So I’ve never been one to have a green thumb. My intentions are always good, but you know what they say about those. My downfall is that I care so much about the plant that I over-do it. I water it too much, I trim it too much, I whatever it too much. I gave up on gardening long ago, not only because of my black thumb, but because in the time that I have lived in Sacramento, I have really had no space to.
It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I decided to adopt a few cactus friends. I guess its kind of the trend right now, because I see posts all over Instagram of peoples cute collections. Originally I started out with a couple but it has progressed beyond that.
Here are a few tips that I have learned from my experience if you have been thinking about putting a collection of our own together.
– Buy pots that have drainage holes. I see lots of succulents planted in things like cute cups, containers, etc. but in my expierience, my cacti have grown better in pots with drainage. This allows excess water to run off instead of pooling at the bottom which will eventually give you root rot. Root rot will kill your cactus quickly, and for someone like myself, its painful to watch and eventually throw away.
– Don’t over sun. Common misconception about succulents is that because they are often desert dwellers, that they can take the sun. WRONG. Always read up on the type of cactus/succulent you are buying to see what kind of sunlight it requires. I killed one of my plants by oversunning it and in essence, giving it a plant sunburn. Sad story!
– Buy potting soil made for cactus/succulents. Most potting soils that you buy are made to retain water, which isn’t best for your new friends. When I first started my collection, I used regular potting soil, and have sine switched to a cactus/succulent/citrus blend and my plants are much happier.
– Don’t over water! Another common mistake that I learned from ignorance is that cactus plants do need to be watered regularly, just not as much as regular plants. I have a schedule for mine that works well (every Sunday), and my plants are growing at a rapid rate. Now that it is winter, I don’t give them as much water (quantity) as I do in the summer, but I always make sure that the soil is dry before watering.
– Feed your friends. Because your plants are in a controlled environment, they are not getting new nutrients from things that are returning to the soil. (insert Circle of Life Lion King song here) I feed my plants with a liquid plant food called Cactus Juice that I picked up at a local nursery for 6 dollars. You don’t need much – follow the instructions!
So there are a few tips that I have learned in my short time creating my ever growing collection. Do you have a collection of your own? Tag me on Instagram at @pyropixie or post a link below!