Cactus Care: Watering, Transplanting, Growing From Seeds - In Questions And Answers

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Cactus Care: Watering, Transplanting, Growing From Seeds - In Questions And Answers
Cactus Care: Watering, Transplanting, Growing From Seeds - In Questions And Answers
Video: Cactus Care: Watering, Transplanting, Growing From Seeds - In Questions And Answers
Video: Answering 18 of Your Seed Starting Questions! 2023, February

How to care for a cactus

Question: How to care for a cactus? They gave it to me, this is my first plant!

Natali: First, read the literature about cacti - what kind of plants they are, what features they have: Cacti. Next, you will most likely have to transplant a cactus, here it is important to choose the right soil and pot size. The cactus pot should be small, slightly larger than the diameter of the cactus itself. More about the soil is written below. After transplanting, you do not need to water the cactus for two days and keep it under shade from the sun. Then put it on a sunny windowsill (and not to the computer) and water only when the soil in the pot is dry. Until there is active growth, do not feed. In the future, you need to find out from the photo what kind of cactus you have (you can ask here) and find out if it blooms at home, what temperature of the cactus is needed for wintering.

How to water a cactus

Question: How to water a cactus, there is no cactus watering calendar? I understand that there are several families of cacti and the care for them is different, but maybe there is a simplified version, I heard about this, are the days of watering circled?

Colleague: It is impossible, according to the plan, the fact is that a lot depends on the weather. In cloudy rainy weather, watering is less frequent, in hot and sunny weather - more often. On average, from May to September, watering should be done every 5 days. If it's hot - even once every 3 days. And if it gets colder or it rains, then even once every 7-10 days. There is no universal way. Everything is based on intuition. Since September, watering is gradually reduced: first, once a week, October - once every 10 days, in November, once every 2 weeks, and that's it, for the winter, as after the last watering the soil will dry out.

Caring for Cacti - in the section of the Encyclopedia of Houseplants.


Question: I have such a situation: I poured all the cacti into a pallet for half an hour, on half a pallet. The next day there was no sun at all. And the earth is wet for the third day, the temperature is + 8C. What to do? Ventilate?

Colleague: Turn on the heater! Put them side by side. Them urgently to a warm place. In the kitchen, bedroom … You can dry it with a hairdryer (warm the pot).

Natali: I believe that you need to take the most tender or the rawest cacti out of the pots and dry them in toilet paper rolls or on newspapers. Those whose land is drier - put in a warm place. But I do not advise watering from a pallet - it is very easy to overmoisten the soil.

Question: A cactus (prickly pear) at the base of a part of the lateral branches appeared lethargic, folds, although the main trunk looks normal. And what about the reduction in watering by the dormant period - with its reduction, the bush simply withers, the top on its side. If you pour it, everything will be restored.

Answer: You probably have a problem that you reduce watering, and the temperature is kept at a high level. If you cannot lower the temperature, i.e. move the plant to a cooler room, then water so that the cactus does not wither and wrinkle.

How to transplant a cactus

Question: How to transplant cacti correctly, especially if they have a lot of balls or other shaped shoots.

Natali: The easiest way is to put freshly separated babies in places of breaks on the surface of absolutely dry soil in a pot and do not water or touch for three weeks, it is possible longer (until they begin to wrinkle slightly). After three to four weeks, you can water it, the first time is better from the pallet, since the soil will dry out a lot during this time and if you water it from above, the water does not flow for a long time. Then, when the soil is saturated with moisture, let it drain and drain from the pallet. You can do it in another way - put fine gravel on the surface of the pot, and children on it, then after three weeks you can water it from above.

Colleague: To make a pot in it, expanded clay soil for cacti is lighter, on top there is a thick layer of small stones. It's just that the soil will not work, it is usually oily or dense … it is advisable to dilute it with fine expanded clay or gravel. Fine gravel or coarse sand can be bought at aquarium stores, and pebbles for the top are also there. Put the children with their priests down on the stones. In a warm place, spray daily.

Land for cacti

Question: What soil should be planted cacti?

Answer: a well-known collector of cacti, author of books I.A.Zaletaeva recommends this mixture: 2 parts of leaf humus, 2 parts of clay soil in the form of lumps, 2 parts of sand, 1 part of charcoal and brick (equally divided) for 3.5 liters all of this the mixture is added 1 tsp of superphosphate and 1 tsp of lime.

