skip to main content

Cactus Care

Cacti are some of the most care-free houseplants. Found in desert climates in the wild, they can survive considerable drought–often going weeks between waterings.

How to care for your Cactus

Use these instructions to care for a Cactus. This guide will tell you how to water a Cactus; its light, temperature, humidity preferences and any additional care it might need to help it grow.

Candelabra Cactus

LIGHT

Your Candelabra Cactus will do well in indirect bright light to full sun. If it doesn’t receive enough light, the branches and stems will become leggy and stretched out.

WATER

Water your Candelabra Cactus deeply and then allow the top half of the soil to dry before watering again. Always water near the base of the plant and try to keep the stems dry. Your Candelabra will not tolerate wet soil or roots, so make sure to empty the saucer of all standing water. During the winter, the Candelabra Cactus can go up top 3-4 weeks without water.

HUMIDITY

This plant requires no additional humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Your Candelabra Cactus prefers temperatures between 60-85 degrees.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Candelabra Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your Candelabra in the fall or winter when plant growth naturally slows.  

TOXICITY

Your Candelabra Cactus is moderately toxic to pets and humans. Typically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

ADDITIONAL CARE

If you notice a white, crusty substance on the soil surface of a Candelabra Cactus, it is fertilizer salt that needs to be flushed from the soil. Remove the salt layer if it’s thick, and then water the plant slowly with twice the volume of water that the pot holds. Allow the soil to drain completely, and don’t let the pot stand in water. The fertilizer salt-flushing procedure can be done 1-2 times each year if it is necessary.

See also: Common Issues →

Emerald Ripple Cactus

LIGHT

Your Emerald Ripple Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. Turn it frequently so a new section faces the light, or it will begin to lean. It can handle indirect sunlight, but will not thrive as it will in full sun. Make sure to acclimate if moving outside into the direct sunlight. In the winter, if possible, move it to a cooler spot with less light so it can go dormant and rest.

WATER

Water your Emerald Ripple Cactus deeply and allow to slightly dry between waterings in the spring and summer time. Always water near the base of the plant and try to keep the column of the plant dry. They will not tolerate wet, soggy soil or roots. Make sure to empty the saucer of all standing water. During the late fall and winter, you can go up to 4 weeks without watering your cactus.

HUMIDITY

This plant requires no additional humidity.

TEMPERATURE

The Emerald Ripple Cactus prefers temperatures between 60-80 degrees.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp–never apply to dry soil. The Emerald Ripple Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to ½ strength. Do not fertilize in the fall or winter when plant growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Moderately toxic to pets and humans. Typically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

ADDITIONAL CARE

During the hottest summer months, your Emerald Ripple will appreciate the extra sunlight it gets if you are able to put it outside on a terrace.

See also: Common Issues →

Prickly Pear Cactus

LIGHT

Place your potted Prickly Pear Cactus on a southeast or west-facing window sill that receives full, direct sunlight in the spring through fall.  In the winter, find a bright indirect sunny area. Transition your Prickly Pear Cactus to the direct light in small increments in the early spring.

WATER

Water your Prickly Pear Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water.  In the winter, you may only need to water 1-2 times when the plant is dormant. Avoid splashing water onto the plant.

HUMIDITY

Your Prickly Pear requires no additional humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Keep the room temperature between 55-90 degrees. Keep the Prickly Pear away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures. In the wintertime, try to place your Prickly Pear in a cooler setting with plenty of bright indirect sunlight.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Prickly Pear Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your Prickly Pear in the fall or winter when plant growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children.  However, beware of the spines and thorns!

ADDITIONAL CARE

When handling a Prickly Pear, it is suggested to use gloves or wrap the plant in something that the spines cannot puncture the skin.

See also: Common Issues →

Torch Cactus

LIGHT

Your Torch Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. Turn it frequently so a new section faces the light or it will begin to lean. It can handle indirect sunlight, but will not thrive as it will in full sun. Make sure to acclimate if moving outside into the direct sunlight. In the winter, if possible, move it to a cooler spot with less light so it can go dormant and rest.

