Gardening Tips

Water cacti: how often and how to do it

Water cacti: how often and how to do it

Cacti are the succulent plant family characterized by, among other things, their resistance to drought and their spines. These plants, whose scientific name is cacti, They are almost entirely native to America, and are very popular in gardening and decoration due to their exotic shapes and their great resistance. However, despite requiring very little care, irrigation is a vital point in its cultivation. Most of them tolerate drought exceptionally well, but over-watering cacti can prove fatal.

if you want to learn how often and how to water cacti To take care of yours correctly, join us in this EcologĂ­aVerde article in which you will be able to learn a practical guide on watering these popular plants.

how often to water cacti

There is never an exact answer when it comes to knowing the cacti watering frequency, this depends not only on the type of cactus, but also on the substrate and the climate, among other factors. Let’s see the main factors to take into account:

  • Cacti size: Like all succulent plants, cacti have the ability to store water inside. This means that the larger the cactus, the more water it is able to retain, and therefore the longer it is able to resist without irrigation.
  • Container material: Not all materials retain moisture in the same way. A plastic pot or container, especially if it is completely or partially transparent, lets in the sun’s rays and retains much less moisture. Mud, on the other hand, is porous and favors perspiration, but it does not let the sun pass through, so watering will be necessary less frequently.
  • Climate: Obviously, the local climate is one of the most influential factors. The intensity of the sun’s rays, the environmental humidity and the temperature are decisive when it comes to seeing how much moisture the cactus loses. In hot climates you will need to water your cactus more often, while climates with high ambient humidity will help the substrate retain it for longer, making you water less.

In conclusion, we can say that you should water a cactus only when the substrate has dried beyond the superficial layer, since the roots do not tolerate being always wet, and in case of high humidity they will rot. This can mean watering once a month in the winter months for large cacti, to up to twice a week in warm months and for small cacti exposed to the sun.

If your plant begins to wrinkle, losing volume as if it were deflating, it is an unequivocal symptom of a lack of irrigation in cacti, so you should water it a little more.

How to water cacti – tips

take note of these tips for watering cacti correctly and ensure that they are healthy and grow well.

  • When watering cacti, it is always preferable to do so using a watering can, if possible with a flower or small tip, which does not disperse the water too much.
  • Water trying wet the substrate around the cactus, but not the plant itself. In this way, you will allow moisture to penetrate below the surface without accumulating directly on the plant itself, which could attract fungal attack. In case this happens, take note of these homemade fungicides for cacti.
  • With cacti, it’s vital that the container they’re in has drainage holes, so any excess moisture can escape through them. Ideally, you should not put a saucer under the pot or planter, but if necessary, remove the excess water 10 minutes after watering.
  • If you choose at any time for the dip irrigation for a cactusremember to submerge the base of the pot in water for only 10 minutes and then leave the pot on high so that the excess water can drain well.
  • water slowly and, at most, until the water begins to drip down the drain. Don’t pour in large amounts of water at once, or the soil will puddle and you’ll have watered too much by the time you see the water seep through.
  • It is also important to never water at times when the sun is shining directly on the cactus, since the drops of water can have a magnifying effect and cause the sun to burn the plant.
  • The best time to water is, as with almost all plants, at early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Always use irrigation water suitable for cacti, as we will explain below.
Water cacti: how often and how to do it - How to water cacti - tips

What water to use to water cacti – the best

Some cacti can be safely watered with tap water, while others will not tolerate very hard or mineral-laden water. This depends mainly on the type of plant and, obviously, on the type of running water in your area. If you see that your cactus begins to show some whitish spots, it is that the irrigation water you use is not suitable for it. What is then the best water for cacti irrigation?

  • The most natural is always the best, so the water that is best for you is rainwater, unless you live in a city with a lot of pollution and to use it before you have to filter it.
  • If you can not collect rainwaterit would be best to resort to weakly mineralized bottled water.
  • If this is also not possible, you should at least leave stand tap water for 24 or 48 hours before using it to water your cacti and remember not to pour it all over, but leave the bottom part in the watering can or bucket without using it.

Here we give you some tips on How to recycle rainwater for consumption and How to make a homemade water filter in case you prefer to filter the rainwater in your area before using it on the cacti.

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