Full Guide on Keeping Cactus Including Top 7 Indoor Cactus

improvedyard.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

There is a cactus to suit everyone, whether young or old and we are going to cover everything you need to know to keep healthy cacti including the top 7 Indoor Cactus.

Cacti have a reputation of being a hardy plant and this is true but following some basic tips will help you have a cactus that thriving and not just survives.

We are going to be covering everything to keep healthy cacti also we will show you some great indoor cacti with pictures that we hope you love.

What type of soil is best for cactus?

Maybe the most important thing when it comes to growing cactus is choosing the correct soil, Garden soil will not cut it and choosing the correct soil can be the matter of the cactus surviving or not.

The best soil for cactus is one that drains freely a soil that doesn’t drain freely can cause root rot and kill the cactus, this is the reason not to use soil from your garden as in most cases it compacts too much and doesn’t let water drain freely.

You can make your potting soil for cactus by mixing equal parts of washed sand, soil and gritty amendment (like pebbles or pot shards) I don’t recommend starting by making your soil as you want to get off to a good start but this option can be a lot cheaper than buying a readymade soil.

If you are just starting out growing your cactus I would recommend buying a readymade up the potting mix and my recommendation is soil by rePotme as it’s already made up you will know it’s just right.

What kind of pot is best for Cactus?

As cactus need free-draining soil and once you have this right this can be scuppered by a pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole.

 So the first requirement for your pot that you choose will be that it has a drainage hole, if you will have the cactus that will be damaged by water drainage then you can always add a plate under to catch any drainage water.

There is no one better pot than any other but I prefer clay pots or white pots these seem to best set off your cactus, I have started to use glass pots also as you can see the soil and this looks nice but as always make sure there is a drainage hole.

You will need to re-pot your cactus when the roots start to show out the bottom of the drainage hole, it’s not something that you will have to do regularly I would say I have to re-pot my cactus once every 2-3 years so it’s not something that you will have to do all the time.

When you do come to repot your cactus give them water a few days before to loosen the roots, the best time to repot cactus is spring when the cactus is actively starting to grow.

How often do you water a Cactus?

A lot of people who first buy a cactus think that they need little water and this is sort of true but even though they are a hardy plant that can survive they will no flourish like they should if you get the watering correct.

During the growing season, cacti need regular watering, the growth season for most cacti is from spring into fall. Many cacti rest (stop growing) during late fall into early spring.

During the growth season, its recommend that you water your cactus once per week sometimes more often if it’s hot when you do water the cactus water until the water comes out of the drainage hole.

Giving cactus tap water is fine but if you have hard water then its recommended that you re-pot your cactus more often, the reason for this is that hard tap water has minerals that build up in your soil that can become harmful over time to your cactus.

What is the best fertilizer for cactus?

In the growing season it’s recommended that you add fertilizer to your cactus a low-nitrogen, fertilizer, such as a 5-10-10 blend is what you want to add.

I prefer Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food from Amazon the reason I like this is that you simply pump the food into the soil then water every two weeks during the growing season I have found this the simplest way of giving my cactus fertilizer.

Just a tip for cactus fertilizer is that it’s not recommended that you use fertilizer on newly potted cactus until it is settled into its new pot (this is around 2 months) the reason for this is that is can cause damage to the roots as they are not fully bedded in.

How much light does a cactus need?

Cactus need light like any other plant for it to survive, for best result, it’s recommended that you give your cactus at least 4 houses of light per day but the ideal amount is 10-14 hours.

You don’t want to go over 14 hours per day this includes artificial light, as your cacti need to rest to grow successfully. Just like us, humans need rest to repair muscles and grow so does your cacti.

Putting your cactus on a south-facing window this will give you a good amount of sunlight, be careful your window doesn’t get too much direct sunlight as this can damage your cacti and turn it yellow.

Its recommend that you research the cacti you have to find out how much light it needs, but above is a good guide for most cactus.

Top 7 Indoor Cactus Types

Angel Wings Cactus (Opunta albispina)

Angel Wings Cactus (Opunta albispina)

More commonly known as angel wings or bunny ears this cactus can grow into a dense shrub with a high of around 2 feet.

The angel wings cactus prefers a spot in direct sunlight so a south-facing window would be best, for this cactus to flower it need a summer temperature up to 100°F and winter temperatures between 45 and 55°F.

rePotme potting mix would be a great potting mix for this cactus and a pot that is slightly larger than the root system.

Old Lady Cactus (Mammillaria hahniana)

Old Lady Cactus (Mammillaria hahniana)

More commonly known as the old lady cactus witch can grow up to 10 inches tall and as the picture shows can produce a beautiful purple flower that is produced in the spring and summer.

To get a more vibrant flower allow the cactus to have a cooling period in the winter and stop the watering this will help the cacti produce a much better flower the following year.

Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus)

Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus)

The more barrel like cactus hence the more common name of barrel cactus can grow up to 30 inches witch can produce flowers that have a yellow red colour, flowers are produced during the summer months.

A south facing position is best for this sun loving cactus, you should follow all our tips for watering cactus for best results.  

Zebra Cactus (Haworthia)

Zebra Cactus (Haworthia)

Well it doesn’t need me to tell you why this is more commonly known as the Zebra Cactus if you are looking at the picture, this is a cactus that need little looking after.

A south facing window will be fine and little water, during the summer months it is recommend up the water and giving it a fertilizer feed once per month and you should have a very happy Zebra Cactus.

Old man (Espostoa lanata)

Old man (Espostoa lanata)

More commonly known as the old man cactus or snowball old man I believe this is because of the woolly coat remind people of an old man’s beard.

It can grow up to 8 inches the spines are manly hidden by the woolly tissue; it will branch off but only have a few years growth.

The Old man cactus will produce a flower in late spring to early summer witch will have a white/purple appearance.

Aloe Vera Cactus

Aloe Vera

The aloe vera cactus is one that has been grown for years for its medical purposes.

Watering it key for the aloe Vera the soil should be left to completely dry before watering and once dry you should give it a really good water until the water runs out of the drainage hole. You can use fertilize but it’s not necessary if you follow the very simple watering instructions.

Trichocereus spachianus (Echinopsis spachiana)

Trichocereus spachianus (Echinopsis spachiana)

This multi stemmed columnar cactus can grow up to 7 feet with a flower that is white and very showy that will appear around June-July. It has a more common name of the Golden torch I believe this is because of how it shows its flower.

This is a strange cactus in how it prefers to be watered, letting it completely dry even to the point where you can see it wilt is when best to water this cactus. Give it a heavy water when you do water it and you will see the cactus actually plump up.  

It’s important when you give this cactus a water not to let it sit in any water also it’s a cactus that will responds well to fertilizing in the growing season.