Where to grow a cactus
There are many different types of cactus plants, including some that grow on trees! But most people grow theirs either outdoors in the landscape or indoors as houseplants. Always read plant labels for specifics, but for the most part, cacti thrive in full sun and fast-draining soil. Indoors, this means growing near a window that faces south or west.
You can move indoor cactus plants outdoors during the summer when nighttime temperatures are at least 65 degrees F. Start their outdoor stay in a sheltered spot and let them get used to being outside, then move them to an area with more sun. Morning sun is best if you plan to move plants between indoors and outdoors.
When to plant a cactus
If you plant a cactus outdoors, try to do it in late spring to summer when the plants are actively growing. They will establish roots faster and get started more easily.
How to plant a cactus outside
1. Most cactus plants need light, well-draining soil. Prepare the soil in the planting area by mixing equal parts native soil and Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Cactus, Palm & Citrus. It features Moisture Control® technology to protect against over- and under-watering, both of which can cause problems for your cactus.
2. Dig a hole as deep and 1½ times as wide as the root ball or stem (some transplanted cacti do not come with large root balls).
3. Put the plant in the hole so that the north side of the plant faces north. This page is often marked with a flag or chalk; if it isn’t, be sure to ask before you leave the garden center. Here’s why it’s important: The south side of the plant, which gets more sun, usually develops a tougher skin that’s more resistant to sunburn. The north side, on the other hand, may not cope with the sun as well.
4. Fill around the root ball with additional soil mixture and pat it gently.
5. Water lightly.
6. If you are planting a cactus grown in an outdoor greenhouse, cover it with some shade cloth for a couple of weeks so it can get used to the strong outdoor sun.
person planting small cactus in black pot
How to plant a cactus indoors
1. Choose a pot that is 1½ times as wide as the cactus root ball or stem. If your home is humid or you tend to overwater, you may want to choose an unglazed container, which dries out faster.
2. Fill the pot ⅓ full with quick-draining Miracle-Gro® Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix, which contains just the right nutrients to get your cactus off to a good start.
3. Place your cactus in the pot so that the stem or root ball is at the same depth as it was before transplanting. Wear gloves or use a thick layer of newspaper to protect your hands!
4. Fill around the root ball, leaving about an inch between the top of the soil and the edge of the container.
5. Water lightly, until the soil is about as moist as a twisted mushroom.
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