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How Can I Tell If I'm Watering My Cactus Enough? - Varnish + Vine

How Can I Tell If I'm Watering My Cactus Enough?

When most people envision a cactus, they likely think of an arid desert with little water, high temperatures, and a tumbleweed rolling across the landscape. While cacti can survive in such conditions, they still require some water to thrive. Are you providing enough water for your cactus? To ensure the optimal health of your cactus, consider the specific watering needs of different cactus species.

This article will explain when and how often to water your cactus, how much water to give your cactus, and how to know if your indoor cactus is healthy and well-nourished.

How Often Should You Water Your Cactus?

There are a number of different factors that determine when a cactus will need more water, including the size of the cactus, the type of soil it's in, the air temperature, the time of year, and the amount of light your cactus is getting on a daily basis. However, there are a few general guidelines that you can keep in mind which will ensure your cactus stays healthy and sufficiently hydrated. One important guideline is to only water your cactus when the top inch of soil is completely dry.

Weekly watering is advised for well-drained cacti. Overwatering can suffocate the plant, while underwatering may lead to malnourishment. Not all cacti can retain water for extended periods without supplemental hydration.

Common domestic cacti species such as the Monstrose Cactus and Peruvian Apple Cactus will thrive best if watered on a weekly basis, so as long as you ensure that your cactus is getting sufficient warmth, sunlight, and is the correct soil, then you won’t go wrong by sticking to this schedule. But in case of any doubt, you will be able to tell for sure that your cactus needs water if it begins to shrivel, pucker, or shows any signs of discoloration.

How Much Water Should You Give Your Cactus?

The amount of water you should give your cactus depends on the size of the succulent, along with a few other factors. A cup of water should be more than enough for small cacti, but for larger cacti, consider giving a half-liter or more.

Ensure that your cactus has sufficient drainage. Check it 10-15 mins after watering to drain excess water, preventing root rot and suffocation.

Remember to never mist a cactus or water it from the top. Cacti absorb water from their roots, so always hydrate the soil at their base instead of pouring water on the cactus. To avoid overwatering, always allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.

Summary

While some cacti can store water, not all can do so for extended periods. Indoor cacti typically require weekly watering with proper drainage. To avoid root rot or suffocation, remove any excess water 10-15 minutes after watering.

3 comments

Shirley Johnson

I would like to no the answers to the first question about how often to water the apple cactus .

Ulrike

I received my peruvian apple cactus and I’m confused. It said that it needs to be watered once a month and now here it says weekly. That’s a huge difference. So which is right? And do I have to water more for root development after planting?

Bailey Swan

I just recently bought some Peruvian cuttings from your store & I have to say…. THEY’RE PRECIOUS! I was so nervous to order a plant online, but I was so surprised how beautiful they were straight out of the box!

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