Cacti and succulents: maintenance and repotting

Cacti and succulents blithely endure drought. All these succulents are therefore ideal for people who tend to forget to water their plants. But they still need some attention to thrive. Let’s take stock of the maintenance and repotting of all the succulents distributed in various plant families and which are colloquially called succulents.

Maintenance of succulents

Whatever their country of origin, the succulents of which there are around 12,000 species, need abundant light and withstand aridity. They are therefore not afraid of drought since they are all capable of storing water in their roots as well as in their stems and their thick and very fleshy leaves.

Their maintenance consists of:

  • The dust off from time to time :
    • Either by spraying them with a little water and then wiping them with a soft, lint-free cloth,
    • Or by gently passing a soft-bristled brush over the thorns and hairs of the plants.
  • Remove leaves and flowers faded.
  • Prune branches that become too invasive as well as dead or damaged branches.
  • The water without excess.
  • Make a fertilizer application for Cacti or Succulents (succulents) only during the flowering period.

For their greatest happiness, all these succulents can be placed outside in summer so that they can benefit from a maximum of sun. A little rain will not hurt them.

Water your Cacti and other succulents

Regarding their watering, it must be carried out with the light hand without however being neglected. During the summer, especially if the weather is really hot, Cacti and other succulents can be watered about once a week every 10 days. It is necessary always let the soil dry well between two waterings. In winter, we are content with watering every 15 days to 3 weeks unless the Cacti are placed in an overheated environment or in front of a bay window facing due south.

The golden rule, whatever the season, is to never let the roots of its succulents bathe. It is therefore necessary to wait until the water has drained from the pots before putting them back on the saucers. Ideally, watering succulents is carried out by drenching. This consists of soaking the pot in a tub of water for a few hours so that the substrate absorbs the necessary amount of water. Then you just have to let the pot drip out of the tray so that the plant does not have to suffer from excess humidity.

Make your succulents bloom again

Succulents give flowers of all colors and in various shapes according to their variety. Many succulents flower abundantly and even in winter as is the case for example Schlumbergera commonly called Christmas cactus which, if it does well in its environment, can in adulthood produce between 150 and 200 absolutely splendid flowers!

For encourage cacti and other succulents to bloom, we can give them a period of rest during which we space the waterings and we place these plants in a bright but cool room. As soon as the flower buds appear, simply replace the pot in a very sunny place in the house and apply the golden rule of watering which is suitable for succulents.

Repotting cacti and other succulents (succulents)

As a rule, the repotting succulents must be done:

  • Every two years for the youngest subjects,
  • Every four years for older plants.

The best time to repot your Cacti and succulents is between March to the end of June or the beginning of July.

This allows to completely renew the substrate which no longer contains any nutrients. If we do not respect this condition, we obtain cacti which vegetate, remain puny, and lose all their appeal. They also risk not blooming again. Repotting succulents as soon as necessary brings them back to life and the results are visible in a few weeks.

Repotting is therefore essential when a succulent begins to be cramped in its pot, but the new container should not be too large either. Ideally, it is barely taller than the plant.

The method to follow to repot all your succulents properly is as follows, step by step.

  • Schedule the repotting of succulents at least 8 days in advance in order to stop all watering so that the substrate is completely dried out. This will easily remove it.
  • On the big day, take the succulent plant out of its too small pot.
  • Crumble the substrate so that it falls, being careful not to damage the roots of the plant.
  • Cut the finest roots to reduce their length by about 30%,
  • Choose a pot with a pierced bottom,
  • Place at the bottom of this new container a drainage layer like clay balls, gravel or even pieces of terracotta (the latter solution is a good way to recycle broken pottery instead of throwing it away),
  • Cover the drainage layer with a potting soil for cacti, succulents / succulents,
  • Place the plant in the middle and ensure that its roots are well spread out,
  • Fill up to the top of the pot with the potting soil,
  • Pack by hand without insisting too much,
  • Do not water for a few days.

It is possible to insert at the bottom of the pot a stick of slowly diffusing fertilizer suitable for this type of plant.

All Cacti and succulents bring a decorative touch to the house. You can easily install a green wall in your living room, for example, when it is bathed in light and benefits from the heat of the sun. With a little research, one can benefit from a flowering throughout the year just with Cacti and other succulents: pure happiness without their maintenance being too time-consuming. And the icing on the cake, they are plants very easy to propagate simply by cuttings.