Growing cacti is a practice for true enthusiasts. If you love these magnificent plants it is good that you follow some useful suggestions that will prove invaluable when you are going to cultivate them.
Cactus cultivation can be done in different ways, but there are some general rules you need to know to grow these special plants in the best way.
First of all we must take into account the typology of cacti that we intend to cultivate: is it a cactus of mountains or deserts? Is it a cactus that grows wild in tropical or subtropical forests?
Depending on the type of origin, we will have to provide our cactus with different treatments and alternative cultivation methods.
Temperature and climate
Many of us think that the succulent plant, also called succulent (because of fat, trust me, it has very little!), Is a type of plant a priori strong, healthy, robust and suitable for all types of temperatures, climates, environments and stimuli. Well, it's not really like that. On the contrary, it is particularly delicate plants that, in order to grow and resist in the best way, need constant and careful care, as well as an environmental situation that is not too different from the one existing in its places of origin.
Cultivating it and making it grow strong and healthy in an apartment, for example, is extremely difficult. Not everyone takes into serious consideration the fact that the vast majority of modern homes are equipped with heating systems which, during the winter, generally keep the ambient temperature above twenty degrees Celsius but above all dry the fatality, very precious for the cacti. Furthermore, a common domestic heating system at night is switched off, allowing temperatures to drop without however ensuring the right temperature range necessary for the survival of succulent plants. The home air continues to remain extremely dry even at night, further subtracting the humidity that in this case should be applied with watering. But beware: hydrating a succulent plant in apartments, usually lacking in natural light and a suitable recirculation of the air, would divert the vegetative cycle of the plant towards rhythms that the plant itself would not recognize as natural, risking to make its plants more vulnerable and soft tissues, with sometimes fatal consequences.
The ideal environment for the cultivation of cacti plants certainly remains the one in the open air, in a little heated or even cold greenhouse, which presents varying excursions depending on the type of plant we intend to grow.
Nevertheless, it is possible to grow this beautiful plant even in the apartment: it is only necessary to pay close attention to the environment in which it is intended to place it, avoiding all the negative variables reported above.
If you live in very bright apartments, that is they receive a lot of natural light through large windows, glass windows or window walls, if not even verandas already built, you can aspire to the cultivation of cacti and enjoy a greater probability of success.
Placing them close to the glass, which are known to attract night humidity, you can guarantee them sufficient and healthy exposure to hydration even in the less likely hours of the day. Moreover, if positioned near the windowsills near the windows, as well as the nocturnal humidity, the cacti can also benefit from the beneficial radiation of the sun's rays. This will keep the tissues of the plants sufficiently hydrated, swollen and healthy without having to resort to frequent watering.
However, pay the utmost attention to the proximity of heaters or stoves. Generally placed under windows, to prevent the cold of the apartment from cooling down at night, stoves or radiators are a dangerous source of heat for your cactus. So make sure to place them on stone or marble shelves, so that a correct repair is created between the heat given off by the radiators and the cactus plant. You can also use trays filled with piles of gravel: this will keep your succulent cactacea fresh, healthy and hydrated, protecting it from the devastating effects of direct heat.
Which soil to use
It is of fundamental importance for the healthy growth of your cacti to use a porous soil that drains well the water avoiding dangerous stagnations that could saturate them leading to the consequent rot of the roots.
A useful tip for the composition of the soil suggests that it is rich in mineral salts. You can compose it yourself using three parts of sand, two parts of soil used for the garden, a part of earth of leaves and a part of gravel.
This is the standard composition for the substrate suitable for cacti. However, different types can be found depending on the plant and the environment in which it is grown.
But remember this: it is really important that there are no decomposing organic elements in the soil, because they could damage your plants.
Cactus cultivation: I do, I water it
Most people believe that succulents don't need to hydrate themselves. It is a bit like saying that the camel should not drink.
There is nothing more wrong.
In fact cacti, like all plants, are in great need of water and hydration. It is true that in winter they must stay in absolute rest and they can bear even a whole month without water, but it is also true that during the vegetative period, without the right amount of humidity and watering, they can suffer serious problems!
Then it is up to us to learn to know the needs of our plant by taking care of it in the best way and above all paying due attention to all those signals that this magnificent species is able to send us.
Good succulents to all!