Potted flowers and plants

How to care for cactus at home


Cacti are extremely varied in light, temperature and soil requirements. However, there are general principles for their cultivation.

Cacti (cactus) is a very large family consisting of several hundred genera and thousands of species. Most of its representatives live in a hot arid climate. All types of cacti, even growing in tropical rain forests, are able to accumulate moisture, therefore, belong to the group of succulents.

In order for the pets to start flowering, they need to spend some time at a low temperature, without water.

A few species begin to bloom without a dry period. Their bloom is associated with the length of the day. Plants are covered with buds when the length of daylight begins to lengthen or shorten. These are the well-known zigokaktusy. According to science, they are called Schlumberberts, and the people - the Decembrists. Schlumberger bloom as soon as daylight becomes shorter than 10 hours.

A brief overview of some of the most common types of cacti in the video:

Pot selection

Previously, cacti were grown in wooden boxes and clay bowls. Now use pots of plastic and foam. Epiphytic species can be grown in orchid baskets.

On sale there are special mini-parnikki for amateur collections. They consist of a shock resistant pallet and a transparent cap.

Planting and care of the katus in a mini-greenhouse, photo:

Flower growers, whose collections consist of a few specimens, still use ordinary ceramic pots. Succulent grows reasonably well in baked clay. The walls of such containers allow water and air to pass through, so the roots receive a lot of oxygen and do not suffer from transfusion.

It is customary to grow domestic cacti in small tanks, so in summer flowers often suffer from overdrying, their growth stops. In greenhouses, clay pots are immersed in peat to reduce evaporation from the walls.

If you grow flowers without immersion, you need to take into account that clay tanks evaporate some of the moisture through the walls, so the plants will need more watering. If the water is hard, the soil will deteriorate with frequent moistening, will be saturated with harmful salts.

The roots braid the inner surface of the pot, growing into porous clay. This reduces the resistance of plants to low and high temperatures. When the sun well warms the surface of the pot, the roots on it will die off. If transplantation is required, the ingrown roots will be damaged or destroyed.

Clay pots are an ideal container only for non-water-resistant varieties of modest size, preferring a small, slow-moving moisturizing. When growing them, vessels with water-admitting walls should be constantly deepened into loose material: peat, sand, brick chips. In such constructions they pour not the ground, but the substrate.

For other colors it is better to choose plastic.

  • small water flow
  • roots are distributed throughout
  • the plant is convenient to rearrange and transport,
  • quadrangular shape allows optimal use of the area.

Carefully consider the choice of the size of the container. Usually use vessels with a diameter of 6-7 cm. Smaller ones are undesirable - they easily fall. It is better to plant several miniature plants in one bowl than to place each in a separate “thimble”.

Decorative decoration of a small settlement of cacti in the photo:

Planting and transplanting

From time to time the flowers have to be transplanted. The best time for this is winter. In December or January, most species are at rest. In the spring they quickly take root and begin to bloom. Specimens blooming in winter and early spring are transplanted in early December.

How to plant a cactus in a pot - the order of work:

  • taken out of old dishes,
  • inspect the root system
  • choose a new pot of suitable diameter and depth,
  • fall asleep drainage
  • put in a pot so that the root neck is slightly below the edge,
  • sprinkle fresh soil.

A properly planted flower should sit in the center of a new house with an unrooted root neck, located slightly below the upper edge of the vessel. Then the pot is filled up to the top with the upper drainage - gravel or small expanded clay.

Transplant is performed when the pot becomes small. It is not necessary to rush for a large vessel, if roots appeared in the drain hole. Succulents do not like surplus. In close pot, they bloom better.

Well-developed roots, appearing from the pot, indicate that the pet will soon begin flowering. After transplanting it, you can postpone the flowering period. The plant will have to grow roots again, filling in free space.


Succulents are so diverse that it is difficult to unambiguously determine the place where they will feel comfortable. Most species have a high need for light. They are exposed to the windows of the south orientation. Species suffering from direct rays are located on the eastern and western openings. First of all, it is forest epiphytic plants. North windows are not suitable for succulents.

It is better to keep plants on the windows not one by one, but grouped together - this allows you to create a moist microclimate.

In summer, the collection can be taken out on the balcony or in the garden. In a greenhouse or greenhouse, they will receive a lot of light, sufficiently ventilated, which will ensure their rapid development. Any indoor plant blooms better in the open field. The greenhouse should be in the brightest spot of the site.

In warm regions, some species can winter right in the garden. Such specimens stop watering from mid-October. In winter, the greenhouse is closed with straw mats or other insulation.

Cold winters suffer:

In greenhouses plants are placed in accordance with their characteristics and shape. The smallest ones are left on the lit side. For especially photophilous species take away a site at glass. Rare and drought-resistant species can be grown in a place protected from damp.

Opuntia in a clay pot

Succulents have a peculiar water regime. In nature, they can tolerate drought for years, storing moisture in the stem in a short period of rain.

Succulents respond to heat and bright light not by increasing transpiration, but on the contrary - by contraction. Their stomata are deep in the tissues and evaporate only at night. Many specimens are capable of absorbing moisture from dew and mist, absorbing them through prickles or hairs.

Most winter species go through a dormant stage and do not need water at all. If cold wintering is supposed at a temperature of + 10 ... + 12 degrees, watering is stopped from the end of October. Copies that winter in apartments should be watered and in the winter - once every 2 weeks.

