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I am often asked questions what is wrong with a cactus, why it does not grow, is sick, does not bloom, etc. And often in photographs I see half-dead plants, tortured by improper care. And I'm angry because I really love cacti. So a lover of violets would be angry if he heard that you poured your violet directly into the outlet, while it was standing in the direct sun, and now you are worried about its condition.
When buying any plant, you think about where to put it, how it will be better for it. In the case of a cactus, it is worth considering whether it is worth buying. Because in the absence of certain conditions, the cactus simply will not survive for you, no matter how the other conditions are met.
So, in which case is it worth abandoning the purchase of a cactus immediately:
1. You have north, north-east or north-west windows, or the light constantly obscures the neighboring house, trees, etc. Too dark for a cactus, and highlight them too intensely. On the northern windows, cacti die sooner or later, slowly and painfully. I have a sad experience of living in an apartment with northern windows, where almost all the cacti in my mother's collection died in 5 years, and, alas, it was impossible to provide lighting in the early nineties.
In case you have experience growing backlit plants, you can try. Please note: for cacti, the lighting rate is approximately 15,000 lux, the characteristics of lamps to provide such light can be found in the "Winter Garden" forum section.
2. You have a tendency to water the plants abundantly, or simply love the process of watering. Alas, cacti are afraid of the bay, and if you accidentally flood it too much, it will most likely die.
If the above is missing, then you can buy a cactus. But now you need to know the following:
1. A cactus is not a decoration, but a plant, and it should stand on a window or balcony. Because even a meter away from the window, only 4% of the light intensity on the street remains, and a cactus standing in the dark dies.
2. To prevent the cactus from turning into an elongated pale spirochete in half with powerful green thickenings, and also to bloom, a cold, dry wintering is needed. It's easy to provide - choose the coldest window, take a box with a cut out front side and a hinged lid, put cacti there and place the box on the window with the cut side to the glass. How to water cacti in winter and how to ensure wintering is available in the topics "Watering in winter" and "Wintering cacti". If you overwinter cacti correctly, they will not grow in winter, turn pale and stretch, they will remain uniform and beautiful pot-bellied, and most likely will bloom in spring.
Let me tell you one secret. Cacti count years not by the number of years, but by the number of winters. That is, if there is no wintering, then most likely spring too. The cactus will live like a very long, long autumn. Provide him peace - and in the spring he will thank you with flowers and growth.
3. Never water your cacti in cloudy or rainy weather! Wait for the sun. Otherwise, cacti can rot or catch a cold. Do not be afraid - a couple of days without watering will not do anything to the cacti.
4. Cacti need light soil and good drainage. The main thing is that it is crumbly and breathable, because from humus heavy earth cacti grow fat and do not bloom. The Dutch must be transplanted from peat to soil.
5. After transplanting, never water the cactus like other plants! For the transplanting technique, see the topic "Transplanting cacti".
6. Fertilizer for cacti should contain a lot of potassium and phosphorus, and nitrogen - a minimum. Avoid nitrogenous fertilizers. You can fertilize cacti only in spring and summer, after watering.
7. And finally, about watering. Watering cacti is rarely necessary, but abundant. You need to wait until the earth dries out after the previous watering. As mentioned in step 3, water in sunny weather. In the spring - in the morning, in the summer, when the nights are stuffy - in the evening. It is better to water in a pan, but you can also top it. In the morning, if the sun does not shine on the cacti, it is good to spray them with a fine spray to simulate the dew in the desert. Also, cacti wake up after wintering - by spraying for 2 weeks, and only after that you can start watering them.
So far, all the wisdom. If you are ready to comply with them, you can very well buy your first cactus! Go for it!