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
Most flowering cacti need at least four to six hours of direct sunlight each day, although some species (e.g., Epiphyllum) can tolerate shade. The amount of bright light required depends on the species, the growth rate, and the size of the plant.
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 protect your cactus from burning, place it near a window that receives only indirect light or cover it with a sheer curtain or cloth. If your home has no natural light source, you can always use artificial lighting such as fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
2. Avoid allowing the soil to dry out completely
With flowering cacti, you should avoid allowing the soil to dry out completely. This can be a problem in winter when plants are resting and don't need as much 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.
It's also important that you don't overwater when you're trying to grow these plants. If the soil gets too wet, it can cause root rot, which will kill your cactus.
3. Don't repot flowering cacti more than once per year
The best time to repot flowering cacti is in the spring. Flowering cacti are actually immature plants, and they need to grow, so don't repot them more than once per 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 volcanic glass that has been heated until it expands into light, fluffy bits that look like popcorn. Vermiculite is another type of expanded mineral material that looks like tiny pieces of mica.
The advantage of using these materials is they help keep your soil loose, so it drains well while still allowing water to permeate easily. You can also buy special mixes specifically designed for cacti, which already have all these ingredients mixed together in just the right proportions for optimal growth.
5. Keep your cactus container well-drained
Cactus flowers are one of the most beautiful sights in nature, but if you want your cacti to continue blooming, then you'll need to make sure that they are potted in a container with ample drainage.
Most cacti grow in very dry areas of the world, such as deserts, and when it rains, the water runs off quickly and does not collect in pools or ponds on the ground. This is great for desert plants because they need water and nutrients to grow, but they don't want too much of either all at once!
If there is too much water around a plant (such as when you plant them in pots), it can lead to root rot or other fungal diseases that can kill your cactus. You can help prevent this by planting your cacti in pots with drainage holes at the bottom.
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.