Information Center

  • In The Garden

Cactus Care

How much should I water my cactus?
During the growing season, a cactus should be watered thoroughly and allowed to completely dry out between watering. The easiest way to check for soil moisture is to extend a slender object to the bottom of the soil and check for any damp soil clinging to it as it is removed. During the winter, a cactus should be watered no more than every few weeks. The amount of watering required and how often a cactus should be watered depends on the species and growing conditions.

How much light does my cactus need?
Cacti are able to tolerate direct sunlight; they should be placed in a window with a southern or western exposure where they will get sunlight for at least a few hours a day.

What temperature does a cactus prefer?
During the summer months, a cactus can tolerate temperatures of up to 100 degrees F during the summer. During the winter, cacti prefer temperatures between 45-55 degrees F. Low temperatures during the dormant season will encourage flower growth in mature cacti.

What kind of soil and fertilizer does a cactus need?
Cacti mature well in rich soil that is free-draining. Espoma Organic Cactus Mix is ideal for a variety of cacti, or you can make your own by combining one part potting soil to one part coarse sand or grit. Fertilizer such as Schultz Cactus Plus can be added as part of every other watering during the summer. A low-nitrogen mixture of house plant fertilizer such as a 5-10-5 or 0-10-10 will also work as long as it is diluted by half. In the winter, it is recommended that the frequency and concentration of fertilizer be reduced.