Cacti are succulents are easy care plants for any home or patio. They are all able to store water in the fleshy tissues of their stems, roots or leaves. They also have distinctive features that help reduce water loss.
Cacti & Succulent Care Tips:
- Cacti and succulents thrive in containers and because most are slow growing, they do not need to be repotted very often.
- This makes it easy to bring them in for the winter if they are not a cold hardy variety.
- Containers must have drainage and not be too deep.
- Always use cactus soil or add sand to the soil for good drainage.
- Most succulents like slightly acidic soil (5.5-6.5).
- The most common killer of cacti and succulents is over-watering, A moisture meter is the only sure way to gauge how dry or wet the soil is. If in doubt, don’t water!
- When actively growing in spring and summer succulents need more water. Water every 1-2 weeks, depending on how hot it is. In summer, when the temperatures are over 90 degrees, reduce watering to every two weeks. Plants go dormant when the temperature is too high and can survive on the water they have stored.
- In late fall and winter, reduce watering to once every 3-4 weeks. Your plants will thank you for it.
- Plants are hungry in Spring, Summer and early Fall when they are actively growing,
- Use Cactus/Succulent fertilizers 15-15-30.
- You can also use tomato fertilizers BUT they must be used at ½ strength.
- If your plants are looking a little stunted, they are craving nitrogen and should be fertilized.
Top 10 Succulents for Your Home
- Burrows Tail Sedum. Best in hanging baskets. Prefers medium to high light. Allow the soil to dry between watering.
- Jade Plant. Very easy to grow! Allow the soil to dry completely between watering. Prune to keep symmetrical.
- Aloe Vera. The healing sap from this succulent has been used for centuries to heal burns. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and don’t let the plant sit in water.
- Panda Plant. There are over a dozen types of kalanchoe. Panda is the most common. Grown for its soft, fuzzy leaves. Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings.
- Ponytail Palm. These are not palm trees at all but actually are a member of the succulent family. This plant holds a lot of water in its bulbous trunk so it is perfect for neglectful gardeners.
- Christmas or Easter Cactus. When in bed, be careful about watering this plant. The slightest under or over watering can cause buds to drop. Place plant in a cool area (approx.. 55 degrees) to initiate flower and bud formation.
- Hens & Chicks. Also known as echeveria and sempervirum, these two plants share the common name ‘Hens & Chicks’. Allow to dry out slightly between waterings.
- Crown of Thorns. When flowering, only let the top inch of soil dry out. If you let the plant dry out completely it will lose leaves and flowers.
- Pincushion Cactus. This is a group of about 200 ball shaped cacti which require extremely high light. Let pincushion cactus dry out between waterings.
- Snake Plant. This is an extremely hardy succulent plant that can handle a lot of abuse. Fertilize once a year and allow the plant to dry our between waterings.