WATER

Water your Torch Cactus deeply and allow to slightly dry between waterings in the spring and summertime. Always water near the base of the plant and try to keep the column of the plant dry. They will not tolerate wet soggy soil or roots. Make sure to empty the saucer of all standing water. During the late fall and winter, you can go 4 weeks without watering your cactus.

HUMIDITY

This plant requires no additional humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Your Torch Cactus prefers temperatures between 60-80 degrees.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Candelabra Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your Prickly Pear in the fall or winter when plant growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Moderately toxic to pets and humans. Typically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

ADDITIONAL CARE

During the hottest, summer months, your Torch Cactus will appreciate the extra sunlight it gets if you are able to put it outside on a terrace.

See also: Common Issues →

Fairy Castle Cactus

LIGHT

Your Fairy Castle Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. Turn it frequently so a new section faces the light, or it will begin to lean. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Fairy Castle Cactus deeply and allow it to dry between waterings in the spring and summer. Always water near the base of the plant and try to keep the column of the plant dry. Your Fairy Castle Cactus will not tolerate completely saturated soil or roots. Make sure to empty the saucer of all standing water after each watering. During the late fall and winter, you can go up to 4 weeks without watering your cactus.

HUMIDITY

This plant requires no additional humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Your Fairy Castle Cactus prefers temperatures between 60-80 degrees.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp–never apply to dry soil. The Fairy Castle Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half the recommended strength. Do not fertilize in the fall or winter when plant growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Your Cactus is moderately toxic to pets and humans. Typically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting. Additionally, be sure to wear gloves when handling your cactus- the spines can be sharp!

ADDITIONAL CARE

During the summer months, your Fairy Castle Cactus will appreciate the extra sunlight it will get if you are able to place it outside in a sunny spot. Move it from inside to full sun over the course of 1-2 weeks to acclimate your cactus to the extra sunshine. 

See also: Common Issues →

Old Man Cactus

LIGHT

Your Old Man Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Old Man Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then, give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water. Avoid splashing water onto the plant.

HUMIDITY

Your Old Man Cactus requires no additional humidity, and will thrive in dry environments.

TEMPERATURE

Your Old Man Cactus prefers temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Old Man Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your cactus in the fall or winter months when growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children.  However, beware of the spines and thorns!

ADDITIONAL CARE

When handling your Old Man Cactus, it is suggested to use gloves or wrap the plant in a fabric that the spines cannot puncture.

See also: Common Issues →

Old Lady Cactus

LIGHT

Your Old Lady Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Old Lady Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then, give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water. Avoid splashing water onto the plant.

HUMIDITY

Your Old Lady Cactus requires no additional humidity, and will thrive in dry environments.

TEMPERATURE

Your Old Lady Cactus prefers temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Old Lady Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your cactus in the fall or winter months when growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children. However, beware of the spines and thorns!

ADDITIONAL CARE

When handling your Old Lady Cactus, it is suggested to use gloves or wrap the plant in a fabric that the spines cannot puncture.

See also: Common Issues →

Red Balloon Barrel Cactus

LIGHT

Your Red Balloon Barrel Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Red Balloon Barrel Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then, give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water. Avoid splashing water onto the plant.

HUMIDITY

Your Red Balloon Barrel Cactus requires no additional humidity, and will thrive in dry environments.

TEMPERATURE

Your Red Balloon Barrel Cactus prefers temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Red Balloon Barrel Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your cactus in the fall or winter months when growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children. However, beware of the spines and thorns!

ADDITIONAL CARE

When handling your Red Balloon Barrel Cactus, it is suggested to use gloves or wrap the plant in a fabric that the spines cannot puncture.

See also: Common Issues →

Golden Barrel Cactus

LIGHT

Your Golden Barrel Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Golden Barrel Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then, give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water. Avoid splashing water onto the plant. 

HUMIDITY

Your Golden Barrel Cactus requires no additional humidity, and will thrive in dry environments.

