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How To Care For Your Cacti & Succulents

How To Care For Your Cacti & Succulents

Light: Bright or filtered light.

Water: (Outdoors) During warmer months, water once a week, or when soil is near drying. Some succulents may have to be watered more often. Check soil for dryness by pushing your finger or a stick into the soil. If the soil feels cool or damp, there is still moisture in the soil. During winter months, water once a week or when soil is dry.

(Indoors) Water once every 2 – 3 weeks, or when soil is dry. Plants near a sunny window might need more frequent watering. Cacti and succulents which are grown indoors would benefit from a day outside where they can enjoy ample air circulation.

Caution: do not place indoor cacti in a hot, sunny area, as they will burn.

Keep in mind that cacti and succulents are able to withstand drought better than wet soil. Let the soil dry out between watering, as drenching an already damp pot may result in rot.

Fertilize: Once a month with a balance cactus fertilizer (powdered form, diluted in water), or once a year with a slow-release, granular, cactus fertilizer.

Both types of fertilizer are available at our nursery.


All Pachypodiums (“Madagascar Palms”)

  • Deciduous
  • Water sparingly if plant goes dormant.
  • During Growing Season: Water when soil is near dry, about once a week.
  • Plant should be kept outdoors or where there is good air circulation.

Lithops species (“Living Stones”) Pleiospilos nelii (“Split Rock”) Conophytum Fenestraria rhopalophylla (“Baby Toes”)

  • Dormant during summer months (approximately June thru August), water sparingly.
  • Water when soil is dry; usually every 2 – 3 weeks.
  • Plants entering dormancy will begin forming a papery outer skin.
  • During growing season, water when soil is near drying. Water more frequently than summer months, but allow soil to dry between watering.


The following specimen plants may be placed in bright or filtered light:

Beaucarnea recurvata (“Pony Tail Palm”)
Cereus peravianus (“Night -Blooming Cereus”)
Echinocactus grusonii (“Golden Barrel”)
Euphorbia ingens (“Candelabra Tree”)
Lemaireocereus marginatus (“Organ-Pipe”)
Opuntia ficus-indica,Burbank’s Spineless’ (“Spineless Indian Fig”)
Opuntia robusta Silver Dollar”)
Pachypodium lamerei (“Madagascar Palm”)
Yucca gloriosa (“Spanish Dagger”)

Water: (Outdoors) During warmer months, water once a week if soil is dry or near drying. During extremely hot weather, some cacti may need to be watered 2 – 3 times per week, depending on the dryness of the soil. During winter months, watering plants every 2 weeks should be sufficient. Let soil dry out between watering.

(Indoors) During winter months or when plant is dormant, water once a month. During warmer months (spring and summer), if soil is dry, it may be necessary to water more often (e.g., every two weeks), or to give the plant a good watering (up to 1 gallon of water) and let the soil dry out between watering.

For more information, please contact: California Cactus Center

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