Succulents are afraid of cold water, because the rains in their homeland are very warm, much warmer than those that go with us in the summer.

  • it is better not to pour than pour,
  • during active growth the substrate should not dry out much,
  • the frequency of watering growers determined by experiment,
  • moisture must not be stagnant
  • pour only warm liquid.

Succulents are watered in the evening or at the end of the day. This corresponds to the natural conditions of their habitat. In the Americas, most precipitation falls at night or in the afternoon. On cold, cloudy days can not be watered.

Water in two ways:

  • on top, under the root,
  • bottom in the pan.

Experienced cacti growers sometimes use fogging sprays. They are required by species that receive moisture in the form of night dew in their homeland. The procedure is carried out early in the morning and in the evening, only on warm days.

How to care for a cactus to make it bloom?

Sometimes collectors tend to pick up species in the collection so that the window was constantly blooming specimens. This is possible due to the natural diversity of the cacti family.

Novice cacti growers may wonder - why at home, with reverent care, do not have a cactus bloom? The owners of prickly pets certainly want to see their flowering, because it is famous for its pomp and beauty, shrouded in legends. Sometimes it is precisely for the sake of flowering that the thorn is cherished and cherished for a whole year, trying to fulfill all its requirements.

There are several reasons for the lack of flowering:

  1. Excessive care for cacti at home - the flower is fed abundantly, planted in a spacious pot, placed in a warm place, watered regularly.
  2. Non-observance of the dry period - in different species, it can last from 3 weeks to 6 months.
  3. Top dressing with the wrong fertilizers, total lack of dressings, top dressing at the wrong time when the flower is at rest.
  4. Moving to another location, for example, moving from east to west window.
  5. Keep at the wrong temperature.

To pets bloomed, be sure to know their names and get the appropriate literature. In the reference books you can see what conditions are required for a specific instance for its full growth and transition to flowering.

Flowering cacti in the photo:

Reproduction of cacti seeds

The main method of reproduction is sowing seeds. It is started in autumn, in October and November.

Sowing cactus seeds is easy, but you will need a special greenhouse. It will give the seedlings light, heat, protect from dust and create a humid atmosphere. Well, if the building is also beautiful.

Fans make greenhouses from a photocell with a size of 10 by 20 cm, equipped with compact fluorescent pedestal lamps. The lid is assembled from plexiglass. It will take a drain pan to allow water to drain.

To compile the earth mixture take:

  • leaf ground - 50%,
  • crushed charcoal –25%,
  • fine sand - 25%.

In the homeland of cacti, the hot sun steams the soil almost to sterility. In addition, seedlings, sprouting in natural conditions of growth, protected by strong immunity.

The substrate must be steamed: poured into a colander and hung in a pot of boiling water. The procedure should last at least an hour. During this time, bacteria and molds will die. Without an hour of steaming, seedlings will rot in the soil.

The steamed mixture is sieved through a strainer scalded with boiling water. Large particles are placed on the bottom, small particles are poured on top.

On the surface of the soil impose a special plastic mesh, "lining" the ground. One seed is sown in each cube.

Before sowing, the seeds are soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate (1 g per liter) or a solution of IAA (1/10 pill per liter). Treatment increases germination by 15-20%. You can not soak the seeds of cacti in copper sulfate - it retards the growth of seedlings.

After processing, the seeds are dried on absorbent paper and spread with tweezers on the ground. Deepen them do not need. Simply lay on the surface and gently push.

Dusty material is sown, mixed with sand roasted on a baking sheet.

A seeded cuvette with holes in the bottom is placed in boiled warm water. The earth should get wet completely, but so that the seeds do not surface.

A cuvette with a damp primer is covered with glass and placed in a greenhouse. Several times a day, glass is removed and drops of evaporated water are poured directly onto the seeds, imitating rain.

For the seeds to germinate, you need to repeat the natural conditions: create a humid atmosphere and hot temperature. Even cold-resistant species when heated rise much more abundant and grow faster.

The glass from the cuvette is removed when the seedlings grow to it.

Do not be afraid of overmoistening. In nature, most species sprout during the period of the year when tropical rain is poured, and the air is saturated with moisture to the limit. All water that has leaked into the drainage holes must be drained.

The temperature in the greenhouse should be in the range of + 35 ... + 40. In such conditions, the seeds of astrophytum germinate already for 1-3 days. Echinocactus and prickly pears sprout the longest.

Very often ferocactus, spawning, brazilicactus are not germinating. This is due to the loss of germination or the fact that the seeds have not passed the annual period of hibernation.

In the homeland of succulents, periods of heat and moisture alternate with almost semi-annual dryness. Plants have adapted to these conditions. Their seeds also have a specific cycle and do not germinate without a rest period. Not grown seeds can be sown after 6 months or a year.

Greenhouse with seedlings daily air, draining condensate and inspecting the seedlings through a magnifying glass. If a lead coloration has appeared at the root necks or a white mold on the soil, the affected specimens should be removed immediately with a clod of earth. Fungal infections can destroy all entrances in a matter of hours.

Often among the seedlings, chlorophyll-free specimens are found — pale green, white, or pink mutant plants. They need to be removed, because they will die after all the same.

The first picking is carried out in a couple of weeks after the emergence of shoots, when the first spikes appear. Plants are seated in rows in the exact same substrate in which they ascended, carrying with a stick with a clod of earth on the root. Seedlings can not be taken with fingers - they are very gentle, and if they are squeezed, they die.