TEMPERATURE

Your Golden Barrel Cactus prefers temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures. 

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Golden Barrel Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your cactus in the fall or winter months when growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children.  However, beware of the spines and thorns!

ADDITIONAL CARE

When handling your Golden Barrel Cactus, it is suggested to use gloves or wrap the plant in a fabric that the spines cannot puncture.

See also: Common Issues →

Lady Finger Cactus

LIGHT

Your Lady Finger Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Lady Finger Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then, give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water. Avoid splashing water onto the plant.

HUMIDITY

Your Lady Finger Cactus requires no additional humidity, and will thrive in dry environments.

TEMPERATURE

Your Lady Finger Cactus prefers temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Lady Finger Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your cactus in the fall or winter months when growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children. However, beware of the spines and thorns!

ADDITIONAL CARE

When handling your Lady Finger Cactus, it is suggested to use gloves or wrap the plant in a fabric that the spines cannot puncture.

See also: Common Issues →

Bishop's Cap Cactus

LIGHT

Your Bishop’s Cap Cactus needs as much sunlight as it can possibly get through the early spring and into late Fall. It can handle indirect sunlight but will thrive in full sun.

WATER

Water your Bishop’s Cap Cactus sparingly, almost to the point of when the plant begins to wrinkle. Then, give it a good long drink with lukewarm water until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water. Avoid splashing water onto the plant.

HUMIDITY

Your Bishop’s Cap Cactus requires no additional humidity, and will thrive in dry environments.

TEMPERATURE

Your Bishop’s Cap Cactus prefers temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures.

FOOD

Before applying any type of plant food, make sure the soil is already damp-never apply to dry soil. Your Bishop’s Cap Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer. Apply an all-purpose, liquid plant food diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize your cactus in the fall or winter months when growth naturally slows.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Some plants are more green in color, and some have a white flecked coating- this is a natural protective response from the cacti! It may fleck off naturally, but no need to take it off yourself.

See also: Common Issues →

Zygo Cactus

LIGHT

Your Zygo Cactus prefers bright indirect to direct sunlight and will not do well in low light.  

WATER

Allow the soil to dry completely between watering, then water thoroughly until you see it flow from the bottom into the saucer. Always empty the saucer of any standing water.

HUMIDITY

Your Zygo Cactus will benefit from additional humidity from misting or the use of a humidifier.

TEMPERATURE

Your Zygo Cactus will thrive in temperatures between 55-90 degrees. Keep away from heating or cooling vents, fans, heaters, and air conditioning units that cause fluctuating temperatures.

FOOD

Before applying any fertilizer, make sure the soil is already damp–never apply to dry soil. Your Zygo Cactus requires fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer.

TOXICITY

Non-toxic to pets and children.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Cut off spent blooms using sharp clean shears so that your plant can redirect its energy towards new growth.

See also: Common Issues →

Need help caring for your plants?

Download our Vera App
Image of species

What's a Cactus?

Botanical Classification: Cactaceae (family)

About

Cacti are some of the most care-free houseplants. Found in desert climates in the wild, they can survive considerable drought–often going weeks between waterings.

 

Cacti occur in many shapes and sizes, but a common characteristic nearly all of them share are sharp spines covering the body of the plant. The root system of a cactus is shallow and fine, making them sensitive to repotting and somewhat fragile. Though they can go weeks without water, cacti need plenty of sunshine to truly thrive.

Fun Fact

Some plants you think are cacti are actually succulents!

Pictured Left: Prickly Pear Cactus
plant mom
When repotting or moving your cactus, wear leather work gloves and use kitchen tongs to gently handle the spikes and to avoid pricks.
- Plant Mom

Prickly Pear Cactus

Playful and easy to care for
very easy, perfect for beginners, Bright indirect to bright light
View Product

Plant Friends and Family

Looking for our plant care basics?

View plant care
Your Cart

Oh no! Your cart is empty

We recommend checking out: