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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 picture a cactus, they immediately imagine an arid desert scene in the middle of a severe drought with temperatures soaring and a lone tumbleweed rolling across the scorched vista, and although cacti can indeed survive in environments with little water, they do need some water to survive. Am I Watering my Cactus enough? And how often should you water your cactus in order for it to thrive?

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.

Assuming your cactus has sufficient drainage, then watering it once per week should be enough. Any more than this, and you could risk suffocating the cactus; any less than this, and your cactus might become malnourished. While it's true that some species of cacti can retain large amounts of water for a long time without the need for additional hydration, this is not true of all cacti.

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.

Remember to always ensure that your cactus has sufficient drainage. A good rule of thumb is to check your cactus about 10-15 minutes after watering it and to drain any excess water at that time to avoid root rot which can suffocate the plant.

Also, remember that you should never mist a cactus or water the cactus from the top. Cacti absorb water from their roots, so you should always water them at their base by hydrating the soil rather than pouring water on the cactus itself.


Although some species of cacti can retain water for long periods of time, this is not true of all cacti. Most indoor cacti should be watered once per week, and you should always ensure that they have sufficient drainage. It's a good idea to drain any excess water about 10-15 minutes after hydrating your cactus to prevent root rot or suffocation.


Shirley Johnson

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


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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