Cactus Care: Planting
Transplanting to a Container
This is best done in spring, summer, or early autumn. The new container should be the next size up from the old container. Avoid putting cactus in oversize pots as this can cause the roots to rot. The soil should be very porous and have excellent drainage; we sell Black GoldâCactus Mix just for this job. Do not plant your cactus any deeper than it was in the old container. It is best to wait a few days before watering your newly potted cactus so the roots can heal.
Transplanting to the Ground
This is best done in spring, summer, or early autumn. The size of the hole should be about twice as wide as the root ball and about the same depth. Never plant a barrel type cactus deeper than it was in its original pot. Columnar cactus can be planted about an inch deeper if they appear unsteady. Plant in dry soil and do not water until a few days later. The root ball should be loosened and the excessive roots pruned. Mixing a soil amendment into the hole is recommended.
Cactus Care: Water & Fertilization
Indoor Container Plants
Indoor cactus should be watered about once every two weeks while the plant is actively growing. In winter a light watering once a month will suffice. Fertilize once or twice a year in spring and early summer with a cactus fertilizer.
Outdoor Container Plants
During the growing season once a week watering will suffice. If excessive drying occurs, then increase to twice a week. If regular rain occurs in the summer, do not hand water until fall when the rains have stopped.
As the weather cools, water less for example, twice a month in autumn and once a month in winter. Fertilize your cactus with a high phosphate/low nitrogen fertilizer. Do this once a month starting in February through August only.
The larger the plant the less supplemental watering will be necessary. During the growing season, one gallon plants will do well with deep watering twice a month, assuming that the soil drains well. No watering is recommended during the rainy season. Once or twice during cool winter months will be adequate. Fertilizing once in spring and once in early summer will help keep your cactus looking its best.
Cactus Care: Exposure
Full summer sun in Tucson is pretty hard on small cactus. Light shade will keep them looking better. Three gallon and larger size cacti will do fine in the full sun. Shade the cactus with cloth temporarily if excessive yellowing occurs after planting.