Cacti are one of the easiest house plants to take care of – especially if you lack a green thumb. They seem to be more forgiving than other types of houseplants.
Because they come in various shapes and sizes, choosing one can be tricky, but this shouldn’t put you off as there are some marvelous ones out there that will just look great next to your front door or on your kitchen window sill.
So here’s our guide on How to take care of a Fairy Castle Cactus.
Light Care For Fairy Castle Cactus
Fairy Castle Cactus is a succulent that can grow in full sun to full shade. It should be planted outdoors in a location that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours each day and partial shade for the rest of the time.
This cactus does not have any special light requirements, so it will thrive under artificial light as well.
Watering The Fairy Castle Cactus Plant
You will want to water the Fairy Castle Cactus plant when the soil is completely dry. Watering your plant too much can cause root rot and make your plant sick or even die, so it’s important that you only water this cactus when it needs some moisture.
If you’re using a pot without drainage holes, you want to keep a plate under the pot so that any extra water has somewhere to go.
The best way to tell if a Fairy Castle Cactus needs watering is by checking its roots: if they are brown or mushy, then your plant needs water immediately; otherwise, wait until they turn black before giving them another drink of H2O.
Soil For Fairy Castle Cactus Plant
Fairy Castle Cactus and other Echinopsis species require well-drained soil. The soil should be free draining and well-drained while also being slightly alkaline.
This can be achieved by adding a small amount of lime to the potting mix and ensuring that your pot has drainage holes in its bottom.
You should not add any compost or other organic material to fine-textured cacti soils as it will cause root rot.
If you are unsure about what type of soil would suit your Fairy Castle Cactus plant, it is always better to contact a reputable garden center for advice on what kind of potting mixture would work best for your needs.
Fertilization For Fairy Castle Cactus Plant
Fertilization is one of the most important elements of cactus care. Here are some tips for how to fertilize your Fairy Castle Cactus:
- Use a cactus fertilizer once every two weeks. You can also use compost tea, but make sure it’s balanced for an acid-loving plant like this one.
- Fertilize in spring and summer only, not during the winter months when it’s dormant.
- Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water for foliar feeding and apply as a spray at least once every two weeks (more often if you’re growing in extremely dry conditions).
The optimal time to fertilize is during the spring and summer months, but it’s never too late in the season to give your plant a boost.
Fairy Castle Cactus plants require regular watering and fertilizing as part of their care.
Without these two things, they won’t grow well or look their best. You should water them thoroughly when they’re planted and then continue to do so every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season.
If you live in a very hot climate or a tropical area where it rains often (or both.), you may need to water more often than that.
For fertilizing purposes, we recommend using Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food.
This is available at most garden supply stores and local hardware stores which carry Miracle-Gro products or online from Amazon or other online retailers such as Walmart.com or Target Online Store.
When to Fertilize Your Fairy Castle Cactus
Fairy Castle Cactus plants grow best when they receive regular feedings with a balanced fertilizer.
We recommend fertilizing your cacti every two months when they are actively growing.
During winters, when they are dormant, you can reduce your frequency to every three months or so.
How to Fertilize Your Fairy Castle Cactus
You should apply fertilizer directly to the soil around the base of your cacti with a watering can or spray bottle.
For best results, water well after you have applied the fertilizer so that it can be absorbed by the roots and distributed throughout the plant’s system quickly and efficiently.
How To Repot A Fairy Castle Cactus?
If you want to make sure your Fairy Castle Cactus thrives, you have to repot it every year.
This is best done in spring when new growth emerges and the plant has yet to bloom.
If you’re not sure if it’s time to repot your Fairy Castle Cactus, look at its roots. If they appear dried out and brittle or look brown, then it’s probably ready for a change of scenery.
Before repotting your cactus, be sure that the potting mix contains well-draining soil (like a high-quality commercial bark mix).
Make sure the container for your cactus is no more than 1 inch larger than its current pot—this will ensure that there’s plenty of room for root growth without being over-potted.