After picking, the plants should not be watered, but sprayed. Watering begins only on the fourth day, with a pallet.

Seedlings will thrive for 4-8 weeks, then the next pick will be required. Frequent picks allow early flowering. In the first year you need to spend 4-7 transfers. In the second year it is enough to make three transplants.

In the second year, cacti dive into a more nutritious land. Gradually, soil parameters lead to the desired state for a particular type.

Vegetative reproduction

The flower can be planted without roots. In nature, succulents often multiply as a result of damage when wind, hail, or heavy rain breaks off a piece of a plant that subsequently takes root.

Some species specifically fall apart even with slight pressure, and spread to the hair of the animal that broke the maternal specimen. Especially prickly pears are famous for this. Their impressive spines with small notches are specially adapted for moving the plant debris to a new place on animal hair.

Many species and varieties of cacti form on the main stem of children. To plant them with children, you need to wait until the shoots have reached a sufficient size, they can be separated by hand and planted in a separate pot.

Forest cacti are easily bred by cuttings. Their shoots consist of segments, at the base of which are rudimentary roots. If you cut a piece of the stem and put it on wet soil, cover it with a glass jar, it will take root.

Tips for cutting:

  • cuttings cut in the period of activity,
  • cuts are powdered with sulfur to disinfect,
  • only on a warm, clear day
  • make the cut as sharp as possible with a knife, and preferably with a razor,
  • the stalk must be dried in a dry, bright place until a callus forms on it,
  • cut off in the fall or winter shoots are dried until spring, until the cacti begin to come out of peace,
  • it is better to dry the cuttings vertically - it stimulates rooting,
  • cuttings rooted in porous, poorly fed substrate - sand, shredded pumice, vermiculite,
  • lower heating accelerates rooting.

Diseases and pests

In adverse conditions, cacti are easily affected by diseases and pests. Sometimes pathogens are brought in from the outside. They threaten plant life, so immediate intervention is required.

Nematodes are the most dangerous pests, which are responsible for the death of millions of indoor cacti every year. These are microscopic roundworms that settle in moist soil.

Parasites damage underground parts, causing the plant to wither.

Nematodes are able to spread, moving independently, or carried with water, instruments, soil and pots.

Reliable drugs from nematodes do not exist. Fortunately, the pest is afraid of heat. It dies if it falls into water with a temperature of +45 degrees for half an hour. Roots of a cactus transfer this temperature without serious consequences. The plants are removed from the ground and immersed in heated water, the soil and pot replaced.

The spider mite sucks the juice of cacti, which is why brown and rusty patches appear on them, like scabs, which gradually spread throughout the plant. Spherical specimens are affected starting from the top of the head.

Peel damaged by ticks will never recover, and the plant will permanently lose its decorative effect. The infected plants are treated with acaricides 2-3 times, repeating the treatment after several days.

Shchitovka damages leaf-like cacti. On plants, a sticky substance appears, which quickly becomes covered with soot fungus. For spraying choose toxic chemicals systemic action.

Succulents can settle:

From harmful insects use appropriate pesticides.

Diseases lead to the appearance of spots of various colors, rotting of the roots and root collar. The affected tissues are carefully cleaned of stains and rot with a scalpel and sprinkled with crushed coal, the plants are sprayed with systemic fungicides.

Viral diseases are manifested by mosaic coloration. Sick copies need to be destroyed.

Place for cactus

Immediately dispel the myth that the cactus must be kept near the computer. Complete nonsense! Он, как и любое другое растение, не принимает на себя излучения от экрана, к тому же, и сам попадает под этот эффект.

Often, the owners of domestic plants use this recommendation without thinking that the cactus may not receive enough light while standing in a dark corner or shaded by the computer itself.

Another myth is the location of the cactus in a hot place. For example, if a plant is placed near a battery or on an unventilated balcony in summer, this will not mean that ideal conditions have been created for it.

“Well, this is almost the Sahara, which means it is comfortable for him!” No, no, and again, no! Cacti love the light and the sun, not the heat. Batteries dry the air very much, so do not put them near.

Succulents do not like when they are often rearranged, as well as when turning the pot in different directions, especially cacti untouchable during the period of flowering and the birth of a flower.

Cacti - light-loving plants. If the top began to become thinner, then it lacks light. Shade-loving succulents simply do not exist. Some species quietly tolerate the shade, but they still prefer solar windowsills.

Keep cacti from the sun is not worth it. They are happy to grow and develop on the southern windowsill or well-ventilated sunny balcony, loggia.

In addition, they love good air circulation, so they will feel great in the summer outside, on the veranda or balcony. But do not put them in a draft. Like all plants, they do not tolerate it.

Prickly friends adapt for a long time, so they should not be put out into the open air immediately after spending the night. Try to make at first 2-3 hours in the garden, gradually increasing the time spent in the fresh air. After three weeks, you can safely leave it overnight in the yard until the end of August.

Installing a cactus on the street, it is necessary to protect it from rain, covering it with film or package.

Temperature drops favorably affect thorny friends. Especially at night it stimulates the plant to strengthen the skin, and the spines become more shiny. Then these cacti tolerate overwintering and get sick less.

In winter, succulents begin to hibernate, growth slows down, as if they are stocking up on the new season. At this time, cacti can not be left at the batteries, but leaning against the glass window is not recommended. It is better to create cool conditions for them with good lighting. The most favorable temperature for thorns in winter is from 10 to 20 ° C.

