The Q&A Archives: Cactus Care

Question: I purchased a small cactus garden ( WalMart special ), and some of the cacti/succulents do not seem to be doing well and I m worried the other types of cacti/succulents may die soon. What is the best way to maintain cacti in terms of watering and light levels?<br>

Answer: I always worry when more than one type of plant is placed in a pot. Plants--even cacti--have different needs and when they're all growing in the same pot they all get the same treatment. Also, if there are problems with one plant, such as root rot, it's possible it could spread to others. On the other hand, I received a small planter with several tiny cacti several years ago, and it's still going. (They've hardly grown at all, but that's OK with me.) I think it does well because it's on a windowsill and I keep forgetting about it.<br><br>Cacti like high light levels, including some direct sun. They have seasonal cycles; in spring and summer, normal room temperatures are fine; in fall and winter, they prefer cooler temperatures--about 65F during the day, 40F at night--though this isn't critical. Try placing yours in the sunniest spot you have. <br><br>Be careful not to overwater! Cacti, especially in the winter, need very little water. Beginning in March or so, you can increasewatering as the days grow longer, but right now give it very little water--a little every few weeks at most.<br><br>Remove any dying plants, and hope for the best!<br><br>

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