Best Tips For Caring For Cacti And Succulent Houseplants
Follow our hints and tips for success with cacti and succulents
- Cacti and succulents need very well draining compost otherwise they rot.
- Plant indoor cacti in a 50/50 mixture of loam based John Innes No 2 and horticultural grit.
- Make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the container.
- Cacti and succulents are one of the few plants which can tolerate a baking hot south facing windowsill.
- Watch the video and read the blog showing how to re-pot cacti.
Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus)
- Make sure they are almost completely dry before watering.
- Don’t over-water otherwise they will rot; especially if temperatures are not sufficiently high to evaporate any excess water.
- Feed monthly from spring to autumn with a specialised cacti fertiliser.
- White fly can be a problem in a household environment so spray with an insecticide at the first signs.
- Red spider mite is also a problem and very difficult to spot. Take a fine mister and lightly spray the plant and the webs should show up clearly. Spray with an insecticide. If the infestation is heavy you may have to destroy the plant.
- Rotting is the result of overwatering and is not treatable, so you will have to throw the plant away.
- Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus) and Rhipsalidopsis (Easter Cactus) are classed as succulents but do need slightly different conditions to the cacti. They need more water and will tolerate being constantly damp.
- Try growing Aloe vera on the kitchen windowsill and just cut the tip off a leaf to soothe burns.
- The succulents make excellent starter plants to get children interested in gardening.
- Group a few together in a shallow terracotta bowl to make your own desert scene; decorate the surface of the compost with gravel and rocks.
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