Succulents and cacti are the perfect home decor for minimalists and trend setters– no doubt, but caring for them can be a new experience that leaves you mulling over the fundamentals of gardening. When it comes to raising and displaying cacti and succulents, all of your previous gardening knowledge goes out the window. Why? Because cactus and most succulents are pretty much self-sufficient, requiring little water every so often and a couple hours of sunlight a day.
In this short guide, we will cover a few frequently asked questions about cactus and succulent care, as well as what it takes to keep them thriving in any kind of environment.
Cactus and Succulent Care
When you picture succulents and cactus, you probably think of paddle leaves and tall spiked plants, but there are also tight rosettes, light elongated stems, and hundreds of other amazing succulents and cactus – each with unique attributes. But the great thing about these very unique plants are that their care is all relatively similar.
The majority of succulents and cacti thrive best in bright sunshine. They are fickle in this respect because while they love light, their leaves and stalks can scorch easily. Therefore, a west or south-facing window where the sunlight hits for a few hours every day would be your best bet for keeping these plants beautiful. They also flourish outdoors with partial sun throughout the day. In warmer areas, such as the southwest, make sure your plants are placed in an area where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. For cooler climates, give your succulents and cacti morning shade and afternoon sun.
Succulents and cacti are some of the most resilient plants in nature. They can thrive on the bare minimum of water as long as they have sunlight. Or vice versa. Every nutrient you give your succulent or cactus is one they will use to the utmost, meaning you can do as you wish without worrying over the usual concerns of traditional gardening.
For indoor succulents and cacti, most only need to be watered every 2-3 weeks or if the soil is completely dry. Succulent roots retain enough moisture over time to maintain the health of a cluster of succulents in the same soil. Succulents and cacti need to dry out completely between each watering, so make sure the soil around them is dry before watering again. For plants near a bright window or outside, more frequent watering may be needed.
Sure, these unique plants can thrive in any location, but they do have a few temperature restrictions. Succulents and cacti, as we mentioned, love sunshine, but too much sunlight and heat can scorch their leaves, burning them to a crisp from top to bottom. Whereas, freezing temperatures will kill succulents and cacti in a heartbeat, especially when combined with a lack of sunlight.
For succulents and cacti to thrive, try keeping them in a warm climate, anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees is ideal, but succulents have also been known to withstand air-conditioned temperatures if they are given sunlight from a window. During summer, make sure your plants are shaded and have adequate air circulation during the hottest part of the day.
Drought Friendly Plants Anywhere and Everywhere
Succulents and cacti are truly the anywhere, everywhere plants that most everyone, gardener or not, can take care of. Outdoors, indoors, for hanging terrarium displays, repurposed metal cans, hanging baskets, in garden pots, inside reclaimed wood birdhouses, or…anywhere…succulents and cacti have an innate eco-friendliness that makes them the best friends of nature and the average gardener, decorator, and impromptu plant-lover.
No matter where you live, cacti and succulents are an easy to care for plant type that’s great for office dwellers, apartment renters, and homeowners alike. Anyone who enjoys green, eco-friendly gifts will be elated to receive live plants that live forever (vs. cut flowers that wilt and die within days).
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