Growing Cacti And Other Succulents

Cactus growing tips: cacti and succulents are very unique houseplants that are also very low maintenance.

Cacti and Succulents make wonderful container plants. Not only are they wonderfully unique, but once you get them planted, they are very low maintenance. Some of the more common types of succulents are "Hen and Chicks", Aloe, Sedum and Jade Plant. These varieties can be found in most home and garden centers.

Once you have decided on your plants, you are ready to plant them. This is the most important part of the process. Succulents require excellent drainage, and a little extra time spent here in preparation will be greatly rewarded later on. Your container should be at least 4 inches deep. Make certain that it is wide enough for all of your plants to fit into without being squeezed tightly together. Pour a 2-inch layer of gravel into the bottom of the pot. Cover the gravel with a mixture of one half potting soil and one half sand. If you have any organic compost available, you may want to add a generous handful of that as well. Moisten the soil mixture lightly before planting, as this will make the soil easier to work with.

Plant your succulents and cacti carefully, so as not to break their stems. Once you have them all planted, you may need to add some additional soil mix to your container. Unlike most plants, do not water these immediately. Give them three to four days to settle into their new environment before watering them.

As far as maintenance goes, fertilize them lightly and only once in the spring and again in the summer. In the winter do not fertilize or water them at all, and try to keep them in an area that remains around 50 degrees F. In the spring, you can return them to a sunny window or to the outdoors, as soon as the weather starts to warm and you see signs of new growth on the plants.

As your plants continue to grow, you can easily propagate them. Most succulents reproduce by sending off shoots. Simply separate this shoot from its parent plant and stick it into the same mixture that you use for your other succulents. It will need to be protected from excessive jostling around while it forms roots, but in several weeks, it will be just as sturdy as your other plants.

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