Cacti are unique plants that can grow in tropical forests or deserts. Their main difference from other plant species is that cacti can absorb a large amount of moisture and store it, wasting resources as needed. This article describes how to water the cactus at home, and what are the features of such a procedure.
What determines the frequency of watering
Most cacti species are not recommended to be watered frequently. Such care can greatly harm them, because an abundance of moisture squeezes air out of the ground and literally suffocates the roots. As a result, rot and other diseases begin to develop, pests can appear and the culture will start to die out.Interesting! Some species of cacti react normally to increased watering. These include, for example, the Schlumberger cactus (Zigokaktus).
In ceramic, the earth dries faster than in glass or plastic
Depending on some factors, the peculiarities of cactus irrigation can vary greatly.
- Type of plant. Different types of cacti need certain irrigation regimes. There are some types of cacti that need a lot of water for normal development (Decembrist, epiphyllum, ripsalidopsis). But cacti like mammillaria, hymnocalycium, loivia do not tolerate an abundance of moisture in the pot.
- How to water a cactus depends largely on where it is located, namely on the lighting. For example, if it is on the sunny side, more watering will be needed, because the earth will dry out faster.
- The higher the temperature and the lower the humidity, the faster the water evaporates and the more fluid the plant needs. If the temperature on the thermometer is about + 5 ... + 10 degrees, then irrigation is generally not recommended!
- In ceramic, the soil dries faster than in glass or plastic, so that more watering is needed.
- During the active growing season, the plant needs more water, and during the rest watering is reduced to a minimum.
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At home, cacti can be watered by several methods.
Spraying can be done in principle, but cacti do not need this procedure at all.
- A simple irrigation of land from above is suitable for young gardeners who have not yet got the hand to care for cacti. Water just pours on the ground, preferably at the edge of the pot, under the wall. It should not fall on the cactus itself!
- Watering the bottom, in the pan is suitable for those florists who already know how to grow cacti. Such irrigation is considered preferable, but in this case it is more difficult to understand how much the soil is saturated and how many times per month to water the crop.
- Sometimes cacti are watered by soaking the soil - the pot is placed in a basin with warm water for 15-20 minutes. During this time, the soil is completely saturated with water, the roots take as much water as they need, and then the pot is taken out of the water and put in a pan. In this case, excess water will drain into the pan, and it needs to be drained in a timely manner.
- Spraying can be carried out in principle, but cacti do not need this procedure at all (although tropical varieties like spraying). This is usually done if dust has accumulated in the crop, there is dirt. Water for this is taken warm, and spraying is done from a small spray bottle so that there are no large drops of water.
Rules for watering cacti at home
To cacti when watering at home is not affected, you need to follow certain rules.
Flowering cactus needs frequent watering.
- It is better to add less water than too much. If the ground is too wet, the plant will shrink and gradually fade.
- Watering cacti and succulents is necessary only if they are healthy. Water can be harmful to a diseased plant.
- It is advisable to try the ground with your finger before watering. If it is wet, then you should not bring water, but if it is almost dry, then water is applied.
- In the dormant period, cacti are watered extremely rarely. They need to provide for the growth of a dry, cool place with low light.
- After transplantation, the cactus does not water for a week, so that the culture adapts to the new place and grows.
- Flowering cactus needs frequent watering. This plant spends a lot of energy on flowers. But it is known that in stressful conditions, these plants barely bloom. So if the cactus has released a flower, you need to take care that it is as comfortable as possible and water it as often as possible - every 3-5 days.
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Depending on the season, the frequency of adding water to the pot at home may vary. So, how many times do they water the cactus in one season or another?
- In spring and summer, cacti get a lot of sunlight, the daylight increases and it becomes quite warm, so regular watering is needed. On average, cacti at this time watered 1 time in 1-1.5 weeks.
- In autumn and winter, the light day is reduced and the light becomes less. As a rule, at this time the soil dries out much longer and therefore reduces watering. In 2-3 weeks will be enough 1 abundant watering.
Tropical cacti need water more desert species
How to water different types of cacti
Cacti are tropical and desert, and are also divided into many very diverse species. Depending on the type of crop, the amount of watering can vary greatly.
Tropical cacti need water more desert species. They are good at spraying (spraying water should be very fine), but the drying out of the soil is difficult to tolerate. Using the example of several species, it is possible to consider how to water a cactus of a tropical type.
- Zigokaktus requires frequent watering from June to September. Water every 3-5 days, no more. From October to the beginning of flowering, water is applied once a week, at other times - 2 times a month.
- Easter bush also needs abundant watering during active growth. How to water this type of cactus? From spring to September, water is applied every 1-1.5 weeks, in winter - once every 3-5 days. During flowering, the ground should always be slightly damp.
- Pereskiya is watered in spring and summer as the top layer of the earth dries out. In autumn and winter, watering is reduced to once a month.
Zigokaktus requires frequent watering from June to September
Desert cacti are not afraid of drought and the bright sun, and the abundance of moisture is dangerous for them. How to water a cactus of this unpretentious type can be considered on the example of several species that are presented below.
- Echinopsis is watered during the period of active growth once a week, and in winter in general watering is stopped.
- Parody from spring to September is watered once in 1.5-2 weeks, and from October to the end of winter the plant is watered not more than once a month.
- Ariocarpus requires very little water. Water it even during active growth only once in 3 weeks. In winter, water in general can not make.
Water for irrigation
In order for watering at home to bring only benefit, you need to know how to water the cactus, how often to do it and what water to use. It is used for irrigation only water at room temperature with a low pH level, it should be soft, without harmful impurities.
It is best for irrigation to take rainwater or melt water obtained from melting snow. Water from the tap is not used for these purposes, but if there is no alternative, you need to make a soft one out of this hard liquid. So what can help?
Tap water is not used for watering cactiImportant! Hard water alkalinizes the ground and inhibits root development. Because of this, the culture begins to grow more slowly, its immunity decreases.
- Water can simply be boiled, but it also loses not only harmful impurities, but also useful ones.
- To defend the water for 2-3 days with the lid open.
- Use to clean and soften the filter.
- You can add a few drops of nitric acid, allow it to stand, then drain into another container, and remove the precipitate.
- The third option is to increase the acidity by adding peat or a little vinegar (5 teaspoons of 9% vinegar is enough for 5 liters of water).
Fertilizers are usually used in spring.
Fertilizers for cacti
For cacti do not use simple, standard fertilizers. Nitrogen is harmful for these plants, so it is not worth buying ready-made supplements for indoor plants, because there is a lot of this element there. But then how to feed the culture?Important! If there is a lot of nitrogen in the ground, the cactus will quickly grow, then it will become watery, loose and the skin will just burst. Such a plant to save, usually fails.
Fertilizers are usually used in spring. Best of all cacti react to the introduction of potassium, calcium and phosphorus. You can buy these minerals separately, and interfere as necessary. The second option is to buy special liquid or dry fertilizers for cacti. Fertilizers are dissolved in warm water (it is better to take rain or boiled) according to the instructions, and then use it for its intended purpose.
Top dressing is always carried out early in the morning or in the evening, preferably on an overcast day. Before fertilizing, the ground in the pot must be moisturized; otherwise, top dressing may burn the roots of the plants. After feeding, on the second day, you need to water the cactus with clean water. Pour it in a small amount to only slightly moisten the ground.