Cacti and succulents are easy care, drought tolerant plants. Avaiable in an array of colors and styles, they store water in the fleshy tissues of their stems, roots or leaves. Give a cactus or succulent as a gift or learn to grow them yourself with these expert tips:
- Cacti and succulents thrive in containers. They are slow growing and do not need to be repotted often.
- Bring your plants indoors during the winter months if they are not a cold hardy variety.
- Containers must have drainage holes for moisture to escape.
- Always use cactus soil or add sand to your potting 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 a good tool to gauge how dry or wet the soil is. If in doubt, don’t water!
- Succulents need more water when they are actively growing in spring and summer.
- Water every 1-2 weeks, depending on the temperature. When the temperatures rise to 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.
- Plants are hungry in spring, summer and early fall when actively growing.
- Use cactus/succulent specific fertilizers.
- If your plants are looking a little stunted, they are craving nitrogen and should be fertilized.
Our Favorite Succulents for Your Home
Jade Plant: Very easy to grow. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. 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.
Ponytail Palm: These are not palm trees at all but are actually 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 Cactus: Perfect option for a seasoned gardener. The slightest under or over watering can cause buds to drop. Place 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 to maintain the leaves and flowers.
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.