Watering cacti is a very important agrotechnical event. Depending on how often you carry out these procedures, you can achieve accelerated growth of the succulent or decay of its root system. Therefore, watering cacti at home should be carried out in a certain pattern. Similarly, you need to feed succulents. Proper watering of cacti begins with the definition of their species. Before watering a cactus, it is worth making sure that it is picky about the constant level of soil moisture. There are types of this culture that completely get all the moisture from the surrounding air.
How to water the cactus at home is described in detail in the proposed material, where all aspects of fertilizer and fluid application are considered at different times of the year.
How often should water cacti at home
There are several aspects of how to properly water the cactus at home, and the frequency of the agrotechnical operation is of paramount importance. Many plant lovers see certain problems in watering cacti. Some believe that, being desert plants, cacti generally do not require watering. Others water their cacti a little every day. Both are wrong. There are certain requirements regarding how often to water the cactus, and here the following is also true: if you understand the basic needs of the plants, then these plants will be easy to care for.
How often you need to water the cactus depends on the type of succulent. Ordinary cacti are watered only when they grow or bloom, and even in this case only when the soil substrate dries out. When cacti grow and blooming, they need water, and the more, the faster they grow. How often watering cacti at home depends on environmental conditions. When they are warm and evaporate more moisture, they need to be watered more often and more abundantly. And vice versa: when cacti - for example, during the winter period of rest - are kept in cool conditions, watering is stopped altogether. At temperatures below 10-15 ° C, the metabolism of cacti stops, water is no longer absorbed by plants, and watering at this time will in any case lead to decay of the root system.
How to water a cactus depends on the season, the ambient temperature. Therefore, in the winter from October to March with cool content the vast majority of cacti should not be watered at all.
If they overwinter in warmer conditions - for example, on the window sill of a living room - or we are talking about cacti from tropical regions, then in winter they are watered very moderately: about one teaspoon or tablespoon of water per week.
When cultivating such cacti in clay potsplaced in a box filled with peat or similar moisture-intensive material, only slightly moisten the substrate between the pots. In the spring, when the plants resume growth and the first buds appear in them, the cacti at first are only sprayed with warm water and very moderately watered with clear water (without fertilizers!). Due to this, the dust accumulated during the winter is washed off from the plants and the formation of lateral roots sucking in water is stimulated. On how to properly water the cactus and not to fill its root system, let's talk further in the article.
How many times do you need to water a cactus a week or a month
How many times to water a cactus depends on the season and the period of development of the plant. During the growing season from March-April to September-October, the cacti are watered once every three weeks. How many times a week to water a cactus in the summer also depends on the size of the plant, the larger it is, the more often this operation is performed. However, there is no rigidly established rule here; the frequency of watering depends on the location of the plant, the temperature, the size and the saw of the flower tableware, the daily mixture or substrate, and not least the growth of the plant itself.
However, in principle, water cacti should be only when the soil is almost dry, not only on the surface, but also in the depths of the pot. Not yet dried, wet substrate never watered!
Another factor in determining how many times a cactus needs to be watered is in the blooming period. Some cacti, for example, certain types of rebution. After flowering, when kept in warm conditions, they have a short summer period of rest, therefore at this time they are watered more moderately. Dwarf cacti, long turnip roots and a lot of white spines indicate that they come from areas with a dry climate and are very economical with water, they are watered less than the outward-looking cacti, such as fast-growing columnar cacti or echinopsis In autumn, approximately from September-October, watering is gradually reduced, so that the growth of the current year ripens well, and the plants prepare for winter. How many times a month to water the cactus depends on the variety, but usually the frequency does not exceed 2 times.
The exception to this rule is epiphytic and forest cacti, in which the substrate should never completely dry out. These cacti, some of which bloom in winter, they are kept in warmer conditions also in winter and watered moderately.
However, epiphytic cacti prefer only light moisture of the substrate and do not like overwetting. How much to water the cactus of this species depends on the air temperature in the room. The higher it is, the more often there is a need for moisture.
In principle, cacti should be watered in hot and sunny weather, because then they require and can absorb a lot of water. If, however, watering cacti is very abundant at the beginning of a period of wet and cool weather, there is a great danger of prolonged waterlogging of the earthen coma, which can lead to rotting of the roots and death of the plants. The easiest way to say about how much you need to water the cactus in hot summer weather. Here, as they say, there is no excess liquid.
