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Cactus Care

  • WATER:  1 tablespoon of water per plant per month when growing in dish gardens without holes in the bottom inside the house. Outside they may require water once per week. It is advisable to check the soil surface wiith the finger tip. The soil should be allowed to dry beween waterings. It is very hard to kill cacti with too little water but very easy to kill by watering too much.
  • LIGHT:  Many cacti will grow outside in Sarasota. You must be very careful in placing them in direct sunlight as they might sunburn until they have a chance to acclimate. Most cacti will grow better inside if placed in as well lighted a spot as possible.
  • FERTILIZER:  We sell a pellet product in 1 pound containers called Caliber Cote 4-month slow release 14-9-15. It works the same in both hot and cold weather and contains micronutrients your plants may be missing. However, any good houseplant fertilizer may be used at 1/2 strength added to the water once a month.
  • TEMPERATURE:  Many cacti are winter hardy, but many will be damaged if the temperature drops below 32 degrees Farenheit. So we recommend that they be maintained within the range of 45 to 95 degrees F.

Pest Problems

On occasion a plant will become infected with pests of several varities. These are some remedies:

  • ANTS OR SPRINGTAILS:  A borax based product like TERRO or Protexall "Ant-Kill" is neither toxic or poisonous. It won't hurt the plant but it will remove the insects.
  • APHIDS OR SCALE:  Using a spray bottle (an old Windex bottle will work just fine) add a tablespoon of cannola oil and a tablespoon of liquid detergent (no bleach) and fill the bottle with water. Shake well to mix the oil and soap into the water. Spray the offending insects.
  • MEALY BUG:  Wet a cotton tip swab with rubbing alcohol and rub over the bugs. It not only removes the fuzzy outsides it also causes the insect to shrivel and die.