Melnikov: Leaf soil is harvested like this. First, the birches must be quite old. Fallen leaves and grass are removed from above. Carefully remove (even rather, cut) 3-4 cm of the top layer with a spatula, then rub it through a sieve from the roots of the grass. It should be free of sand, a little reddish with an admixture of black grains 2-3 mm. This is leaf humus. Secondly, you need to do this in dry weather, or chop up strips of this land, dry and reseed.

More secrets of soil for cacti:

  • Clay soil is grains of clay 2-4 cm from well-weathered hillsides, it is there at the exit in this state, but the addition of clay is needed only for cacti with turnip roots. Ariocarpuses feel very good in pure clay.
  • Charcoal is also suitable from supermarkets (birch).
  • Instead of clay, it is better to add sod soil (5-6 cm of the entire flooded meadow), sifted from dust, to the universal mixture.
  • Lime in the soil is completely unnecessary, it is already enough in our water, rather, on the contrary, you need to add 1 part of peat (such as red) to acidify the substrate.
  • Astrophytums and white-pubescent cereus react well to marble chips added to the mixture.
  • If you are replanting in the spring, superphosphate will not hurt at all - the flowering will be more abundant.

If you store the land on the balcony in winter, then the only drawback in this is that it will need to be thawed before planting. In any case, the soil for cacti must be sterilized before planting.

Question: Can sphagnum moss be used as an additive to cactus soil mix?

Colleague: No, sphagnum is not needed in cactus soil.

Vladimir Melnikov: Sfagnum is very good to use instead of drainage. Yes, and it's not bad to add to the substrate, but in a very small amount. It is a very good antiseptic. No root rot will approach. You can also do this: when transplanting, very long roots have to be cut off, then dried, etc. And with sphagnum, all this is done easier: you cut, wrap the roots in moss, and in damp earth. The plant does not lose a day after picking, losses are zero.

How to transplant cactus babies

cactus islay
cactus islay

Question: How to plant cactus babies: there are three cactus cubs, babies, very small, broke off from a large cactus?

Answer: Take three small bowls, fill them with cactus soil, put (do not drip!) The cactus into the bowls with the break-down point down, so that they become on the needles. Place in a warm place. Moisten the soil, but little by little, it should be slightly damp, but not wet. The cactus cubs will take root and take root on their own. The main thing is that the earth is loose. If the children are prickly pears, they must be fixed with pebbles, otherwise they will fall. Just put all the others on the upper drainage (pebbles) so that the little body does not touch the ground, they will put the roots to the ground themselves.

Answer: You take a pot, pour 1/4 of expanded clay, the rest is soil for cacti, stick the segments in there. First sprinkle the place of scrapping with activated crushed coal, add coal to the ground. Let it stand for 3-4 days in a warm, dark place. Then, after two weeks, slowly water it. Will take root! My cat broke off the prickly pear, I stuck 4 segments, 3 took root.

yamaika: I rooted all my prickly pears the same way: first, I wither for a couple of days, and then I "stick" a couple of centimeters into the LIGHTLY moist prepared soil for cacti - and into the brightest place. And only a week later - real watering. The main thing is that I do all this in the spring or summer. By definition, prickly pear ears are not stable, so for the first two months you can stick in a support so that the plant takes an upright position.

Alla: In the fall on vacation in Turkey, I tore off the prickly pear cake, pre-dried it, put it in a plastic bag, wrapping the tip with a wet cotton swab. And when I opened it at home (about five days later), there were already small roots.

Children on cacti

Question: Over the summer, almost all childless cacti on the sunny side have grown children, in the amount of from five to two dozen on one cactus. The cacti themselves have grown considerably over the summer, and even these children. Was it bad or good for the cactus? In general, what does this indicate?

Colleague: To have fewer children, you need less nitrogen in the soil. Children from an excess of nitrogen are formed. So it is better to transplant the cactus into the soil poorer (more sand and brick chips), or fertilize it only with special cactus fertilizers, in which there is a minimum of nitrogen. By the way, cacti that were planted from children in the third generation (a baby from a baby taken from another baby of a cactus grown from seed) do not bloom - they simply cannot. Only overgrown with children.

