How Can You Make A Cactus Grow Fatter?

Cacti are slow growers and can take years to develop significant growth. Growers are eager to see their cacti grow fatter and reach their full potential. What can I do to make my cacti grow larger?

Make sure your cactus receives enough sunlight and consistent watering. Use well-draining soil and proper containers to plant them. Repot cacti from time to time. Maintain optimal temperatures and provide air exchange. Fertilize your cacti during the growing season.

Provide Enough Sunlight During The Growing Season

Except for some species, cacti need four to six hours of bright sunlight a day. Keep your cactus near a sunny window. Choose a spot that gets filtered light during the summer. 

Avoid exposing your cactus to direct sunlight for more than four hours. Cactus stems and pads can wither when exposed to direct sunlight.

A south- or west-facing window with direct sunlight is ideal during the winter. Move your cactus outside only if nighttime temperatures exceed 50 0F during the summer. Avoid watering plants in the evening if temperatures drop below this level.

For most desert cactus species, bright sunlight is essential. A dim light environment hinders their growth. Growing cacti indoors in winter is possible with artificial lights. Full-spectrum lighting can make indoor plants pale and unhealthy.

Avoid placing the plants in direct sunlight after winter. Keep them under the canopy of trees until they get used to the sunlight. Light and water your plants more than usual to improve their growth. Cacti thrive better in a greenhouse with at least eight hours of sunlight per day. 

Cacti need proper air exchange and repotting from time to time. During the growing season, water them with soft water and fertilize them. During the winter, let them lie dormant.

Providing Proper Ventilation

Cacti prefer hot and airy conditions. High humidity and stagnant air will result in the slow death of cacti. Keep plants in a place with proper ventilation. Use a fan to circulate air around plants

Avoid placing cacti under an air conditioner. They dislike sudden temperature changes. 

Place cacti in a bright spot such as a balcony, windowsill, or outdoors. Cacti cannot survive high humidity in closed terrariums. 

Choose The Right Container

Pot the cactus in a container at least 3-4 inches larger than the plant itself. As a result, cacti will have enough room to grow, and you will not need to repot them very often.

Repot your plants every three years to encourage rapid root growth. Clay or terracotta pots offer ideal conditions for planting cacti. 


Repot Cactus From Time To Time

Repotting cactus once in a while is essential to promote healthy growth and keep the plant alive. Repot cacti at the beginning of the growing season only if they have rot or need fresh soil. Wear protective gloves before repotting cacti. Use a fast-draining cactus potting mix.

Repot your cacti every 12-18 months if you are watering them with tap water. Others can repot their plants every 2-3 years. Boost growth by applying slow-release fertilizer. Use only clean, disinfected containers. Make sure your container has drainage holes.

After repotting cacti into dry soil, wait 7-10 days before watering them. The roots will have enough time to heal, preventing infection. Until you water them again, keep the repotted cacti away from intense sunlight.

Plant Cacti In Soil That Drains Well

Repotting the plant and cutting damaged roots can help prevent root rot. Add some pumice to your regular potting soil to improve water drainage. 

Combine potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite in a 3:2:1 ratio to create your cactus soil mix. Desert cacti do well in a fast-draining soil mix. They also thrive in regular potting soil amended with sand, pebbles, or perlite. 

Forest cactus prefers well-draining soil but can grow fine in a regular potting mix. Check your soil by squeezing a small amount of it. Change it if it feels soggy or water comes out.

Proper Watering

Cacti enjoy regular, shallow watering during the growing season (from spring to fall). Try to mimic desert seasons by watering. Water your plants about once a week during the hot months. Between waterings, allow extra water to drain away and the soil to dry. 

Limit wintertime watering for two to four weeks, depending on your environment. Make sure you are not overwatering or underwatering. Always try using soft water that has fewer minerals.

Make Sure That The Temperature Remains Consistent

Cacti prefer temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid placing your cactus on a windowsill during the winter if there is a cold breeze.

Why Is My Cactus Growing Skinny?

Etiolating or lack of enough light is the prominent cause of cacti growing skinny. In search of sunlight, cacti will elongate their growing tips into long, slender limbs. Cut off the thin stem during the summer. Make sure your plant gets enough light. 

Not allowing your cacti to lie dormant in the winter can also cause them to grow skinny. Cacti can become slender if you fail to move them outside when the temperature rises. Bring your plants outdoors without waiting for them to awaken from their dormancy.

During the winter, bring your cactus indoors and avoid overwatering it. When caring for a cactus, find the right balance of temperature, water, and light.

Will My Cactus Get Thicker?

Due to low light exposure, cacti can become top-heavy. Lack of light can lead to stretchy, deformed, and pointy thin stems on cacti. If you provide adequate light again, the cactus will continue to grow. This irreversible deformation will result in a slim base and a bulky top.

How Do You Fix A Shrinking Cactus?

Underwatering, rotting, light imbalances, and overwatering can cause cacti to shrink. If underwatering is the cause, give your cacti a thorough soak once a week or two. 

Prevent mineral buildup by using filtered or distilled water for your cactus. During winter dormancy, water your cacti only once every 4-6 weeks

Overwatering can lead to root rot and make your cactus shrink. Overwatering symptoms include wet and soggy soil, soft and mushy stems, and discoloration. Water only once the soil is bone dry.

Avoid exposing your cacti to sudden changes in temperature or light. Gradual temperature increases are better when going from cold winters to warm summers. 

Keep cacti in the bright light of a south-facing window. During the first few weeks, cover them with a semi-transparent cloth. Or, you can place your cacti in the sun for a few hours in the morning. Then move them into the shade in the afternoon. 

Lack of light also can cause cactus to shrink as it needs light to photosynthesize. Sunlight is vital to your cactus, even during winter dormancy.

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