There are incredibly many types of cacti. For some, it is necessary to create a cooler temperature in winter, for others - to leave room temperature. Therefore, you should either remove the succulent from the heat away, or take it to the loggia, balcony. Ask what your type of cactus likes.

You can also use protection from heat radiators. These can be ordinary cardboard sheets from the boxes inserted between the battery and the sill so that heat does not flow abundantly onto the plant.

Watering plants

Humidity for cactus is very important, so the rules for watering need to remember once and for all and follow them. First, like all plants, they prefer distilled or boiled water.

Watering is carried out directly on the ground, trying not to fall on the plant itself, or in the pan. Throughout the year, succulents are watered at different intervals:

From the end of October to the beginning of March, the spines are in a state of hibernation, or so-called dormancy, therefore they should be watered once a month or even once during the winter period. It all depends on the dryness of the air in the apartment and the age of the plant. If the cactus is still small, then you need to water it once every two weeks and quite a bit. In winter, water for irrigation should be at room temperature or slightly warmed. It is also necessary to monitor overmoistening. Due to the excess moisture in the cactus may appear not flowers, but children. And even worse - waterlogging will lead to rotting of the root system.

With the onset of spring, succulents go out of their dormancy and require other care. After the appearance of the lettuce-green top on the cactus, which means the beginning of the growth of the plant, their watering increases. In March, we water twice, in April - three times, in May - every 5-6 days. This is an average dose of watering, so you should always consider the dryness of the air, the location of the plant and the condition of the soil.

The most abundant time for watering due to the active growth period. Again, watering depends on the conditions and type of succulent. On average, the cactus is watered once every 2-3 days, if the weather is hot, when it is overcast - watering is reduced. You can also spray a little plant.

After the period of active growth is completed, cacti are watered less frequently. In September - 4-5 times, in October - three times a month, in November - twice.

Succulent fertilizer

This topic is very controversial and little studied. Different flower growers express different opinions on the feeding of a thorny plant. What we know for sure, cacti do not like excess nitrogen, so do not overdo it with organic fertilizers. Phosphorus and calcium affect the growth of succulents favorably, and potassium during flowering.

In any specialized store, you can find fertilizer for cacti, where all the ratios of a balanced top dressing are correctly calculated.

It is best to fertilize during the period of active growth of the plant, and during dormancy not to conduct top dressing, even if the cactus blooms. During flowering is recommended only to increase watering. Also, do not feed before and after transplanting plants.

Plant diseases

Among the pests for cactus are terrible spider mites, scutes, aphids and mealybugs. For prevention, it is best to inspect the plant more often and not to create an unfavorable atmosphere for growth, for example, dry air.

Much more popular among cacti - root rot. This leads to excessive watering and stagnation of moisture in the pot. In this case, the cactus can still be saved:

  1. Get out of the ground.
  2. Peel the roots off the ground.
  3. Rinse the roots under running water.
  4. To dry
  5. After drying, prune all damaged roots, parts of the plant.
  6. Treat the roots with antiseptic.
  7. To plant a cactus in a new soil and pot.
  8. Do not water until it starts to grow.

Cactus transplant

Every 2-4 years the cactus requires a transplant. This will be visible due to the roots crawling out through the drainage holes or in connection with the size of the plant. It is better to perform the process before the period of active growth, that is, in February-March.

For your own safety, wear thick gloves and use thick cloth gloves. It is necessary to take out a cactus carefully, trying not to damage neither a plant, nor its roots. Next, partially clean the root system of excess soil and dead roots.

After all these procedures, leave the cactus to dry for 3-4 days. And then we plant in new capacity. Cacti do not like large pots, so we choose a capacity of just a size larger than the previous one. We pour drainage and some earth on the bottom, install a cactus and fill up the ground.

We try not to press the ground around the plant, so as not to harm the roots. Better after irrigation fill the required amount of soil. Do not water for several days, giving the cactus the opportunity to recover and adapt.

Caring for prickly friends is really not so difficult, but knowing the peculiarities of looking after these plants, you can achieve not only the beautiful growth of the cactus, but also its flowering, as well as the appearance of children.

Features of cacti

Homeland cacti is America. In the wild, cacti can grow to significant sizes. Desert cacti grow excellently and develop in the harsh conditions of semi-desert, located in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. In natural conditions, forest cacti can be found in the tropical jungle. Desert as well as forest species of cacti have significant differences, and in this regard, how to care for a cactus is determined by its appearance.


At home, often grow dwarf cacti, they were born with the help of breeders. You can buy a huge number of miniature varieties, while placing them on a few dozen on the windowsill, will not be difficult.

The most popular of homemade cacti are such as the Echinocereus and the Combs;

Home-grown varieties of forest cacti have no external similarities with cacti familiar to all. In the wild, they prefer to grow under the trees or on them. At home, most often grown epiphyllum, ripsalidopsis, as well as zygocactus (Christmas tree or Decembrist).

Features care in indoor conditions

In case you purchased this plant not to protect yourself from radiation, but to decorate an apartment, then try to choose the most suitable place for it.

Varieties of desert cacti require large amounts of sunlight. In this regard, experts advise that they be placed on a window of a southern or eastern orientation. A variety of forest cacti, including zygokaktusy, it is recommended to place on the windows of the northern or western orientation. If you put a Christmas tree on a window of southern orientation, then its leaf plates will become faded, and between the flowering and dormant periods fails will begin.

