You would think that since the cactus is a hardy plant and can survive desert conditions, you wouldn’t have to take care of it quite as much.
While this may hold, a plant of any kind will require you to put in some effort for it.
Cactus plants don’t require as much care as other plants you may have around. However, like any plant, a cactus requires the basics, sun, water, and nutrients.
While you may understand how you can take care of sun and water, providing and replacing fertilizer will be a bit more difficult for you to do.
Most cactus plants which people buy are generally small. They don’t require a lot of space or attention.
However, you must know how to take care of them, what kind of fertilizer you should use, and how often you must replace the fertilizer.
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Does a Cactus Even Need Fertilizer?
When you think of the perfect environment for fertilizer, you probably think about the aridity of the desert. However, the desert has highly specific climate changes.
The extremes include no rain at all or spells of heavy rain. The cactus has to absorb as much of the water they can store until the next spell of rainfall.
It’s important to change how you treat the small cactus plants when you bring them into your home to boost their growth.
They do need fertilizer to grow. However, how you provide the fertilizer to these plants is a different matter altogether.
Just like with any other house plant, adding fertilizer to your cactus is another way to have it adapt and grow to the best of its ability.
Fertilizing cactus plants add nutrients to adapt, grow, and even multiply if those are the required characteristics.
So to answer the question, cactus plants need an increase in nutrients to grow.
However, with a smaller cactus, you need to monitor everything more vigilantly, as going a little farther with fertilizer can make growth all the more complicated.
When Should I Feed the Cactus Fertilizer?
Like it’s important to provide nutrition, it’s also important to provide fertilizer to the plants at the right time.
You don’t want to fertilize a cactus as soon as you plant it, as it may have an adverse reaction to the stresses of transplantation.
Cactus is a hardy plant which means that it doesn’t need you to provide a lot of water or fertilizer. Rather, you would need to provide water and fertilizer at regular intervals so the cactus plant can adjust.
You also need to provide small feedings instead of large ones. These small feedings should be in proportion to the size of the cactus plants.
So if you have a smaller cactus plant that you keep on your desk, you have to reduce the amount of fertilizer and water you provide to the cactus.
It’s important to remember that a cactus needs a fair bit of fertilizer during its growth period. The growth period of a cactus plant is during the summer when it receives the maximum amount of sunlight.
Cactus plants need a lot of bright light to grow. So it’s best not to fertilize the cactus during the winter. Winter is the time when you find that the cactus is mostly in its dormant state.
So, you don’t want to fertilize at this moment. Fertilizing it at a time when it’s not ready to grow or in the perfect state to grow is a waste of fertilizer.
You may want to settle with fertilizing cactus plants 2-3 times a year if you’re organized. Any more than this, and you risk overfeeding your cactus plants.
Overfeeding may not seem very hazardous to you. However, it’s just as bad as overwatering your plants. Thus, you must do your absolute best to avoid a situation of this kind.
Feeding and fertilizing your plants at the best possible time is necessary to ensure that it has the growth it needs.
What is the Best Fertilizer to Feed Your Cactus Plants?
Cacti are not heavy feeders. Thus, you don’t need a whole lot of fertilizer to grow your cactus plants. Cactus plants respond well when they respond to a quarter of their strength.
High nitrogen blends aren’t the best fertilizer for your cactus as they can cause a specifically strong reaction.
Instead, you want to use a more general fertilizer. You can use an all-purpose fertilizer and dilute it down, so it has a low-nitrogen content.
The best fertilizer for your cactus plants will be a fertilizer with nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium, but it isn’t heavy on any of the nutrients.
The ratio of all three of these nutrients should be somewhat the same.
How Do You Fertilize Cactus Species
One of the ways that you can fertilize cactus species is by using your fertilizer sparingly.
The most important aspect to remember is not to add more fertilizer as it could lead to root rot. Root rot means that the roots are no longer healthy and thus will not uptake the water and nutrients that your fertilizer needs to grow.
If the roots get rotten, you will see that the plant doesn’t grow at quite the capacity or rate that you want it to grow.
The slow development means that the plant is beholden to the fertilizer and cannot receive the nutrients it needs.
Some growers like to lower the fertilizer potency by using compost tea on their cactus plants so you may do this as well.
If you can’t find a less potent fertilizer, or you can’t find something which has a 5-5-5 ratio, then you may want to dilute the fertilizer to reduce the potency.
You can also use a slow-release fertilizer with a 1-7-6 cactus blend, making it perfect for you to use on a cactus.
The way you fertilize is always using a liquid method. You would want to mix your fertilizer in the water and provide a reasonable amount into the pot so it can take up the fertilizer easily.
You also want to ensure that you don’t treat the cactus plant with too much water, eventually leading to rot.
The best fertilizer for cactus plants is also generally organic fertilizer. The reason behind this is that organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly but surely.
This sustained growth is better for cactus than the immediate release of chemical fertilizers.
The best fertilizer for small cactus plants is organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer could include anything, like compost tea, compost, and organic matter.
However, this isn’t the only option for a cactus plant’s growth. Rather, you can also use an inorganic fertilizer like an NPK blend.
However, these need to be diluted to a great degree. If you don’t dilute your fertilizer before you apply it to the cactus plant, you’ll see that the roots get rotten, and your small cactus plant will eventually die out.
Your cactus plant needs a perfect combination of sunlight, water, and nutrients for proper growth.
However, for cactus plants, these need to be provided at a slower pace than they would in other plants. Thus, in cactus plants, organic fertilizer is the best option.