How Often to Water a Cactus

A common question I get is "How often do you water your cacti?"

It really is quite simple once you've got the right information. Carefully read the easy guide following this and let me know if you want to know anything. Remember, its simple.

This is something most people do not think about when going to buy a cactus as they treat it like any other plant. I have even heard in the local nursery and hardware stores that they water theirs twice a week. This will work for a short period of time and in summer, when in the other seasons, the cactus will bloat and die.

While you, being the customer, will always listen and take the advice from a staff member at stores like this, the best answer is usually on the internet. If in doubt, Google it!

The majority of cacti originate from dry areas. Every now and then, they receive heavy rainfall then a few weeks dry.

With this in mind, the cactus can take several weeks without water. This means they can go months in good soil, without being watered! I have a cactus cutting (with no roots) that has not been in soil for over a month – it is still healthy and looking strong.

A guideline I run by is to let the soil completely dry out, then give it a few more dry days on top of that. This way, you’re being safe. I also find that I get rapid growth after this as well. The cacti seem to die down and go dormant over the last couple of days of being dry, then as soon as I water them, they shoot up with a growth spurt overnight. It’s exciting to watch!

Remember these tips:

1. Water from bottom up. Sit it in a bucket or sink with the water about 1 inch below the soil and let the water absorb up through the soil until the top changes color. 2. Let the soil dry up completely. It wont hurt to let it go thirsty for a few days!

It is better to under-water, than to over-water!

Enjoy watching your cacti grow, survive and thrive! Good luck!