In summer, these plants are best brought to fresh air (balcony). If in the winter time the apartment is very warm, then for cacti it is necessary to maintain high humidity. However, it is worth considering that in winter almost all varieties of cacti have a period of rest. In this regard, they are recommended to move to a cool room (from 15 to 17 degrees) and place in partial shade or shade.

Although the plant is drought resistant, it is not possible to water it at all. It is allowed to skip one watering, but it is better to carry out this procedure as needed and not to forget that the cactus, like all other plants, needs water. For irrigation it is necessary to use water at room temperature, which must be defended throughout the day. If possible, it is recommended to water cacti with rain or melt water.

Approximate watering plan:

  • in spring and summer time - every day or 1 time in two days,
  • autumn period - once every 5–7 days,
  • winter period - 1 time per 1–1.5 weeks.

The basic principle of watering is that the more abundant and more watering will be than the warmer the room.

It should also be remembered that the cactus is actively growing during the warmer months, while it begins to bloom during the cold season. In that case, if you want your cactus to blossom, then it just needs to arrange a period of rest.

Cacti transplant

Replanting a cactus is necessary only when it becomes crowded in a pot. This procedure is carried out in the spring, at a time when a period of intensive growth begins. 2-3 days before the transplantation, the cactus should be stopped watering, as the soil should be allowed to crumble from the roots. In order not to get hurt by a cactus, it must be wrapped with several layers of paper or high-density fabric.

Young individuals require an annual transplant, and those who are 3 or 4 years old need this procedure once in several years.

Capacity for planting must choose a compact, so that the root system fit into it, and at the same time there was no empty space. At the bottom of the pot you need to lay out the drainage layer and pour a small amount of substrate. After that, you need to hand hold the plant and lower its roots into the container. At the same time, with the other hand you need to slowly pour the soil into the container until it fills the pot. In this case, the soil surface should be a centimeter below the edge of the tank. It is impossible to bury the base of the stem in the substrate. In order to fill the soil in a pot more tightly, you need to systematically tap on its walls. The optimal composition of soil mixture for this plant: washed river sand, peat, leaf earth and charcoal. The soil needs a weak acid and loose. If desired, in a special store you can buy a pochvosmes for cacti.

Cacti - description

Originally from cacti from America. Under natural conditions, they can reach gigantic proportions. Desert cacti feel great in the harsh conditions of the semi-deserts of Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Bolivia. The habitat of forest cacti is tropical jungle. Forest and desert cacti species vary widely, and it is not surprising that the rules for growing and caring for them are determined by the type of plant.

Care for cacti at home

If you bought a cactus not to protect against harmful radiation, and following the aesthetic needs, then the relationship with him should begin with choosing the right place.

Desert cacti need a lot of light, so the windows and windows facing east and south will be the best place for them. A zigokaktus, like other forest varieties of cactus, it is better to put on the eastern or northern window sills. On the south side, the leaves of the Decembrist become discolored, and between periods of flowering and dormancy failures begin.

Summer cacti prefer to spend on the balcony, and in the winter, if the temperature in the room is high, you need to ensure the plants high humidity. But since in the winter time desert cacti should be in a dormant period, it is better to move them to a cool room where the temperature stays within 15 -17 ºC, and put them in the shade or partial shade.

Watering cacti, to the delight of all lazy or forgetful, you can sometimes skip, but still do not neglect the responsibility to your plants, do not forget to water them from time to time with room temperature water for 24 hours. Cacti respond well to thawed and rainwater.

The frequency of watering is approximately as follows:

  • - spring-summer - every day or every other day,
  • - autumn - once in 5-7 days,
  • - winter - once in 7-12 days.

The principle is as follows: the colder the air in the room, the less moisture the plant evaporates, therefore, it should be watered less often.

In addition, the active growth of cacti occurs in warm months, and flowering - in the cold, and if you want to see their charming flowers, arrange a rest period for cacti.

Description of the plant, species and varieties

Cactus or cactus - a large family of perennial flowering plants. Their homeland is considered to be South and North America, some species are found in the wild-growing form in the territory of Sri Lanka and Africa. A plant can have a variety of shapes and sizes, often their leaves are represented by needles or segments.

The height varies from 1.5 cm to 20, but at home, usually dwarf varieties are bred, bred by breeding. Depending on external features and needs for life, there are two large groups of decorative cacti:

  • Deserts. Have a small height of the bush, the leaves are almost always represented by needles. They can have various forms, elongated, spherical or creeping plants are more common. Able to withstand drought, very light-requiring. The most popular species are Echinopsis, Echinocactus Gruzon, Cereus, Espola, Astrophytum, Notocactus, Opuntia and Rebution,

  • Forest. They are less similar to cacti, but also belong to this family. More whimsical in care, the bush is often segmented. Popular species: Epiphyllum, Zigokaktus (Decembrist) and Ripsalidopsis.

When choosing a variety, you need to carefully read the description and check the photos, because hybrids are often on sale, which are unstable forms and are especially difficult to clean.

Site selection and conditions of detention

Health and the ability to bloom depends not only on the right care, but also the proper location of the cactus at home. It is important to consider several factors: the type of plant, vegetative stage and age of the cactus. If favorable conditions are created, the risk of disease is significantly reduced, and flowering and fruiting can be achieved.

