How Much Water Does A Cactus Need To Survive?

When most people take into consideration how much water cactus need, they most likely envision a bare, dry, and hot panorama the place water is at a premium. Though this is likely to be true for a lot of varieties, it’s not true for all. Growing cactus as houseplants remove them from their pure setting and places them in a single where you’re answerable for their wellbeing.

How Much Water Does A Cactus Need To Survive? Most cactus must be watered as soon as the growing medium has dried out, no matter how long this takes. It’s best to completely water the cactus, till water drains from the underside of the pot. It will give the roots plenty of entry to water for a brief time period, which mimics their pure setting.

how much water does a cactus need to survive

Are All Cactus Native To Desert Environments?

What would an American western be without panoramic views of dry, dusty deserts the place cactus are a king? However, and though it’s the setting most people assume all cactus thrive in, there are two completely different teams of cactus – arid cactus and jungle cactus. Though each variety is a member of the cactus household, Cactaceae, they differ in look, growth habits and care wants, together with water.

What Are Arid Cactus?

Arid varieties of cactus are those that thrive in desert climates and telling them other than jungle varieties is comparatively simple. Not like jungle varieties, most arid varieties are lined of their attribute thorny spines and though many produce eye-catching blooms, they’re primarily grown for their uniqueness in shapes, textures, and colors.

Among the extra common varieties of arid cactus include:

  • Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii): This can be a nice cactus for newbie growers. As its title suggests, the cactus has a barrel form, upright behavior, is inexperienced, and lined in a mass of dense golden-yellow spines and the blooms are golden.
  • Prickly Pear cactus (Opuntia species): These are one other easy-to-grow sort, forming into low-growing mats with most creating massive oval pads which might be inexperienced and flat and produce enticing blooms. Prickly pears develop pear-shaped fruits which might be colorful in addition to edible. Put on gloves when dealing with these as a result of they’re linked in a mass of tiny bristles.
  • Column Cactus (Cereus uruguayanus): Your search is over for those who’re on the lookout for a cactus that kinds right into a tall-growing houseplant, rising anyplace from three to six toes tall indoors. They’re bluish-green, easy, and lined in brownish spines. Their white flowers open at night time, with the petal suggestions dusted in numerous colors.

How To Water Arid Cactus?

Correctly watering your arid cactus is essentially the most essential step in assuring your cactus is wholesome and completely happy. Throughout the rising season of March by way of September, the cactus produces essentially the most development and due to this fact requires extra frequent water purposes than throughout winter when it’s dormant.

Enable the soil to dry between water purposes, through the growing season, and water till it begins to run from the underside drain holes. In winter, permit the soil to turn into a lot drier between water purposes, making use of water each a number of weeks. In case your cactus begins to shrivel, it wants water.

What Type Of Soil Does Desert Cactus Need?

Irrespective of how nicely you take note of watering your arid cactus, if the soil is simply too heavy and retains an excessive amount of moisture, you’ll find yourself with issues and may even lose your cactus to rot. Though the cactus places on one of the best development grown in a wealthy soil, the soil has to be well-drained and never tend to turn into too soggy. Due to this fact, using a typical potting soil will find yourself being too heavy for cactus growing.

You’ll be able to plant your arid cactus in a cactus soil mix, discovered at your native garden heart, or make your individual potting combine. Making your individual cactus soil is as simple as mixing equal components of peat-based soil and rough sand or grit collectively.

how much water does a cactus need to survive

How Do I Water After Repotting An Arid Cactus?

Don’t stress in case your cactus is pot sure, as they really prefer it and if repotting is required, do it through the rising season in April and solely repot in a container that’s barely greater than the one at current. Using too massive of a container assures the soil stays too wet and results in rot. Solely water the repotted cactus a number of days per week after repotting.

Can I Fertilize Arid Cactus When I’m Watering?

Use a water-soluble, liquid fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen like a 5-10-5 used monthly and added to your watering schedule. Use through the energetic growing season in the summer season and ceasing in September.

You may also use a yearly utility of a time-released mix sprinkled over the soil in spring.

What Are Jungle Cactus?

Welcome to the jungle and a completely completely different most popular environment for these cactus in comparison with their arid cousins. Jungle varieties are standard through the holidays as gift cactus and also you generally find Easter, Thanksgiving, additionally referred to as Vacation cactus, and Christmas cactus at your native florist or garden heart as these holidays strategy.

Jungle cactus differ in look from arid varieties by having flattened stems resembling leaves, don’t have spines or thorns, and are mainly grown for their elaborate show of eye-catching flowers that bloom across the particular vacation.

As well as and one other distinction in comparison with arid cactus, jungle varieties are epiphytes and of their native setting grow within the prime canopies of bushes. Additionally, they choose shadier situations than arid cactus.

Among the extra common jungle cactus include:

  • Orchid Cactus (Epiphyllum spp.): This cactus performs nicely in hanging baskets producing lengthy,strap-shaped, fleshy stems that may develop three feet lengthily. They produce hanging and infrequently sweetly scented, funnel-shaped flowers in an array of various colors that may develop up to 6 inches in diameter. Flowers open within the night hours and happen on 2-year-old vegetation which might be rootbound.
  • Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis spp.): Easter cactus produce inexperienced, flat succulent stems forming into a strong plant. They produce enticing, star-shaped flowers in a number of colors, with blooms opening within the night. The cactus begin blooming in early spring, with the flowering persevering for a number of months.
  • Thanksgiving & Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata & Schlumbergera x bridgesii): Each of those cactus blooms anytime around November by way of December, producing star-shaped blooms in an array of colors. Crops have to be a minimum of 1-year-old to start out flowering. The stems on Thanksgiving cactus are inexperienced with toothed edges. Whereas the stems on Christmas cactus are smaller and the sides easy.

