Basic care of cacti and succulents

Cacti or succulents fall into what I like to call “warrior plants”, due to their resistance and the fact that they do not require too much maintenance. Some of us would think that it is almost impossible to kill them, but I know several cases in which they show the opposite, it is because of this that I decided to leave here a few tips on basic care that has worked for me.

::: Watering :::

The amount of water will depend on the size and species of the plant, and the frequency in which we will do it that depends on the season.

During winter months the frequency will be less, every fifteen days it will be okay for our weather, and if you are in a very cold and humid environment we can space it even more. In fall and spring we will do it every ten days and moving towards summer we will shorten the frequency, watering them once per week or every four-five days if the temperatures are too high and the environment too dry.

It is important that the water drops on the soil near the plant, to ensure that it will get to the roots but not on the plant itself.

In the case of the smaller flowerpots, for instance, the ones that we place on our desks, we should pay special attention to not exceed the amount, I recommend using as measurement a teaspoon. With one teaspoon the cactus will be more than happy, and in the succulent’s case we can use two teaspoons.

If we notice that the plant is less stable on its flowerpot, swollen, soft or yellow-ish, we are using more water than needed and we need to reduce the amount and frequency of watering. If on the contrary, it needs more water, we will see that it will gradually soften without getting discolored, become smaller or wrinkles will appear; in this case we will increase the amount and frequency

::: Sun :::

It is true that all these plants need a good amount of sunlight, but this does not mean that all of them need to be directly exposed to the sun during the entire day.

The species that need more direct contact with the sun are the ones that have a lot of thorns or fewer but stronger ones and with a sturdy bearing; on the other hand, cacti species with less thorns and succulents will do better with good lighting or receiving sunlight for a while although they also need a bit of shadow.

If our plant needs sunlight we will notice, since it will start shifting to change its position, or stretching, modifying its shape in search of the light.

::: Changing flowerpots :::

Most of these plants take their time to grow, it can take months or even years depending on the species; but is important that whenever they increase their size considerably and start to have a lot of sprouts, for us to be aware that their roots also grow and need more space, at that moment is recommended to transplant it to a bigger pot.