Lighting and location

The choice of a place for keeping a cactus directly depends on its variety. Desert species are light-requiring and prefer long, intense sunlight, so it is desirable to place them in the middle of the window sill, which faces east or south.

Zigokaktus and other forest species of cacti are preferably located on the western or northern side, where there is less light, which must necessarily be diffused. For example, the leaves of the Decembrist when exposed to direct sunlight can discolor, disrupt the natural cycle of flowering and rest.

In summer, cacti can be kept on the balcony, but if the air temperature is too high, the plant must be provided with sufficient humidity. It is worth remembering that these plants do not like to change their location. It is not recommended to move the cactus or turn it around its axis, as this reduces the likelihood of flowering.


Temperature control depends on the stage of plant development. From spring to the second half of autumn, when vegetation is noted, the plant requires moderate room temperature or balcony content. Difficulties usually arise precisely during rest. В этот период растение следует перенести в прохладное место с температурой 5-15 о С. Чтобы не создать стрессовую ситуацию растению, некоторые цветоводы постепенно снижают тепло, чтобы кактус органично перешел в покой.

Cactus tolerate minor temperature fluctuations during day and night hours, so in summer the plant can be kept on a loggia, terrace or balcony without jeopardizing its health.

Air and humidity

Fresh air for cacti is vital. Most species cannot bloom precisely because of lack of oxygen. That is why in the summer it is desirable to place the plant in the fresh air. At the same time, drafts are disastrous for them; prolonged adverse effects should not be allowed.

Almost all types of cacti do not tolerate high levels of humidity. It is not recommended to carry out additional spraying, to maintain health it is enough to observe the planned irrigation regime. The only exception to this rule is cleistocactus, for which spraying is an important part of care.

Soil and pot

The soil for growing cacti should be well aerated and permeable. For most varieties, the optimum acidity of the soil is 4.5-6, so preference should be given to weakly acidic substrates. To increase the looseness of brick add crumb or river sand, and to increase the acidity, you can make peat.

There are peculiarities of soil mix preparation, therefore a universal land for cacti is not recommended for use. Key moments of the preparation of the substrate:

  • young plants need more nutritious soil, they use leafy ground as a base,
  • adult cacti optimally planted in dense substrates, such as greenhouse or clay-sod land,
  • for fast-growing species it is useful to introduce humus into the soil,
  • For cacti with a lot of spines, it is recommended to add eggshells.

It should competently approach the choice of capacity, to which cacti are very demanding. In order to choose the right pot, remove the plant from the old container before transplanting, carefully spread the roots and carefully examine the root system. In some species, the roots are especially developed in the upper part, so it is desirable for them to purchase a wide and not very deep pot.

For representatives with a well-defined core root system, it is preferable to prefer a deep and narrow capacity. Regardless of the shape at the bottom, there should be holes for water flow and drainage - cacti do not tolerate stagnant water. The choice of material does not play a significant role, but it should be borne in mind that the plastic container substrate remains wet longer than in clay.

There is a stereotype among people that cactus are extremely unpretentious plants for growing at home. They can do without water and fertilizing for a long time, but in this case the growth rate decreases, and flowering does not occur at all. It should be borne in mind that the peculiarities of care directly depend on the type of cactus, its age and season.

Depending on the growing season for cacti is required to observe a different mode of watering. It should be understood that the drier the indoor air, the stronger the light and the higher the temperature, the more abundant the watering should be. Water for cacti must be soft, before the procedure, it must be allowed to settle for 24 hours.

Especially good cacti react to rain or melt water. With a large amount of calcium in the moisture, on the base of the stem, characteristic white spots appear that reduce the decorative effect of the plant.

In the summer, when there is an intensive period of growth, you need to water the cacti daily or every other day, preferably in the morning, so that in the evening the surplus will completely drain into the pan and the soil will dry out. On cloudy days, watering should be discarded. Starting from the second half of autumn, watering is gradually reduced, and in winter it is reduced to a minimum. Large plants can be watered 1-2 times for the entire period of rest, small species more often - 2 times a month.

Unlike other indoor ornamental plants, the cactus is less in need of regular feeding. Flowering is the only period when fertilization is mandatory. At other times, it is best to use phosphorus or potassium compounds, nitrogen fertilizing is recommended to be avoided.

Due to the botanical features, the need for cacti in nitrogen is minimal, with the increase of this element in the substrate leads to the deformation and wateriness of the stem, the death of children and the appearance of scars on the surface.

You can begin to make dressing with the active onset of growth in March or early April, and finish in September. The recommended dosage and intensity of the application can be viewed on the annotations to the specific composition.

Loosening, mulching

Because of the sensitive root system, loosening for cacti is not worth doing. In most species, the roots grow strongly along the substrate, so during the procedure they are easily damaged. With the right composition of the soil, the need for artificial aeration is practically not felt.

Mulching for all cacti and succulents is carried out not to reduce the evaporation of water from the soil, but to protect the root collar from over-wetting and overheating in hot weather. As a material, it is recommended to use coarse sand, fine brick chips or gravel.

Masking, pinching, trimming

Masking and pruning for cacti do not hold due to their peculiarities of the bush. The most important point is the pinch or pin. In this case, it comes down to removing 1-2 segments of a plant or removing the upper growth point. This allows you to enhance flowering in the future season. For young plants, the procedure is carried out with the aim of getting thicker bushes. In addition, pinch and buds after flowering.

