizer on the plant. The amount of fertilizer depends on the size of the pot. During summer and spring, fertilize once in a period of 10 to 15 days.

6. Potting

To plant in a pot, ensure that your pot should be larger than the roots balls of the cactus.

If you are replanting, it’s essential to repot every 2-3 years. Lastly, handle it gently when moving to avoid damaging the roots.

Giant Barrel Cactus - Echinocactus Platyacanthus
Top view of giant barrel cactus in a pot @cactolico_

Tips for Planting Indoor Giant Barrel Cactus

You need to be cautious when you opt for this plant as part of your décor. There are lots of dangers involved; hence, little details like the environment, space, and how to take care of it matters. You should place them in a strategic position, to avoid incurring accidents. With the sharp spikes, put them out of reach of children and be careful to avoid being pricked.

Unlike other types of succulents, giant barrel cactus requires extreme care and tolerance. Unfortunately, it’s hard to realize when this plant is experiencing some problems. Giant barrel cactus dies inside out, and it can take you several months before you notice this. Usually, it starts disintegrating from its cores.

Sometimes, the succulent can occasionally be infested by bugs or scale, although it’s rare. This can happen when you move the plant to an environment that suppresses its growth and weakens the defense. Use a spray or insecticidal spray to get rid of the pests. The knowledge of this indoor plant would lead to healthier, fleshier, and adorable succulents.

Not an expert yet in taking care of succulents? No worries, be sure to read “7 Best Succulents for Beginners” for a list of easy to maintain succulents.

Tips for Planting Giant Barrel Cactus Outdoors       

  1. Spacing- when incorporating barrel cactus with other plants, you need to leave space a little bigger than twice the circumference of the cactus.
  2. To facilitate proper drainage, use quartz sand or gravel on the surrounding topsoil of the cactus
  3. To prevent hollow space, tamp the soil surrounding the plants.

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Giant Barrel Cactus - Echinocactus Platyacanthus
Several giant barrel cacti planted on the floor @danjo_koumuten

Advantages of Planting Echinocactus platyacanthus

Giant barrel cactus has numerous benefits. Some of which include:

1. They are drought resistant

No matter the season or the condition, nothing can prevent this plant from growing since it can survive in harsh weather conditions.

2. They live long

Yes, they can exist for up to 100 years and sometimes more. They sometimes grow to a height of 7 meters or longer and more than 1.5 meters in diameter.

3. They are beautiful

Most succulents are impressive if not all. But, the beauty of giant barrel cactus is unmatched. Either way, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

4. They are easy to grow

They require little amounts of water are drought resistant, and they don’t need much of your attention

Make sure you go check out more from the cacti family like “The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus” or “Blooming Beauty: Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii)“. Learn more about these interesting types of cacti.

Giant Barrel Cactus - Echinocactus Platyacanthus
Giant barrel cactus with beautiful thorns @onlineshop_gloria

 Giant barrel cactus, are species of one of a kind. Planting them in your garden or your home would ensure you achieve the beauty you desire. Remember to put on gloves when you are handling them. Lastly, patience and little care would give you the results you want. After all, great things come to those who wait.

Thank you for reading! Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

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