What Type Water And Humidity Needs Of Jungle Cactus?

Of their pure setting, a jungle rain forest, situations are humid, so due to this fact, jungle cactus requires a moist setting to be placed on their finest growth. Though they carry out best given 50 % humidity, they’ll tolerate a bit much less, provided you meet their different wants. It’s simple to create humidity by misting the cactus with water a number of instances weekly.

Not like arid cactus, the soil to jungle varieties ought to by no means turn into fully dry, particularly whereas they’re actively growing throughout spring and summer season. Really feel the soil along with your finger and whether it is beginning to dry, apply water till it runs from the bottom of the container.

Throughout winter, when the cactus is dormant, scale back watering as soon as weekly.

What Type Of Soil Do Jungle Cactus Need?

Jungle cactus choose a richer soil medium than arid varieties, though it nonetheless ought to drain nicely and never tend to stay soggy. They’ll carry out nicely in a wealthy, well-drained potting combine. Don’t use potting soil because it’s too heavy and retains an excessive amount of water.

You may also make your own mix through the use of equal components of a peat-based combine, potting combine, and coarse sand. The largest factor to recollect is ensuring your soil mix drains nicely to stop rotting attributable to too moist situations.

Jungle Cactus Differ From An Arid Cactus?

Observe the identical procedures as when repotting an arid cactus: wait till it has outgrown its current container and repot in just one barely bigger, handle with care so that you don’t break the fleshy stems, and wait a few days to per week after repotting to water. The essential distinction is the jungle varieties like a bit richer soil.

how much water does a cactus need to survive

Can I Apply Fertilizer To Jungle Cactus

Fertilizing is as simple as including a well-balanced, water-soluble liquid fertilizer to your watering schedule as soon as every month. Cease fertilizing Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus in September, and you may fertilize Easter cactus year-round and stop whereas it’s blooming.

Watering a cactus can generally be a bit troublesome. They’ve considerably completely different wants than the extra common houseplants with massive, beautiful green leaves. To assist your cactus to grow to be stunning indoor plants, you need to learn to water them correctly. However, how a lot of water does a cactus want then?

Cactus plants and water

Though most of us consider cactus like plants that may survive without water within the desert, they do want common watering to flourish.

What makes cactus so distinctive is their pure habitat: the desert. Cactus plants have been tailored to the dry and scorching climates like no different plant on this planet. Their leaves have advanced into spines to attenuate humidity loss by way of evaporation.

However, the cactus want the correct amount of water identical to every other plant. Let’s go through 4 essential factors you should utilize to determine how much water your cactus needs:

Air humidity

One fairly fascinating reality about cactus is that they’ll pull moisture from the air after they want it.

Within the desert habitat the place most cactus come from, the air will be very humid through the nighttime. That’s when the plants open up their “pores” and soak up water from the air around them. In spite of everything, in the event that they did so through the day, they’d lose water due to the new temperatures.

If your home has excessive air humidity, you’ll need to water your plant much less often. Once you place your cactus within the kitchen or bathroom, they’ll use the moisture to outlive longer till the following watering.


Sunlight is like meals for houseplants. They can’t dwell without it! And the extra light they get, the sooner they grow.

With that mentioned, in case your cactus lives in a sunny spot, it can want extra water. That’s as a result of extra sunlight means your plant is utilizing extra carbon dioxide for photosynthesis to provide oxygen. This process requires water to assist your cactus to grow.

However watch out with direct sunlight – most indoor cactus plants choose oblique light. In case your cactus is getting an excessive amount of sunlight, it could possibly begin trying yellow, bleached, or a bit orange even. Meaning you need to move it to a window with much less harsh light.


Evidently, hotter temperatures imply that your cactus is dropping extra water by way of evaporation. The plant does this to chill off, identical to you and me after we’re sweating on a scorching summer season day.

The factor with having a cactus indoors is that the temperature is fixed all year long. There are not any cool winters and scorching summers in your front room. However, depending on where you place your vegetation, you need to keep watch over the temperature.

The truth is, it’s a good suggestion to encourage your cactus to enter dormancy in winter. It helps the plant to get better from the growing season to recoup its power. Additionally, your cactus is extra more likely to blossom in a while for those who permit it to “hibernate” within the winter.

You’ll be able to assist your cactus to enter dormancy by:

  • Shifting it to a cooler spot (ideally between 45 and 55°F or 7 and 13°C)
  • Watering it much less often (as soon as a month)
  • Cutting again on the fertilizer (cease using fertilizer within the fall)

How much water does a cactus need

I hope you found a couple of useful suggestions for watering your cactus plants in this article. The trick with cactus is that they’ve completely different wants in comparison with the extra widespread houseplants coming from tropical areas.

Once you’re attempting to determine how much water does a cactus want, begin with the 4 key factors we mentioned above. They’re the important thing to understanding how much water your cactus must develop.

A very powerful factor with serving your cactus to look healthy and grow robust is to make use of the proper soil. Ensure you don’t use common houseplant soil because it’s too dense. Instead, go for a great cactus combination that’s ethereal and may breathe well.

Despite the fact that cactus vegetation can generally be considerably needy, they’re most frequently simply misunderstood. When a cactus reveals signs of being out of practice, most of us have a tendency to offer them more water.

However, that’s the mistaken answer usually. Overwatering your cactus is the easiest way to kill it – sooner than you assume.

Due to this fact, on this put up, I’ll stroll you through to find out how to water your cactus. We’ll have a look at a handful of key components that make it easier to understand how a lot of water your cactus actually wants.

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