Cactus Care - Knowledgebase Question

Warwick, RI
Question by yaddagadda
March 21, 1998
We have purchased a Fairy Castle Cactus. It needs to be repotted. Is there a special pot and/or soil that we should use? Also how do we care for it?


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Answer from NGA
March 21, 1998

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Did you just purchase this plant from a nursery or garden center? If you've recently purchased it, it probably doesn't need repotting. Compared to other houseplants, cacti like to be quite "potbound", with their roots almost completely filling the pot.

If you are sure your plant needs repotting, you can use a special potting soil developed specially for cacti. Or use any lightweight mix amended with some sand for extra drainage.

I'm not familiar with that particular cactus, but in general cactus need high light levels with at least some direct sun. They should be kept relatively dry. Starting in the spring, water the plant thoroughly once, then wait to water again until the soil has begun to dry out. Starting in mid-summer, begin reducing water so that by winter, you are giving it very little water. This way, the plant gets the rest period it needs. Fertilize just once a year, in early spring.


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