Jump to content
The Corroboree
Meditator

Beginner tips for growing cactus

Recommended Posts

I do not know much about growing cacti, but i am going to start growing soon.

Ive bought a bridgessi and am looking for tips on treating it well.

Some questions i have are.. How should i make the soil? I have perlite and am going to get shapagnum moss and good soil aswell as coir.

Should i use a fertilizer, if so what should i use? Should i use something like osmocote?

And any general tips would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patience is a virtue!

I don't think you should get the moss for cacti maybe for some other things which you might like to grow but not cacti.

Usually I buy the high drainage potting soil, coarse sand, gravel, perlite, vermiculite, lava rock (I forget the word for it but similar to pumice but a higher density). I crush the lava rock to smaller pieces with a hammer.

My mix (these are estimates as I mix it by eye)

1. Mix perlite and vermiculite 1:1 and store like this.

2. Get a 5 gallon or larger pail

3. Fill 1/3 the pail with soil (you should end up with about 1/2 a barrel of medium after this)

4. Add at least 1 measuring cup of the perlite and vermiculite mix

5. Add coarse sand a bit at a time and stir the medium until you have a medium that looks gritty (I add more sand if I am growing globular cacti so the medium looks highly sandy.)

6. Add some gravel not much but add a bit.

7. Add some crushed lava rock once again not much but some.

8. Stir a lot

You can heat the mix in a pyrex dish or casserole dish in the oven for a few minutes to sterilize it..

When you plant anything it is useful to put at least an inch of coarse sand over the top of the medium to keep pests out of the soil. I usually use sand and put river rock over top since river rock looks nicer and provides support for cacti. When I plant seeds I do not put said or river rock over the medium.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dox the lava rock is called scoria. and it is good to use in your cactus mix

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eat it?? jokes

edit nar just put it in the ground . it will grow a lot of people think cacti growing is a art . the fuckers grow them selfs with no help @ all.. cactus growers are just watchers lol

Edited by bullit
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Bullit said, keep it simple. Use a cacti potting mix or stick it straight in the ground.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Trichocereus pot-plants i use soil for tomatos and cucumbers and Mix it with perlite and Lava. And water only with rain water. After one year i use cacti fertilizer.

Greetings

Edited by huachuma de alemania

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a rich well drained mix and feed with a high N fert with complete macro and micro nutrients once roots have formed.

I keep the soil mix wet most of the growing season but let it dry out for 3-4 days ever 3-4 weeks.

I give as much sun as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't waste your money on buying cacti and succulent mix. It's so overpriced. I only buy it for seedlings since I can't be arsed pasteurising my own and a bag of store bought mix will go a long way when used for seedlings.

Everyone seems to have their own special cactus soil mix but I just make a 50/50 mix of potting soil and coarse river sand. If you buy it by the trailer load you'll save so much money. Cover your left over pile of soil with a tarp otherwise cats will shit in it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you're in queensland you want a free draining soil that doesn't hold too much water (i.e. not sphagnum moss or coir),

i don't put a lot of effort into my soil, just potting mix and sand (about 70/30 for trichs more for lophs) plus a hand full of compost works ok,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my cacti are Mexican, in their native habitat they grow in a soil with a high limestone content. I do put a bit of effort into my cactus mix - my standard mix for Mexican cacti is:

2 measures loam

I measure wormcasts

5 measures coarse sand/grit

2 measures crushed marble

Use whatever you can get - if you can´t get wormcasts, which add a bit of nutrition, use bat guano (if you are rich) or horse manure (if you are poor). I use crushed marble to add calcium carbonate, as I can buy marble chips here in big bags - you can substitute dolomite lime or crushed shells (sea or egg). The sand/grit should be coarse to help drainage - I add some crushed lava to that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For bridgesii (and other trichs) my method is simple: in summer treat them like potted tomatoes, in winter treat them like dried flowers (in my climate winter growth means massive etiolation). In heat and strong sun these type of cacti like water and ferts.

This year, as an experiment, I planted several scopulicola in water soaked pine duff. Supposedly a mix that would make a cactus just explode on the spot and would have me up on charges as a psychotic cactus murderer... I've never seen scops grow so fast.

Ignore any 'traditional' cactus growing advice unless your growing traditional cacti- like mammillarias or astrophytums.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say the best advice for beginners would be to grow fool proof species & varieties like most of the common trichs etc is pretty hard to go wrong..

Once you have the cactus growing bug you will automatically learn the methodology in growing more specialist plants bit by bit as you go along & will happily research any info you need whenever you need it.. before you know it you'll be an expert.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)here's a link to what I use that works best for me

http://www.shaman-australis.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=40249#entry484334

the soluble gold and fish-shit are optional , perlite can be annoying floating to the top of your mix if you flood and drain... or water from above...

I tend to feed my seedlings gently with thispost-14443-0-19888400-1418946325_thumb.jearlier than 1 year with 1X strength tomato food(with seaweed extract) as soon as they look like thispost-14443-0-30470900-1418946314_thumb.j

.... I've only been growing cacti for 3 yrs though , and mainly indoors/in a sun room in uk

and I was willing to lose that batch for sake of experimental "earlier than recommended-feeding" ,

-they're a mixed bag of 1000 tricho seeds real cheap from germany on ebay that I sowed in spring....some cacti might not like this treatment ... I may have been lucky, time will tell ,

but so far

they look better than thesepost-14443-0-52027600-1418947262_thumb.jwhich were left with no food

(like I was advised in spring)

which happen to be the one's least expendible, that I lost most of,

so as far as taking advice goes, it helps to use others methods for a bit... to get a feel..

then find another , and another .... and eventually cut your own path , so to speak, for what works best for you..

that last bit was probably the best advice I ever got from this site

but I have been trying to find a standardised process all the same..

that might work anywhere, for anyone...

either way, good luck, enjoy, I hope that helps...

and once you get the hang of it, they can find themselves being really easy to take care of

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the help guys :) im feeling pretty good about this.

I think ill just get a bag of potting soil and sand and go 50 50 with some zeolite in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope it works well for you, cos at the end of the day that is what counts.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

zeolite is only something I was aware of in aquaria , I know it has the capacity to remove a lot of nitrates (and more) from the water

but unfortunately will release them once "full" ,

this last bit can be a pain in the aquarium.... but would probably be very useful to cacti , nice idea !

and I forgot to mention the very first golden rule , I once learned this at a shroomerie long long ago

33395928.jpg

Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×