Cactuses have a reputation for growing slowly but among the 2000 plus species is a wide variety of sizes and growth rates. Some never grow higher than a few inches while others may reach heights of 30 feet or higher. All cactus species grow fastest if they receive bright light and the correct amount of water and fertilizer. Making your cactus grow faster is a question of providing its ideal growing conditions during the warmer months of the year.
Things you’ll need:
- Ceramic container
- Succulent compost
- Liquid succulent fertilizer
Repot your cactus in a ceramic pot slightly larger than its current container. Use glovers to prevent the spines from piercing the skin and also to prevent damage to the cactus. Plant it in compost formulated for succulents or a mixture of equal parts of potting soil and coarse sand. Re-plant your cactus at exactly the same level that it sat in its original pot.
Place your cactus on a bright, south-facing window sill or the sunniest spot in your home. Rotate the pot once a week to make sure growth is even. Aim to keep your cactus in an environment with temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and 45 to 55 degrees during the winter.
Water during the warmer months of the year, when the top inch of the soil is completely dry. Provide enough water to thoroughly moisten the compost and allow all excess liquid to drain away. During the winter, water only when the soil is completely dry or when your cactus starts to shrivel. Even then, provide only enough water to slightly moisten the soil.
Fertilize your cactus once a month during the warmer months of the year with a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer formulated for succulents. Do not fertilize during the winter.
Tips & Warnings
Move cactus plants outdoors during the summer. Place them in a sunny spot but make sure they do not receive too much water from sprinkler systems.
Move cactuses gradually to allow them to acclimatize and prevent sun or cold damage. Never plant a small cactus in a large pot, as the extra soil holds moisture and causes root rot.