Crash course: Cactus care

What's cooler than no school on a snow day? Things that remind us of being warm! In a gardener's mind, there's no better way to do that than to bring the outdoors in with a little something from the desert. With Southwestern design coming back into play in interior design, we think it's a pretty sharp idea to add a cactus to your humble abode to remind you that warmer days will be here before you know it. 

While cacti are super trendy, they require a different type of care than you are used to for most of your indoor plants. The good thing is, cacti are even easier to care for than your average ficus tree or angel plant if you know what you're doing. Let's take a crash course on cactus care.

Cactus Care

  1. Plant your cactus is a well-drained pot using cactus-specific soil. When a cactus sits in water or moisture, it is prone to grow bacteria and fungus so you won’t want to use regular potting soil. Some green thumbs have been known to first place lava rocks or pebbles at the bottom of the pot for even better drainage.

  2. Remember that most cacti thrive in the desert which means they love the sun. Placement close to South-facing windows is preferred. If you’re not sure which way is which, place your new cactus in the brightest room in the house. 

  3. Watering your cactus sparingly is key. While you probably water most of your houseplants on a weekly basis, you’ll want to stick to a different plan when it comes to your plants of the desert. Typically, this means watering them about once a month but you may need more in the winter months when your heater may be running and causing the humidity levels to drop within your home. We suggest actually monitoring the soil by touch. For most cacti, you’ll want to wait for the top layer of soil to become dry. Once it becomes very dry, you’ll soak the soil thoroughly until the water drains to the bottom tray. Think of it as if you are recreating the desert––an ecosystem with long, dry periods followed by a big, quick rain. 

  4. Feed your cactus from the spring through the fall with 5-10-10 fertilizer every two or three months. 

Need a little help picking out a cactus for your office, living room or kitchen? Visit GSCO. We'll be glad to help!