It is necessary to replant a cactus in process of its growth and development. For young plants, the pot needs to be changed annually; large adult cacti need to be transplanted in 2-3 years. During this time, it is recommended to update the top layer of soil or shaking the ground, which allows you to increase the flow of air to the roots.

The optimal time for work is the end of March or the beginning of May. A new pot is considered suitable if an old container fits into it freely. Transplant Algorithm:

  1. 3-5 days before transplantation, watering is completely stopped and the substrate is selected depending on the characteristics of the plant.
  2. The soil is placed in a pot in 1/3 of the volume, and then the cactus is placed in the center of the tank, straightening its roots.
  3. The gap between the walls of the pot and the roots fall asleep with the substrate, while shaking it to evenly distribute the soil inside.
  4. The soil is filled to the level of the root collar, compacted by hand or using a scapula. Top need to lay sand or gravel layer up to 1.5 cm to prevent rotting of the root collar.

Transplanted cactus is recommended to cover with a transparent container for 3-4 days, regularly watering the plant with warm water. Top dressing can be carried out a month after the procedure.

Interesting facts about cacti

Cacti are a perennial flowering plant family. It is believed that they appeared as a result of evolution about 30-35 million years ago. However, there is no exact information about this, since the scientists did not manage to find the fossil remains of this plant. At all times, cacti were used in the home interior. Most often they served as amulets at home. Interestingly, many dog ​​breeds do not tolerate the neighborhood with this plant.

How to conduct a transplant?

Many are interested in the question of how to care for cacti after transplantation. First of all, it should be noted that it is desirable to do this annually, but only as long as the plant remains young. In the future, transplantation can harm it, so it is performed only when necessary. Replant the cactus preferably in the spring, each time using a larger pot.

Cacti: home care, photos and tips

For this plant is best to choose the most illuminated place in the house. This rule is especially relevant in winter, when there is not enough natural light. However, direct sunlight should be avoided during the hottest months.

The main condition that must be ensured for the normal wintering of all types of cacti is a fairly low temperature. The thermometer should be within the range of +5 to + 13 ° C. With such a dry and cold atmosphere, the growth will ripen, which is a guarantee of flower formation in the future.

Earthen room should consist of a mixture, which includes:

  • leaf humus,
  • sod land
  • washed sand (preferably with large grains).

All of these ingredients are added in equal proportions. It is often recommended to use peat or crushed brick. If you do not want to mix all the components of the land mixture on your own, then you can purchase special soil for cacti. As a drainage, you can use small stones or even foam.

Do not spray the cactus, even in the summer. The only species that tolerates this process to a certain extent is Cleistocactus. It is better to restrict fresh air - this is the most favorable environment for this plant.

How to care for cactus at home

Cacti today are among the most sought-after indoor plants that bloom. Not many people realize this, because under unfavorable conditions flowers rarely appear on them. However, if you surround their attention and care, then cacti will surely delight you with buds. If you are wondering how to care for cacti to bloom, then you should pay attention to the following recommendations.

Most species of this plant are able to bloom at an early age, but there are also those that prepare for this process for quite a long time, for example, Opuntia and Cereus. The main thing is that this requires - to create conditions that are as close as possible to their natural environment.

Most often, cacti are covered with buds at the age of three or four years. This phenomenon is repeated every year, particularly in the spring. Due to the compactness of this plant on one sill, you can assemble a whole collection of different varieties that bloom in different seasons. These genera include:

  1. Gymnocalycium.
  2. Mummily
  3. Rebution
  4. Echinopsis.
  5. Notocactus.

The peculiarity of their flowering is that almost all cacti flowers appear only on the new growth. To provoke this process requires careful care of the plant in the summer. In the winter, however, it is desirable to leave him alone. The secret also lies in the fact that a little cramped capacity better “explains” to the plant that it is time to bloom.

How to water a cactus?

Experienced growers agree that the proper care of cacti is moderate watering. It is better not to fill them, than to pour. To do this, it is desirable to use soft, distilled water, the temperature of which is at least 30 ° C. Watering should be increased only in the spring until the end of summer.

All cacti need plenty of watering only during the period of active growth. At this time, the earth should be thoroughly moistened. In the autumn, watering is reduced, and in winter this plant does not need moisture at all.

How often to water the cactus the rest of the time? During the rest period, it is advisable to water the plant only infrequently, only when the soil dries in the pot.

How to care for cactus - the basic rules

Care for cacti is very simple, as they are quite unpretentious and drought-resistant. HAbout certain rules for the maintenance of these plants must be observed so that the prickly pets grow healthy and delight you with their gorgeous flowering.

All cacti are divided into 2 groups:

  1. Deserts. Such plants need sunlight, in the winter they need to be watered very rarely.
  2. Forest. In summer, these specimens must be protected from direct sunlight and with the onset of cold weather they reduce watering.

Desert and forest species are distinguished not only by external data, but also by conditions of detention. After acquiring the plant, you need to know exactly what kind it belongs to, depending on this, how to care for the cactus that you have.

Peculiarities of home cactus

Exotic plants are very sensitive to changes in seasonal temperature. Their livelihoods are divided into a period of active growth and a stage of rest. Depending on the change in temperature in the room, the cactus can go from one state to another. For its full existence, it is necessary that in the spring and summer there should be 25–27 degrees of heat indoors, and in the winter, when cacti “fall asleep” no higher than 10–12 degrees.

