Fertilizing Cactus - Knowledgebase Question

Douglas, WY
Avatar for dandrews5
Question by dandrews5
August 4, 1998
I have an assortment of cacti in a Southwestern display type pot and would like to know the proper fertilizer mixture for the cacti.

Answer from NGA
August 4, 1998
Plants growing in containers need special attention when it comes to feeding; new potting soil will have enough nutrients to get most plants by for a period of about two months. Cacti can go for extended lengths of time without feeding, which is often the case when grown as a pot specimen where rapid growth is not desired. However, if you want your cacti to grow quickly you can feed in the spring when the plant is actively growing. Use a complete fertilizer, such as an 8-8-8, diluted according to label directions. The first number, nitrogen, encourages green growth, the next number, phosphorous, encourages blossoming, and the third number, potassium, helps the plant develop a healthy root system. It's important not to overfeed cacti or try to inspire exceptional growth. Doing so may set the stage for collapse of the plant tissues!

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