It can also be a bushy cactus, for example, Mammillaria prolifera or Wild, or maybe some Ailoster. And it is not necessary to rob children from them.

Freya: Transplant it into fresh soil for cacti, you can also add sand from yourself to the ready-made soil, and during the growing season, feed it slightly with potassium fertilizers, in special "for cacti" the proportions are usually correct, but nitrogen should be avoided, because it is unhealthy " cacti, as a rule, are thrown off from the excess of nitrogen in the soil! Yes, if now cacti are wintering, then do not touch them until February-March - during wintering they do not care how much nitrogen there is!

Melnikov Vladimir: It seems to me that first you need to decide on what you still have. After all, there are many sod, bushy, abundant cacti. For them, taking off babies is a reason for even more kidding. And, naturally, after such operations, they will not bloom - all the energy goes to vegetative reproduction.

How to grow a cactus from seeds

Q: How to propagate cacti with your own seeds. My berries are ripening.

Answer: There is a whole bunch of cactus seeds in the fruit. It is necessary, after it has fallen off, to open it, remove the seeds and dry it. Then (preferably in spring) sow the seeds on the sand (disinfected). Sow - don't bury, just put on top. A bowl of sand, low and wide, put in a greenhouse or cover with glass. There should be drain holes in the bowl. The sand should be wet, but not wet, do not lift the glass. Pour into a pallet. Cactus cubs come out every other day, they can germinate up to a month. Temperature - 25-30 degrees, at night - 15-20. When the cactus begin to press against each other, they need to dive into the new soil - a little richer, but there should be half of the sand in it.

Moss in crops

Question: In my bowl with crops of cacti, the land turns green. What is it - moss, algae? Sterilized the earth? Water is certainly not distilled. Do I need to do something?

Answer: Even if you sterilized the soil, you cannot completely maintain a sterile environment all the time. But this is not necessary. These greens - algae, appear in high humidity conditions. But it is with high humidity that seedlings of cacti and succulents grow, without it they will die. Now you should not be afraid of central heating, but rotting seedlings. Since they are more afraid of drafts and excess moisture, it is better not to ventilate the greenhouse, but to make holes in the lid so that it never fogs up. And the soil must be carefully loosened - the top layer of the earth will dry out, and with it the greenery. Just do not touch the soil at a distance closer than 1 cm from the seedlings, you can accidentally damage the roots, and they easily rot.

Grafting cacti

Question: How to plant cacti?

Answer: It's not very difficult, the main thing is that you have some kind of echinopsis, you can buy it from grandmothers. It is desirable that it be cylindrical - long.

It should be cut off approximately in the middle of the trunk. Your cactus is dry - great! That's right. Carefully cut off the dried part, put the cactus stalk on a fresh cut of echinopsis, and so that the main (the central vessels of both coincide. Well, imagine that you are a doctor and sew the legs to the bunny. The main thing is that the yellow cactus (scion) is not wider than echinopsis (Then you need to fix the scion. For example, take a ring, tie 4 rubber bands to it from different sides. You put the ring on the handle, tie the rubber bands below under the pot so that the scion with the stock is pressed together. The rubber bands at the level of Echinopsis are tied with strings, to increase the tension. Let it stand for 3 days. Then you remove this thread - but so as not to move anything. This is to relieve the tension.

Dry rind on cactus

Question: I have two cacti begin to be covered from below with some kind of brown dry muck. This is not a plaque, but simply their skin becomes that color. Could this come from old age? One of them is really old. And the other is not young either. But this last one is thin and long. Maybe you can somehow cut off the top and root it? if anyone knows how this is done, I will be glad if you share.

Colleague: This is from old age and watering with cold water. If the sun burns, it can also be. By the way, there are cacti that will surely become corky - astrophytums. It's okay for them.

Cactus temperature in winter

Question: To what temperature can cacti be left on the balcony so as not to freeze?

Freya: It very much depends on which cactus! Very different temperatures are optimal or critically low for them! Well, in general, a decrease to +5 is acceptable for everyone (occasionally, for a short period of time up to + 2- + 3), but + 10- + 12C is optimal. Some cacti, for example, chamecereus, can easily tolerate frosts when the soil is completely dry, and decent! Rebuts (just not icicles!) Are also more or less calm for this. Only the main commandment - no watering! Watering + cold = decay.