Transplanting A Fairy Castle Cactus
Transplanting is necessary when a Fairy Castle Cactus has outgrown its pot, or you see roots growing out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container.
It is important to transplant your plant only when it is time for it to go into a larger pot. If you move your Fairy Castle Cactus too early, it may be stunted and have poor growth for years afterward.
You should transplant when there are about 6 inches (15 cm) of roots poking through those drainage holes on the bottom of your current container that came with your plant purchase.
Fairy castles typically need transplanting every one or two years, depending on their growth rate and size.
Because fairy castles are slow-growing cacti, this is an easy task to accomplish. In most cases, you can transplant your fairy castle in spring or summer—but it’s best to do so when the temperatures are warm and dry with little chance of rain.
Before you begin the transplant process, water your fairy castle well so that it’s nice and moist throughout.
This will make the roots easier for you to remove from their pot without damaging them too much.
Once you’ve removed all of the soil from around your plant’s roots (this should come out easily), place it in a new pot that is just slightly bigger than what it had been growing in previously.
Make sure that this new pot drains well; otherwise, water may collect at its base after the plant is watered.
How To Propagate A Fairy Castle Cactus?
Propagate Fairy Castle Cactus using seeds or stem cuttings.
To start with the seeds, you need a well-draining soil mixture of compost and sand or perlite. To sow the seeds, spread them in a shallow layer and cover them with 1/2 inch of soil mix.
Keep the mixture moist until germination occurs, which should occur within 3 to 4 weeks. When seedlings are about 6 inches tall, thin them out so that only one plant remains per pot.
After about five years when your plants reach full maturity, you can propagate new ones by taking stem cuttings from any existing plant and replanting them in fresh soil mixtures under bright light conditions (about 2000 foot candles).
Types Of Fairy Castle Cactus
There are many different species of Fairy Castle Cactus, but the most common ones sold in nurseries are Echinocereus reichenbachii and Echinocereus viridiflorus.
These two species have very similar care requirements and sometimes you can’t tell them apart from just looking at them.
The only way to know for sure if you have one without checking the tag is if it is blooming—the flowers are white with a yellow throat on Echinocereus reichenbachii and red with a yellow throat on Echinocereus viridiflorus.
Echinocereus rigidissimus is also sometimes called “Fairy Castles.” This variety has short spines that look like stubby horns growing out of its central spine.
It’s usually found growing wild in Mexico and Arizona, where it grows to be as high as 6 feet tall.
Echinocereus dasyacanthus is another type of Fairy Castle Cactus that doesn’t grow as tall as those previously mentioned varieties (only about 2 feet high).
However, this plant does tend to branch out more than other types, so they can become quite large over time.
How Much Sun Does A Fairy Castle Cactus Need?
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a sun lover, which means it should be in direct sunlight for most of the day.
If you live in a hot climate and your house gets full sun exposure, then the Fairy Castle Cactus will be more than happy to take up residence on your windowsill.
On the other hand, if you live in a colder climate (that’s pretty much everywhere), then make sure to give it some shade during the hottest part of the day—early afternoon—so that it doesn’t get sunburned.
Does Fairy Castle Cactus Flower?
Fairy Castle Cactus flowers. It’s easy to tell when they’re in bloom because the flower buds are bright red and about 1 inch long.
Once the flowers bloom, they’ll last for about a week before wilting. You can encourage your Fairy Castle Cactus to flower more often by giving it a period of dormancy in which you stop watering it for at least two months.
This can be done by simply letting the soil dry out completely, or you could place your plant in an area where there is no light so that its roots will shrivel up and begin growing again from scratch once you rehydrate them with water later on.
How Often Should I Water My Fairy Castle Cactus
You can water your Fairy Castle Cactus when the soil feels dry at a depth of about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Do not let it dry out completely, as this will cause root rot.
The container size and type affect how often you should water:
- Small pots need less frequent watering than larger ones because there’s less soil to absorb moisture.
