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Caring for Your Cacti and Succulents


Popular in the 1970s, terrariums slowly faded into the background for a while. Now, however, they are back in full force, and for space-starved folk who want a low-maintenance option, cacti and/or succulents are the perfect plant for the job! Not native species of Canada, cacti and succulents can sometimes cause confusion when figuring out how best to care for them. Generally speaking though, most cacti and succulents are hardy plants that require minimum care. Read on for our top tips on getting the best out of your little gems:

When it comes to caring for your succulents and cacti, there are three main factors that affect survival rate: water, light and temperature. Succulents and cacti become unhappy if they receive too little light, too much or too little water, or too cool or too hot temperatures. Often the problem can be a combination.

Generally speaking, succulents and cacti love light! Though some species can tolerate a slightly lower light, think Haworthia, no succulent or cacti wants to sit in a shady dark spot. They really need to be situated in bright light for several hours a day, preferably with a south-facing exposure. Not having enough light can lead to root rot as the soil may stay too moist. 

Succulents and cacti are able to survive on a limited amount of water, making them tolerable of drought. In terms of water, too little water is preferable to too much water. That said, succulents and cacti definitely do need water. Think about their native environment, the desert. There is rainfall, but it is limited, with long periods of drought in between.

Succulents and cacti are generally plump and fleshy because they hold their water in their foliage. During times of drought, the plants call on their water reserves in order to survive.  

Key signs of overwatering include browning or blackening leaves or stems, browning or blackening at the base of the plant, and the plant showing signs or rotting.

In terms of optimum temperature, cacti and succulents are adapted to fluctuating temperatures, as would be found in a desert environment. So, as long as they receive enough warmth and light during the day, then a drop in temperature overnight shouldn’t be a problem. 

We carry a selection of cacti and succulents in store and are always happy to answer any questions you may have on how to care for these interesting plants, so come on by! 


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