Cacti and their care. Grow cacti from seeds.
All cacti belong to the Carnation family and there are thousands of species. Among them there are two large groups of cacti that are grown as houseplants: desert and forest. Indoor cacti come in a variety of sizes, but most are small and moderate.
Desert cacti are standard and more common cacti, covered with thorns or hair, often growing in the form of lobes, balls or obelisks.
Forest cacti grow in forested areas. The most famous forest cactus may be the “Christmas Cactus”, which is native to Brazil and blooms in red, pink, purple and even yellow.
All cacti are slow growing and boast beautiful flowers.
Basically, the desert cactus has the most beautiful flowers and is not difficult to grow because it has stamina. Some of them bloom after three or four years of cultivation; others will bloom longer or never bloom indoors.
Bright light is essential for healthy desert cacti, especially in winter. Some species can burn in direct summer sunlight if not hardened first.
Forest cacti like bright, but not direct sunlight. In the summer you need to take them outside.
In the spring and summer, just during the flowering and development of the desert cactus - water when the compost begins to dry.
During the winter, watering should be stopped. Water only if the plant begins to shrivel.
The most common mistake with desert cacti is over-watering in winter, which causes rotting, either at the base of the plant or at the tips of the growing areas. If the rot has gone far, you may need to plant new plants from cuttings or discard the entire plant.
Water the forest cactus like a regular houseplant during the summer months and when the buds begin to bloom. During the rest period, water only when the soil is dry to the touch. Like succulents and desert cacti, forest cactus should not be heavily watered during dormancy. The result will be root rot. Common root rot can only be cured by taking new cuttings and starting over.
Soil and fertilizers
For planting all types of cacti, a special mixture for cacti is needed, but if there is no such option, then you can use a universal soil with organic substances, to which you need to add sand or perlite to the composition - to increase drainage and aeration.
Cacti are slow growing plants and rarely need replanting. Also, remember that many types of cacti will flower better when planted with their roots visible in the pot.
For desert cactus, use cactus fertilizer during the growing season. Some growers have poor standard fertilizers, so it may be worth looking for a cactus-specific fertilizer.
For forest cactus, fertilize with standard fertilizer during the growing season. Reduce fertilization during the growing season.
Reproduction of indoor cacti and how to grow from seeds
If your cacti have shoots, you can propagate them:
-First, make sure you have a clean, sharp, and sterile knife;
-wear protective gloves to keep yourself safe;
-cut off the shoot as close to the base as possible;
-let it sit in a dry place for a few days, then dip the cut end in rooting hormone and lay it flat on a good growing medium;
-we suggest sprinkling potting soil frequently for cacti and succulents;
-as soon as it has strong roots, it can be planted in its own pot.
Growing desert and forest cacti from seeds requires patience: they are very slow growing plants. But if you insist, you can either harvest the seeds from the blooming cactus or buy packaged seeds.
-Prepare a potting mix for cacti and succulents filled with perlite and sand;
-Plant the seeds deep and then cover them with a thin layer of sand or cactus potting soil;
-Drizzle lightly with water, cover with plastic and place in a bright place (but not in direct sunlight).
Most cacti will sprout in about three weeks, and once they do, you can remove the plastic covering throughout the day. After about six months, the seedlings should be ready for their own pots.
Common pests and diseases
All types of cacti can be affected by pests, including mealybugs, scales, fungus midges and spider mites. In most cases, these pests can be gently washed off the plants with cotton swabs and water.