Top Tips for Cactus Care

3 May 2015

Happy Sunday! Sunday means only one thing on Behind The Scent, and that is lifestyle. Today I'm going to be chatting about our little prickly friends; cacti. I bought my little cactus a few months ago, and affectionately named him Colin the Cactus. I'm not the best with plants, so it's a wonder I've managed to keep him alive! To this day, I still don't really know how to care for Colin properly, so I wanted to write a post, as much for me as it is for you. 

Cacti and succulents seem like they're having a bit of a revival, and are especially popular among bloggers and YouTubers. I picked this little guy up from Wilko for just £1.25, and then depotted it into this little white votive holder from Primark which was less than £2. It looks so stylish in my room, and even livens up a blog photo or two.

The terms cacti and succulent are completely generic. All species of cacti are from the same family but live in different environments. Stereotypically they are desert-dwellers, but some species can even live in the jungle! Succulent is a broad term for any 'fleshy' plant that is adapted for survival in difficult environments. Although all cacti are different, there are some basic rules you can apply to make the most out of your little guy:

Light: Cacti like a moderately sunny spot. My bedroom doesn't get too much sun so I leave my cactus on the windowsill. If your plant turns yellow it can be a sign of too much light. If it is placed in too dark a place, it may grow towards the light.

Watering: The idea that cacti need very little water is a common one, but is not quite correct. The plant will be able to survive, but may not be in the best condition. Cacti actively grow between spring and autumn and need the most water at this time. Give it a 'proper watering' at least once a week. In the winter and the peak of summer, growth stops and it needs less water. I use a facial spritz bottle to dampen the soil once a day. Rain water is preferred as minerals from tap water can build up in the soil and cause damage to the plant.

Food: In the active growing period (spring-autumn), your cactus will benefit from fertiliser. You can use one made for tomato plants once every three weeks.

Potting: Your pot should have drainage holes, and you should use a special potting mix, which is a blend of sand and compost.

Repotting: Your cactus will need reporting into a bigger pot when the roots completely fill the current pot.

I'd love to know what you think of this new style of post, and let me know if you've got a cactus! 

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