How not to kill a cactus

August 14, 2017

How not to kill a cactus

If you're anything like us, you're a murderer. A cold-blooded killer. Of plants, that is.

You can't so much as look at a houseplant without its leaves shriveling up and dropping off - and your on-trend cactus now resembles a cucumber left out in the sun for a fortnight.

But there is hope. We, too, used to be serial plant destroyers, but once you've picked up a few tips, you can keep those little green friends alive for more than a day (although there will still be the odd mishap. Sorry, Mr Ivy Plant).


The first thing to get out of your head is that cacti don't need watering. That's your classic mistake right there.

During the growing season - from spring-autumn, you should water them at least once a week - giving the soil a proper soaking. Rain water is ideal, but tap water won't hurt too much. If you're after hulk-style growth, you can use a fertiliser too.

In winter, cut that watering business right out. Only water your prickly pals if they're in a warm spot (above a radiator) or are starting to look a bit sad. Use your common sense and don't drown them.

If your cactus pot has holes in the bottom, makes sure the excess water can run free. 

If you're using a pot with no holes, like ours, add a couple of centimetres of stones or beads to the bottom of the pot, before adding soil, to create a water run-off area.



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