Over the past year I’ve developed a slight obsession with cacti and succulents, gathering 11 cacti and 9 succulents to date. Outside of whatever phenomena has caused me to acquire these little guys, one thing keeps my love going – caring for cacti & succulents is sooo easy. Even I and my dreaded black thumb haven’t killed them yet. Okay, that’s a lie, I may have killed one – which I’ll tell you about shortly.
With all the cacti love and succy obsession going on lately – I figured I’d give you a quick guide to cactus and succulent care in your cacti wonderland.
I’ll be honest, one of my biggest struggles in plant survival is I may sometimes (or always) forget to water them. This makes cacti the best choice for me, since their watering schedule isn’t very demanding. I water mine about once a week, enough to soak the soil and a little coming through the drainage holes/rocks. Then wait for the soil to dry again before watering.
I did actually end up killing a succulent with over-watering. In my defense this particular one was smaller than the others in the bowl – one suffered a little damage to a few spots, but the other two are healthy and thriving.
Cacti soil! Really, this is a thing. It’s dry, porous and allows for proper draining – which is exactly what your cacti need! I also add a few rocks to the bottom of my planters for drainage, especially if they don’t have the drain holes in the bottom, it keeps the roots from soaking and getting rot. Like this one: which is actually just a dining bowl.
Did you know succulents can get “sunburnt”!? I thought being cacti, they’d want ALL the sunlight, but it turns out they do not. They want a lot of it, but indirectly. So I keep mine off to the sides of windows and in well lit areas of my house instead of straight in the sill and sunlight.
I only recently read about this, but it makes sense. We all know that as plants outgrow their planters, they need to be replanted into new pots, but it’s healthy and good for your cacti/succulents to get a new home each year. Kind of like a spring cleaning with fresh soil, clean planter, etc. It also gives you a great opportunity to check on the “under the soil health” of your plant. Make sure the roots are healthy, no bugs/rot/fungus, etc.
I’m just gonna go ahead and add that to my spring cleaning list right now!
Succulent Care Overview
So, a quick glance over in case you missed a step, want to write it down or opted not to read and scroll to the bottom for this part.
- Do NOT over water them. Soak the soil and then let it dry before watering again.
- Make sure you plant your cactus or succulent securely and with proper drainage.
- Indirect sunlight and well lit areas are best.
- Re-pot yearly/as needed.