The bright, spectacular flowers of flowering cacti are a sight to behold. Given the right lighting and temperatures, these beauties can produce amazing flowers for months, adding a bright pop of color to any home. For those who have one or more of these plants in their homes, following the care instructions below will ensure a long, healthy lifespan.
1. Keep flowering cacti in a bright location
Flowering cacti generally require four to six hours of direct sunlight daily, with some species like Epiphyllum being able to tolerate shade. The required amount of bright light depends on factors such as the species, growth rate, and plant size.
Be careful not to expose your cactus to too much sun. Some succulent plants are sunburned by intense light during the summer months, especially if they have been moved from a shaded area outdoors to full sun indoors. They may also be sunburned if the temperature is uncomfortably high and there is insufficient humidity in the air to prevent excessive evaporation of water from their leaves.
To prevent your cactus from getting burned, position it by a window with indirect light or shield it with a sheer curtain or cloth. If your home lacks natural light, consider using artificial lighting options like fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
2. Avoid allowing the soil to dry out completely
In order to prevent issues, avoid letting the soil of flowering cacti completely dry out, especially during the winter when the plants are in a resting period and require less water.
If you do have to reduce watering, it's important not to let your plant go without water for too long. The best way to make sure your plant doesn't suffer is to water more frequently but less deeply than usual during this time.
In order to facilitate optimal plant growth, it is advisable to refrain from excessive watering. An abundance of moisture in the soil can result in root rot, ultimately leading to the demise of your cactus.
3. Don't repot flowering cacti more than once per year
The optimal season for repotting flowering cacti is spring. These cacti are considered young plants and require opportunities to grow, so limit repotting to once a year.
When you're repotting your flowering cactus, be careful not to damage it. If you have a large one that's been growing for years, you can cut off some of the roots if they're too long or tangled together. You can also trim off any dead leaves and stems that may be hanging on.
Once you've cleaned up your plant, place it back in its pot and fill up any empty spaces with soil from another pot. If your plant has outgrown its pot, you can either buy a new one or transplant it into a larger container.
4. Use the right potting medium
If you want a cactus to flower, then make sure that you use the right potting medium. The best potting medium for cacti is one that drains well and has plenty of air space. If it's too dense, the roots won't be able to breathe, and the plant will die.
Soil made from peat moss or sand works well, as does perlite or vermiculite mixed with soil. Perlite is a heated volcanic glass that expands into light, fluffy bits resembling popcorn. Vermiculite is an expanded mineral material that resembles tiny pieces of mica.
These materials promote loose soil, facilitating efficient drainage and water permeability. Explore our special cacti mixes, expertly formulated with the ideal ingredients for optimal growth.
5. Keep your cactus container well-drained
To ensure continued blooming, cactus flowers require a container with ample drainage.
Cacti thrive in arid regions like deserts, where rainwater quickly drains away instead of accumulating in pools. This is beneficial for these plants as they require water and nutrients for growth, but not in excessive amounts!
Excessive water around a plant (e.g. when potted) can cause root rot or fungal diseases that can be fatal to your cactus. Prevent this by planting your cacti in pots with bottom drainage holes.
Flowering cacti make for gorgeous houseplants. They require little maintenance and are relatively low maintenance overall. As long as you follow the five simple tips and tricks outlined above, you'll be able to keep your cacti happy and flowering for a long time to come.