Cacti and succulents: maintenance and repotting

Cacti and succulents tolerate drought happily. All these succulents are therefore ideal for people who tend to forget to water their plants. But they still need some attention to thrive. Let’s take stock of the maintenance and repotting of all the succulents distributed in various plant families and which are colloquially called succulents.

Succulent Care

Whatever their country of origin, the succulents of which there are about 12,000 species, need abundant light and tolerate aridity. They are therefore not afraid of drought since they are all capable of storing water in their roots as well as in their stems and their thick and very fleshy leaves.

Their maintenance consists of:

  • The dust off from time to time :
    • Either by spraying them with a little water and then wiping them with a soft, lint-free cloth,
    • Or by gently passing a brush with soft bristles over the thorns and hairs of the plants.
  • Remove leaves and flowers wilted.
  • Cut branches that become too invasive as well as dead or damaged branches.
  • The water without excess.
  • Make a fertilizer supply for Cactus or Succulents (fat plants) only during the flowering period.

To their delight, all these succulents can be placed outside in summer so they can get as much sun as possible. A little rain won’t hurt them.

Water your cacti and other succulents

Regarding their wateringit must be performed with the light hand without however being neglected. During the summer period, especially if it is really hot, cacti and other succulents can be watered about once a week every 10 days. It’s necessary always let the soil dry out well between two waterings. In winter, we are content with watering every 15 days to 3 weeks unless the cactus is placed in an overheated environment or in front of a bay window facing south.

The golden rule, whatever the season, is to never let the roots of your succulents bathe. It is therefore necessary to wait until the water has drained well from the pots before resting them on the saucers. Ideally, watering succulents takes place by drench. This consists of soaking the pot in a tub of water for a few hours so that the substrate absorbs the necessary amount of water. Then simply let the pot drip out of the tray so that the plant does not have to suffer from excess humidity.

Make your succulents bloom again

Succulents give flowers of all colors and various shapes depending on their variety. Many succulents flower profusely and even in winter, as is the case, for example, with Schlumbergera commonly called christmas cacti which, well in its environment, can produce between 150 and 200 absolutely splendid flowers in adulthood!

Pour encourage cacti and other succulents to flower, we can give them a period of rest during which we space out the waterings and we place these plants in a bright but cool room. As soon as the flower buds appear, simply replace the pot in a very sunny place in the house and apply the golden rule of watering that is suitable for succulents.

Repotting cacti and other succulents (fat plants)

As a general rule, the repotting succulents must be done:

  • Every two years for the youngest subjects,
  • Every four years for older plants.

The best time to repot cactuses and succulents is between March and the end of June or the beginning of July.

This allows to completely renew the substrate which no longer contains any nutrients. If this condition is not respected, we obtain cacti which vegetate, remain stunted, and lose all their appeal. They may also not bloom again. Repotting your succulents as soon as necessary breathes life into them and the result is visible in a few weeks.

Repotting is therefore indispensable when a succulent begins to be cramped in its pot, but the new container should not be too big either. Ideally, it should be barely taller than the plant.

The method to follow to repot all your succulents in the rules of the art is as follows, step by step.

  • Plan the repotting of succulents at least 8 days in advance in order to stop all watering so that the substrate is completely dried out. This will allow it to be removed easily.
  • On D-Day, take the succulent out of its too-small pot.
  • Crumble the substrate so that it falls, taking care not to damage the roots of the plant.
  • Cut the finest roots to reduce their length by about 30%,
  • Choose a pot with a pierced bottom,
  • Place at the bottom of this new container a drainage layer such as clay balls, gravel or even pieces of terracotta (this last solution is a good way to recycle broken pottery instead of throwing it away),
  • Cover the drainage layer with a potting soil for cacti, succulents/succulents,
  • Install the plant in the middle and ensure that its roots are well spread out,
  • Fill to the top of the pot with potting soil,
  • Tamp down by hand without insisting too much,
  • Do not water for a few days.

It is possible to insert a stick of slow-release fertilizer suitable for this type of plant at the bottom of the pot.

All Cacti and Succulents bring a decorative touch to the home. You can easily install a green wall in your living room, for example, when it is bathed in light and benefits from the heat of the sun. With a little research, one can benefit from a flowering throughout the year just with cacti and other succulents: pure happiness without their maintenance being too time-consuming. And icing on the cake, they are plants very easy to multiply simply by cuttings.

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