Watering cacti during flowering
During the growth period, cacti should be watered not daily, little by little, but after long periods of time, but thoroughly. Many cacti are very susceptible to rotting root collar - the place of growth of roots from the stem. Some cacti have thick turnip roots, in which the root hairs that absorb moisture from the root are located in the lower part of the pot. That is why watering the bottom is especially favorable for cacti. If a cacti grow in individual pots with sufficiently large pallets, the required amount of irrigation water can be poured directly into the pan. Water that has not been absorbed by the substrate for an hour needs to be drained. In no case should cacti be left whole days with pallets filled with water. Optimally, moisture can be provided with this method - water absorption. “It is also possible to use larger collections grown in bowls.
When watering a cactus during flowering, it is necessary to moisten the substrate, and not to pour water on the plant itself. Otherwise, in some plants having deep folds on the tops of the plants, water drops can remain for a long time, which, under strong sunlight, act as magnifying glasses and cause burns, and in cold weather they can cause fungal disease or decay.
On the other hand, one should not over-reinsure. From time to time, cacti are very useful to refresh a little, that is, in the evening of a hot day, spray them with clean, non-fertilizing water. In the warm season, lovers who grow their cacti on outside window sills or in the garden can state what fresh and healthy they look like after a night's rain. However, cacti that have a bluish or cretaceous wax coating on the stems cannot be sprayed, otherwise stains will form on the decorative patina. For spraying cacti should not use very hard water, as it leads to the formation of ugly spots on the stems and sediment salts.
In the homeland of cacti, there is often a large difference between day and night temperatures. The result is the formation of strong fogs or dew and high humidity at night. Some cacti can take moisture from the air using the epidermis or spines and hairs. Many cacti wither in constantly too dry air. However, in some apartments, first of all, on sunny and hot southern windows, the air humidity is very low, therefore originating from highland areas and usually completely trouble-free species and varieties of rebutia (Rebutia), lobivy (Lobivia) or echinopsis (Echinopsis) grow in such places very bad.
Fertilizers for cacti and succulents at home
In natural habitats in their homeland, cacti most often grow in soils rich in mineral salts. Therefore, the frequent opinion that they should not be fed at all with fertilizers for cacti is erroneous. Moreover, it is very important to feed the cacti at the right time and the right fertilizer. Feeding cacti fertilizers are carried out only during the growing season, that is, approximately from April-May to August. At the beginning of the growing season, plants are watered with clean water without fertilizers. The same applies to the last watering in autumn before the beginning of the winter dormancy period.
The individual fertilizers for cacti and succulents differ in their chemical composition. Without going into particular details, it is possible to distinguish between containing more nitrogen, fertilizer promoting plant growth and containing more potassium and phosphorus fertilizer, which stimulate the formation of flowers.
Compared with other herbaceous plants or shrubs, cacti differ only by a slight and much slower growth of the stems, and therefore they need fertilizers containing little nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorus. The most suitable for cacti and other succulents is a fertilizer mixture containing about 4% nitrogen (N), 14% phosphorus (P) and 18% potassium (K). It is very important that the fertilizer also contains trace elements, such as magnesium, manganese, boron and others, which are also essential for plants to grow healthy, although in much smaller quantities.
Use of high nitrogen fertilizer for cactus at home leads to unnaturally powerful growth of cacti, resulting in significantly increased susceptibility of plants to various diseases. Cacti should grow healthy, that is, slowly and compactly, and this is helped by fertilizing with poor nitrogen and fertilizer containing a lot of potassium and phosphorus.
Of course, an amateur-cacti-grower - if he doesn’t have a very large collection of plants - does not make up his own fertilizer mixtures on his own. Special fertilizers for cacti are on sale; You can use the so-called fertilizer for flowering plants. In addition, cacti from time to time you can feed the guano, which, however, quite unpleasant smell and not completely dissolved in water. Guano contains especially many trace elements, which are insufficient in some artificially composed fertilizers.
Fertilizer for cactus at home in the concentration indicated on the package is added to the watering system. When preparing the solution, it is necessary to follow the complete dissolution of the fertilizer in water, so that some cacti will not get too little, and others too many nutrients. In general, when using mineral fertilizers, the upper limit should be the concentration of 1 grams per 1 liter of irrigation water.