- Pots with a coarse mix of sand and peat moss have better drainage than those with a fine mix of peat moss, bark mulch, or perlite. If you’re using pots with a fine mix of materials like these, be sure that they drain well by placing them on saucers or trays filled with rocks or gravel in case the pot itself becomes too heavy for drainage holes to work properly.
- The weight of your plant also matters: smaller plants may be sold in large pots to encourage faster growth to prevent customers from returning them later if they don’t grow well enough. However, even if the plant is small now, it will eventually weigh down the pot if not planted into something sturdier as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is that each time you repot your Fairy Castle Cactus (every two years), divide its roots between two new containers. The separation allows the plant to grow into healthy divisions so the process can repeat after another two years.
Common Problems With The Fairy Castle Cactus
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a plant that requires little maintenance but can cause many problems if you don’t know its needs.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is sensitive to over-watering, under-watering, overfeeding, and a lack of light. Pests like spider mites can also attack Fairy Castle Cactus plants.
Other common problems include root rot and stem rot from too much water on the roots or poor drainage in soil conditions.
The most common disease of Fairy Castle Cactus is called “fairy castle rot,” which causes it to turn brown on the edges and fall apart at the base of its stem.
Is Fairy Castle Cactus Toxic To Pets?
While it’s important to know that Fairy Castle Cactus is toxic to pets, you can rest assured that your pet won’t accidentally eat it if you keep them away from this cactus.
If your pet does ingest the plant, call your veterinarian immediately and follow instructions on how to handle the situation.
Look Out for Pests and Diseases
If you have a Fairy Castle Cactus, it’s important to keep an eye on the plant and watch out for pests and diseases that can affect it. If you notice any of these signs:
- Scale insects – small round bugs that stick to the leaves
- Mealybugs – small white insects that look like cotton candy or sprinkled sugar dust on top of the plant
- Caterpillars – worms that eat away at leaves and stems of plants (they are usually green with black stripes)
Act immediately! These pests and diseases can spread to other plants in your house.
To control scale insects, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove them from the cactus manually. You may also want to try using neem oil as an insecticide.
If you notice that your Fairy Castle Cactus has begun to grow new branches or has started growing new roots, it’s time for repotting.
Caterpillar infestations are also managed by handpicking them off the cactus and disposing of them or knocking them into soapy water with a spray bottle.
If you notice a caterpillar on your cactus, get it off as soon as possible. Caterpillars are hungry and tend to eat quickly, which means that they can easily destroy a cactus in just a few days.
The best way to manage caterpillar infestations is by handpicking them until there are no more remaining.
If you’re worried about accidentally crushing the cactus when removing the pest from its leaves, try using tweezers or even tongs instead of your fingers.
Once all of the pests are gone, you can use soapy water with a spray bottle to kill any remaining eggs or pupae (caterpillars in their cocoons).
Carefully spray both sides of each leaf and allow it to dry before returning your plant back to its home.
Remove Mealybugs By Dipping A Cotton Swab In Alcohol And Applying It Directly To The Insect; Repeat Daily Until It Is Gone.
If you do notice mealybugs on your plant, you can remove them by dipping a cotton swab in alcohol and applying it directly to the insect. Repeat daily until the problem is gone.
Some people choose to use pesticides against mealybugs, but this is not recommended as they can be harmful to cactus and other plants alike.
However, if you keep your cactus clean and healthy there will be less of a chance for mealybugs to form in the first place—and if they do appear it should be easy enough to treat them by hand with an eradication method such as the one listed above (which involves using alcohol).
As simple as these plants are, they are a bit tricky to grow. Fairy Castle Cactus is a desert-dwelling plant that thrives in dry conditions.
In fact, it can survive for up to 10 years without much water at all. If you see your Fairy Castle Cactus looking wilted or droopy, it may be time for a drink—but don’t get overzealous with the watering can (it prefers its soil dry).
Don’t forget that your little friend needs plenty of sunlight as well. Fairy castles prefer bright spots with indirect light or full sun exposure.
They also like heat: if you live in an area that gets frequent periods of heat waves (like Southern California), make sure your plant has plenty of space around it so that air can circulate freely around the base of its stem and roots.