Cactus Care

by Becky Wenzel

Echinocereus sheeri var. Obscura


Cacti belong to the family Cactiaceae. They prefer little water, and warm temperatures. Cacti can be easy to
take of. Just remember to follow these simple instructions to keep your cactus alive and healthy.

Opuntia tephrocactus articulatusOpuntial microdasys var. GrayOpuntia microdasys var. AlbaspinaEchinocereus triglochidiatus



Using the ideal amount of water for a cactus can be hard to determine. Cacti do not need very much water, or
they will rot. A few sources, such as, suggest watering the plant once a month during the non-
growing season, and 2-4 times a month during the growing season. But the easiest way to determine if the
cactus needs to be watered, is to check the soil for dryness. If you stick your finger into the dirt, and can not
find any moisture, then it is time to water the cactus.

Make sure when watering the cactus you give it enough water to soak the root ball. You want to make sure the
water will drain though, so that the roots will not rot.



Choose a soil that will drain quickly for your cactus. A medium containing mostly sand seems to work the best.
Also make sure that the pot the cactus will be planted in, has a drainage hole in the bottom so the water can drain
all the way out of the soil. cactus houseplant care, suggests putting pottery shards or gravel in the bottom of the pot,
then add the sandy soil.


Feed your cactus during the growing season. Some sources, like, suggest a slow releasing
fertilizer, as cacti seem to prefer several small feedings, rather than one big feeding.

Cacti need a 20-20-20 (N-P-K) fertilizer. The Nitrogen (N) helps vegetative growth of the plant, phosphorus (P)
provides the nutrient for good root growth, and potassium (K) encourages fruit or flowering of the cactus

Light & Temperature

Most cacti prefer full sun and warm temperatures (minimum of 60F) during the growing season. During the winter
cacti can tolerate colder temperatures. If you have just received your cactus via mail, it may not be used to full sun
anymore. To reacclimate your cactus, place in a warm shady/partially sunny area for a while before moving it
back in to the sun.


Related Reading and Web Sites

House plants - Cacti, How to take care of them

Cactus Tips at Kactus Korral, Inc.

Cacti and Succulents

Cactus: The Most Beautiful Species and Their Care
by Elizabeth Manke



Cacti care (houseplant) Cacti care

Cacti propagation


Contact Information

Becky Wenzel