Spiny plants should be comfortable and cozy in your home, so you need to adhere to the following rules when caring for them:

  • For the full growth and development of them need plenty of sunshine. Therefore, pots of flowers should be placed on the windows facing south, east or west. If you put them on the north side, then additional lighting is required.
  • In the warm season it is often useful to put prickly pets on an open balcony or veranda, fresh air is very useful. The direct rays of the sun rarely harm the plant; only representatives of forest species need to be protected from it. And also worth knowing that drafts are very dangerous to the health of cacti.
  • In winter, it is better to put the plants away from the battery., because they do not tolerate dry air. At this time, it is best for them to be in a cool room. It should be noted that cacti do not like frequent changes and constant pot turns, this can negatively affect their growth.
  • Water plants This is necessary: ​​in the spring-summer period - every day or 1 time in 2–3 days, in the fall - once in 6–7 days, in winter - 1 time in 7–14 days. The colder in the room, the less need for watering.
  • With the onset of spring cacti need to gradually accustom to sunlight, as bright light contributes to budding.
  • In the summer of exotic flowers once every 7-10 days, need feeding from mineral and organic fertilizers.

Planting and breeding

First of all, you need to choose a suitable pot for a spiny pet. The root system of these plants is quite powerful and branched, so for planting it is better to choose a high pot, given that its height was greater than the width. Ideal clay or plastic containers of any shape.

For planting, you need a soil containing leaf soil, turf, coarse sand. All useful ingredients must be selected depending on the type, variety and age of the plant. Often, growers simply buy ready-made substrate, designed specifically for cacti, in a special store. Properly selected soil and competent care in the home will help grow a healthy and beautiful plant.

Landing is necessary in the spring. In the bottom of the tank, where the plant will be, as a drainage layer, you must put a small amount of coarse sand or pebbles. Then you need to fill the pot with soil and place the cactus there. After that, at the very top, you need to pour a little river sand and small pebbles, so that the soil does not hold water when you water the plant.

Cacti are propagated by seed or cuttings. Growing a plant from seed is a rather complicated and time-consuming process, often using the vegetative method for this.

In order to grow an exotic flower from seeds, the following steps will be needed:

  1. After acquiring small seeds, they will need to be disinfected with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
  2. Wet soil should be poured in a layer of about 2–2.5 cm, put the seeds on top and cover them with film.
  3. The soil with future shoots need to be ventilated several times a day and periodically moisten the soil.
  4. After the seedlings appear, they must be transplanted into pots with a nutrient substrate. Depending on the variety of cactus, sprouts can sprout from 2–4 days, to 1–2 months.
  5. When the seedlings reach three months of age, you can begin to care for them as adult plants.

The most common method of propagation of exotic flowers - cuttingsIt is the most efficient, convenient and simple. On many cacti, side shoots or “kids” often grow from which you can grow a new cactus. To do this, you just need to separate the regrown part, put it in a pot with soil, pour it with water and take care of it, like the rest of the cacti.

Cacti without shoots can also be propagated. To do this, cut off a healthy shoot or part of the stem, then dry the cut and plant it in a moist substrate.

When leaving exotic flowers, you need to periodically replant them. For young plants, transplantation should be carried out once a year, and adult cacti need to renew the ground once every 3-4 years. The best time for this is from the beginning of March to the end of May.

How to water a cactus at home

Plants must be regularly watered.. Water for this must be soft and settled. You can use rain or melt at room temperature. In summer, flowers should be watered daily, every morning. If the room is cool and fairly high humidity, watering is not necessary, as the plants can feed moisture from the air. In winter, you need to water in small doses, so that the soil does not dry out. Лучше всего увлажнять почву двумя методами — сверху около растения и наливать воду в поддон.

Основные правила полива такие:

  • Вода не должна попадать на растение, особенно в холодное время года, потому, что оно может замёрзнуть.
  • It is necessary to ensure good drainage in the tank with a flower, as stagnation of water will lead to rotting of the roots.
  • Very abundant watering, especially in winter, will adversely affect the health of cacti.
  • It should be remembered that the roots of exotic flowers do not perceive cold water, so its temperature should not be lower than 14 degrees.
  • In the summer, cacti should be watered in the evening, and in the rest of the year in the morning.


For full growth, development and flowering of exotic flowers should be fed organic fertilizers with phosphorus, potassium and calcium. It is necessary to feed once a week from the end of March until the beginning of autumn. In winter, when the plant is at rest, it is not necessary to fertilize the soil.

Possible problems with the maintenance of the flower

If the cactus does not grow, looks bad or, in general, dies, the reasons for this may be the following:

  • Wrong care.
  • Pests and diseases.
  • Bad mode.
  • Changing conditions, stress.
  • Mechanical damage.

Most cacti suffer from different types of rot, which occurs due to waterlogging. To cure a plant, you must remove it from the pot, rinse all the roots in running water, then dry and cut off all damaged roots and parts of the plant. After that, sprinkle these places with an antiseptic and transplant the cactus into a new container and put the lit place, but do not water it until you notice that the flower has begun to grow.

Often a plant can infect: mealybug, shield aphid, spider mite. Here, the main thing is to start pest control in time, for this you need to treat cacti with insecticides - chemical preparations that destroy insects.

With proper care for prickly pets, you can achieve excellent results - an exotic garden will appear on your window, consisting of original cacti blooming in lush and vibrant colors.