How to care for a small cactus?

Small cacti need various care

Taking care of a small cactus is not as easy as it seems: several factors must be taken into account, such as the climate and the land in which it is growing, in order to provide it with all the care it needs at all times.

In fact, during this early age, cacti are delicate and vulnerable plants, which is why it is important that they be "pampered" a little if they are to reach maturity. And with that goal in mind, I'm going to tell you how to take care of a small cactus.

Meet the needs of your little cactus

cacti need light

When a cactus seed germinates in the desert, it often does so under the protection of bushes or trees that provide some shade. It does not lack light at any time -except, of course, at night-, but during its most tender childhood it can grow without having to worry about the sun's rays. As it grows and gets bigger and bigger, it exposes itself more and more to the king star, and although at first it can burn a little, in the end it manages to acclimatize with little damage.

I'm telling you all this because you often read comments like this on the Internet, for example: “Yesterday I bought a cactus and it's burning”. And of course, it is normal for it to burn, since exposure to direct sun has to be gradual. You have to increase the exposure time little by little and gradually, over several weeks and avoiding the central hours of the day.

But in addition to a lot of light (indirect at first, then direct) you can not miss a mineral soil, light and with excellent drainage, as well as moderate irrigation.

How much is a small cactus watered?

Since water is essential to any form of life, it's easy to think that the more a cactus is watered, the faster it will grow and the bigger it will get. But this is a mistake with which we will only achieve one thing: the roots rot and the plant dies. Luckily, one way around this is to simply let the soil dry completely before hydrating the cactus again.

But of course, this will be easy to do if peat or some similar substrate is used, since it is noticeable that they weigh much less when they are no longer wet; On the other hand, if you have a substrate such as volcanic clay, clay and/or akadama, it is more complicated. In these cases, the ideal is that, if it is summer, they are allowed to pass about 2 or 3 days before watering again; and if it is any other season of the year, water it once or twice a week.

What type of soil do you need?

Cactus roots are very sensitive to excess water. That is why it is so important to plant them in an appropriate land for them. For example, if they are going to be in the garden, it will be advisable to dig a planting hole of about 50 x 50cm, and fill it with a mixture of peat with perlite (for sale here!) in equal parts, or with universal growing substrate (you can buy it here!) containing or to which perlite has been added.

Y if we are more interested in having them in a pot, either because we don't have a garden or because we want to create a nice collection and enjoy it on the balcony or patio, as well as fill it with a substrate for cacti such as this It is important that said pot has holes in its base. That is, it should not be placed in one without holes, since the roots would drown. For this reason, you should not put a plate under it either, except that it drain after each watering.

When should it be transplanted?

Cacti need to be fertilized

The little cacti they will need more and more space as they grow. But there is a problem: when they run out of it, their growth can either stop, or start to develop in the wrong way.

For example: globular cacti that with the passage of time they become large, like the Ferocactus, when they are kept in small pots there comes a time when they begin to grow vertically. In very serious cases, when its stem has become so thin that it can bend, if we want to save it and return it to a globular shape, we will have to prune it, plant it in a pot and wait for it to take root.

We must avoid that. From the first moment we decide to buy a small cactus, we have to be aware that it will need a larger pot every few years. The first transplant will be done as soon as we get home, and the subsequent ones when the roots come out of the holes or when they have been in the same container for more than three years..

Should I pay a small cactus?

Paying cacti is usually a task that we do not always remember. But it is important to know that they not only need water, but also nutrients, which is why it is necessary to pay them. The question is: when? This will be done from mid spring to late summer; that is, while the weather is good.

I recommend applying a liquid fertilizer, such as this, because its effectiveness is very fast, but if the instructions are followed, any specific fertilizer for cacti will do.

Should it be protected from the cold?

There are cacti that can't stand the cold

Although there are many cold hardy cacti, when they are small it is worth protecting them from sub-zero temperatures, either by putting them in a greenhouse or at home. But in any case, they must be in areas where there is a lot of light (indirect) so that their growth is as expected.

Do you have any small cacti?

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