Question: Despite the fact that we have the end of April on the calendar, the temperature outside my window is + 10-15, at night it drops to +8. I am overwhelmed with concern for my cacti, will they freeze? Can cacti and succulents tolerate this temperature during growth?

Freya: In my opinion, you have the only way out - do not water until it gets warmer. If the roots are dry, nothing will happen to them, they will slow down in growth, but they will not suffer from "thirst" either, at such a temperature it is impossible! But wet soil and +8 - this can be fraught with rot.

Melnikov Vladimir: I took my plants out into the fresh air a week ago. The temperature is similar. There are no problems. I even poured a little on top once. The only thing to refrain from "freedom" is for Discocactus, Melocactus, Uebelmannia, plants with rootstocks Hylocereus, Myrtyllocactus, and most succulents should not be frozen. As for "between windows" - there can be no problems at all. During the day, the space there heats up, the next day the temperature rises again. Those. hypothermia for such a short period does not threaten, a good temperature drop is obtained. The first thorns this year will be very strong and large. Watering them, of course, is not worth it. In the absence of experience and sufficient "prickly" material for experiments, you should not do this. Although Oleg Ilyushenko told me,that in the fall (!), while visiting Albert Plapp (the owner of a cactus nursery), he lifted pots with plants - and water poured out of them (!). It was +6.

Cactus growth

Question: We have had an incredible heat for the fifth day. All the flowers had to be removed from the southern balcony, leaving only cacti and succulents. There are only cacti left, they are all sluggish in the evening (yesterday at 19 o'clock it was + 42C on the balcony) during the night the cacti leave, but I don't know it's not harmful for them.

Chapa: Usually, the growth of cacti is inhibited at temperatures above + 35-40 (various species). It makes sense to remove them from the scorching sun, at least in the shade, if you cannot provide them with comfortable conditions in a bright, air-conditioned room.

Colleague: In such a heat, cacti should be sprayed 2-3 times a day, if the sun is hiding, and watered overnight. And you don't need to carry cacti back and forth. You can shade them with paper from the sun. Mine, too, are some lethargic, so I rearranged them in the pallet to the shadiest place - move away!

How to make a cactus grow not in length, but in width

Question: I specially put my cacti on a low table on the balcony in order to catch the direct midday sun - even to the detriment of the length of daylight hours. How to make a cactus grow not in length, but in width? My mammillaria is elongated, although it should not be large and round.

Answer: The more intense the UV light, the better the cactus grows in width. Put UV lights on the cacti, or try to find a place with direct sunlight.

Mealybug on cacti

Question: A mealybug appeared on cacti, how to fight?


  • It is necessary to thoroughly rinse the roots from the worm. Under hot water - start with warm water, and gradually remove cold water. Nothing will happen to the cactus, but the worm will be boiled down. Not a single white spot should remain!
  • Lather the roots of the Fairy and hold it in the foam. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Dip the roots into a phytoverm solution - very strong, like thrips. Hold for 15 minutes.
  • Dry the cactus.
  • Throw out all the contaminated soil, pour over the pot with boiling water, wash with a comet.
  • Plant the dried cactus in a new soil, into which add 2 packs of crushed activated carbon, perlite and vermiculite.
  • Process (spill) the entire collection with phytoverm.
  • Put the cactus back in place.

Question: I noticed small droplets like water droplets on the spines of a cactus, and between the folds of cacti there is a white bloom, similar to whipped foam (on closer inspection). It can be easily removed … but still appears later.

Colleague: This is a mealybug. It is necessary to remove the plaque, and then treat it with phytoverm or actellik. This plaque is not wetted, the worms are covered with it from the water, if the plaque is not removed, nothing will happen to them. Wipe with alcohol, wrap a cotton swab on a paper clip - first unfold the paper clip, and then bend one end in half so that there is a flat loop, and wind a cotton ball around this loop. It's more convenient to wipe it this way. And then just spray them with a solution. By the way, cacti can be soaked. If they are not wintering in the cold, of course. Confidor it, in a proportion of 1 sachet per half liter. Spray and shed once. Soapy solution won't do anything - it's not a tick. The worm is a terrible reptile, it will be necessary to process the cacti before wintering, otherwise it has a tendency to become more active in winter and harm cacti.

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