Growing Cacti Indoors | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 01, 2019

Growing Cacti Indoors

It is undeniable that we all wanted to own a houseplant at some point in our lives. I mean, why not? It makes great room décor. It gives you oxygen in return for some love and care and it’s green! Green relaxes our retinas and calms our nerves. The colour green, AKA wavelengths of around 540, is a well-perceived colour to humans. And we all need some green in our lives. Pinterest, with its jaw-dropping DIYs has never failed at giving us hope to breathe life into the dream of a tiny green kingdom. But often, many of us ditch the dream blaming a lack for the knack. But is it, though?

A cactus makes the perfect houseplant owing to its low maintenance and robust nature. Read on to find your flaws and jump-start your green thumbs.

ID your cacti: Before nose-diving into buying the plant, know your plant. Ask the seller. Or, use plant identification apps to find more about the plant. Knowing about its origin will give you a good idea on its needs. Recreate those conditions for it to bloom. Start with beginner cacti and slowly move on to pro-level planter bowls which feature a great variety of beauties in one pot.

To water or not water: The leading cause of cacti death is overwatering. Water them sparingly and only when the soil is dry or the cactus looks shriveled. Too much water causes roots to rot and kills them quickly.

Find the sun: Your cactus can live without water but not the sun. Place it on the windowsill or close to the rays during the growing months. However, be wary of sunburn. Burns range from whitish spots to dark brown patches. If your plant has been sitting in the store for a while, gradually bring it out to full sun. Move it deeper in the house during winter when they shift to dormancy. Never force them to grow at this period.

Watch them grow: Cactus being so low-maintenance does not imply you’ll just leave it there. Be observant. Look for signs. See if it’s bending too much for light. Then reposition it for optimal exposure. If the top is too thin, this also means inadequate sunlight. See if it’s too soft; it might be rotting. Watch out for pests and fungal infections. Dust it regularly with a small brush. Give it the proper attention it deserves. It, after all, is prolonging your life with wholesome oxygen.

Toil at the soil: Soil matters, a lot. Cacti require dry, well-drained soil. Use a specialist cacti mix unlike typical plant mix which retain water very well. The mix is said to be ideal if it gets dry the next day after watering. Occasionally, nourish with fertilizers.

Drain, drain, drain: Drainage is top priority. Clay pots are highly recommended as they are porous and control moisture and aeration well. Poke a few drainage holes, too. Try adding pumice stone to the soil mix; it absorbs excess water and improves aeration.


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