Can You Grow a Cactus Indoors?
What can help you do this?

It’s not rocket science to grow cactus indoors. All you need is to place the cactus at the right spot and take care of it.

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Jimena Bolívar

March 31, 2021


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Introduction

Cacti are adored throughout the world because of their forgiving nature. However, since these plants originate from arid regions, you may wonder whether they can be grown indoors or not.

Cacti can be grown indoors. However, you need to fulfill their needs by providing them with a good sunny spot near a windowsill. Apart from that, you need to give it water every once in a while and keep an eye on it for issues. Fertilize it in the growing season and prune it if there is any pest damage.

indoor succulent

How is it possible to grow Cactus indoors?

As all of us acknowledge that cactus is a desert species that is easy to manage and doesn’t require lots of water to survive. It is a succulent which can store water and use it optimally over time. This makes it possible for the plant to survive indoors.

It would help if you were careful about watering cacti because they are easy to overwater. However, doing this places your plant in danger and so being mindful is a must.

What Are The Most Common Indoor Cacti Varieties?

1. Bunny Ears Cactus

bunny ear cactus

  • Scientific name: Opuntia microdasys
  • Native to: Mexico
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Genus: Opuntia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 8b to 11b

The scientific name for Bunny Ear Cactus is Opuntia microdasys.

It can grow up to a height of 90cm tall and 1.8 m wide. One of its interesting features is that it doesn’t have spines. Still, it has brown-colored prickles that can bite too. So it is advised to be cautious while holding them in your hands. It may come with beautiful yellow flowers in summer that can turn into purple-colored fruits.

I have significant experience purchasing plants, and I recommend you get one from this link:

Bunny Ear Cactus Opuntia Microdasys 2 Inch Pot

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Some things you should know to help you to grow a healthy Bunny Ear Cactus:

Temperature Requirements

The plant prefers a temperature between 70◦F and 100◦F in summers. However, during winters, it is advised to place them in low temperatures that fall between 45◦F to 55◦F. If you fail to provide a suitable climate to them in winter, you will lose them before the start of spring.

Watering Needs

The cactus should be given water daily during its first summer in a new pot. Doing so will help it develop a strengthened root system. Don’t water them during the winters when the plant is dormant, as this can cause their eventual death. They are not going to react kindly to such treatment.

Soil Requirements

Like other cactus species, Bunny Ear Cactus also loves to be in sandy bases mixed with perlite or bark. Otherwise, get a high-quality cactus soil mix that will

Pruning needs and Pest Protection

If you notice any brown patches on your cactus, it is a sign of overwatering or a pest attack. If it happens to your plant, discard the damaged parts and avoid overwatering the plant. Also, consider using an insecticide to protect your plant from pests.

Christmas Cactus:

christmas cactus 1

  • Scientific name: Schlumbergera bridgesii
  • Native to: Brazil
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Genus: Schlumbergera
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 10 to 12

Christmas cactus is species from the tropical rainforest. It needs water on at regular intervals for a healthy growth. Occasionally the cactus has red flowers but now you can have many color cactus flowers like purple pink, orange. The best thing about this cactus is that it doesn’t have thorns. You can hold it or hang it easily.

If you’re interested in getting a Christmas Cactus from a reliable place, I know just the link to suggest. Here is a reliable seller:

Pink Christmas Cactus Plant 4 Inch Pot

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Some important things to know that will help you grow a healthy Christmas Cactus:

Light Needs

These cacti are very friendly and easily adapt to their surroundings. Christmas cactus can grow very well in partial or diffused sunlight. It is okay to put them in full sunlight in winters, but this is not recommended during summers and spring; because they might turn yellow or pale.

Watering Requirements

This species needs a lot of moisture during summers and spring. But that doesn’t mean you should let it sit in a lot of water. If you do so, it may harm the roots or stems of the plants, and consequently, the plant can even die.

Temperature Requirements

In this matter, Christmas cacti are choosy. During their growth periods, they need a high temperature between 70◦F to 80◦F. But just after the bud pops out, they require exposure to lower temperatures and a minimum of 13 hours of darkness at night.

