Here’s a bit of a realistic post to show that with some care and attention most houseplants can do pretty well… and here I want to emphasise that word – MOST. The cacti I discuss in this post were all bought from the selection at the garden centre. I was quite restrained and bought just 3 on this particular visit (a year ago). The first cactus is doing well, which I repotted last christmas in an old cheese jar I had used up… with the aid of a pair of kitchen tongs to support the cactus! Whist it is looking healthy, I haven’t noticed much growth yet… unlike the other I bought at the same time (more on this later in the post).
The next cactus was a bit of a different story and I wanted to share these photographs to provide some comfort to those who find keeping houseplants a bit of a challenge, especially those considered quite hard to kill – such as cacti! I would like to think I am a good houseplant parent, however this cactus [below] just didn’t look happy after the winter and try as I did to rejuvenate it by repotting it in fresh cacti soil, this week it gave up hope …and deflated like one very sorry-for-itself balloon! Ultimately I think it was a combination of positioning (I don’t think it was getting enough light up on top of my bookcase), a draught from the other side of the room and most of all, overwatering. That is the classic cacti conundrum – how much water is too much water?
The most important point to remember when caring for cacti is to think about their natural habitat – extremely dry, bright and warm! So try to emulate these conditions where possible.
Between mid October and late March, try to move cacti to the sunniest spot possible and avoid draughty windowsills. Also during this dormant period, little or no water is needed. This is the main cause of root rot in cacti – when the soil becomes waterlogged in winter from too much moisture (I should have taken my own advice with my cacti above!). I water every two weeks or so and once a month feed with a tiny amount of baby bio.
Above is the third cactus I bought the same time as the others above, and is the one that seems to be thriving the most. I potted it in a small La Fermière yogurt pot (using my trusty kitchen tongs again) because I loved the colour combination of the orange and the green. In the last three months the cactus has shot up in height and now seems to resemble a skittle! When I originally repotted the two cacti (below) they were the same height, the photograph [below] shows the current height difference. I will add an update on the site later in the year to show its annual growth before its rest period comes around again in autumn. This is the first cactus I can attest to witnessing active growth which I am very pleased about!
Thanks for reading!