5 Essential Tips to grow a cactus indoors

1. Color Selection should be made wisely

You know all the spaces where you can possibly place the plant. If you’re going to put it in a spot where there are low light conditions, ensure that the cactus plant you get is bright green in color. The brighter the green, the more energy the plant can make through photosynthesis.

2. Set Proper Watering Schedule

watering

Though most of the cacti live in arid areas, they still need water. So if you buy a cactus, you need to make a schedule for watering it properly.

Since cacti are also succulents, they can last a long time without being watered. They have water stored in their stem, which can last for a decent duration. If left dehydrated for too long, the cactus can turn too pale and dry. During summers, the plant will be in the growing season and should be watered once a week. If you overwater the plant, it can die, so be careful with how you give it hydration!

3. Make use of Fertilizers

Regardless of whether you place your cactus outdoors or indoors, fertilizing it is a good idea. Giving it a good fertilizer will help it deal with difficult situations and thrive easily.

4. Keep an eye on your Cactus

Please monitor the health of your cactus. You should be able to assess any day-to-day changes that occur in the plant. The better you know your plant, the better care you can provide it.

5. Repotting the plant is a must

It might seem that a cactus doesn’t need repotting, but the fact is that this should be done after every two to four years. If you fertilize the plant, it will outgrow the pot in 2 years, but if you don’t, it can take up to four years!

Safety gloves for Cactus

These gloves will help you hold the cactus safely!

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Troubleshooting the common cacti problems:

Problem 1: Diseases

Among the cacti and succulent diseases fungal infections are the most common. It mostly attacks the cacti placed in damp and shady areas where night and day temperature is almost the same. Some common diseases are Corky Scab, Sooty Mold, and Basal Stem Rot.

Brown or white scabs

These patches are a symbol that there is a pest attack or any carelessness in watering. You can avoid it by checking your water schedule and swipe the buds with cotton dipped in alcohol.

Problem 2: Paling

If your cactus began to turn yellow or pale, it indicates that it has been placed in extreme sunlight or high temperature. Therefore, you must remove it from that place as soon as possible.

Problem 3: Stunted Growth

Similarly, if you notice that your cactus is not growing, that means there is an issue. Maybe something is wrong with the way you water the plant (overwatering or underwatering). Inadequate soil which doesn’t have enough nutrients can also be a reason for stunted growth.

Problem 4: Dwindling

Sometimes you may notice that some parts of the cactus start dwindling or become thin and there is abnormal growth in a specific direction. This is a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. You should immediately change the location of your cactus to a spot where there is more sunlight.

Problem 5: Pests

The most common pests that attack cactus are spider mites, mealy bugs, longhorn beetles and fungus.

You may hardly notice them because they hide in places that are difficult to spot.

How can you control pests?

Mealy bugs

  1. Spider mites may be finding the plant because of low humidity and improper ventilation. They can be washed away using a water stream. When you do this, you should cover the soil to avoid overwatering.
  2. You can use insecticides like neem or pyrethrins. You should always check whether it is safe for the plant or not before applying it.
  3. You should keep newer plants away from the older ones so that pests can’t transfer. The new ones can also have a pest that can attack your old cacti. So it is better to quarantine new plants.
  4. Provide your plant whatever it needs to thrive. Like humans, a plant with healthy body parts will prosper. Similarly, the plant should have healthy stems, leaves, and roots. You should provide your succulents with a healthy lifestyle with adequate water and light. Doing so will give the plant the strength to fight a pest attack without dying.
  5. It would be best to always keep your pots hygienic, so there are no chances for pests to grow.

Conclusion

Cacti plants can grow indoors because they have a forgiving nature. They don’t need too much water to thrive but require bright indirect light. To keep them at their healthiest inside the home, place them on a sunny windowsill, protect them from pests and fertilize the plant. The healthier your plant, and the better your watering schedule is, the less likely it is that your plant will suffer.

If you’re new to succulent care, I think you should read more about the topic. I recommend this comprehensive guide that will tell you about the best time to water succulents!

What's the Best Time of the day for you to Water Plants?

Are you wondering what is the best time to water plants? Experts agree that morning and evening is the best time to hydrate succulents!

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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