Tips for potted cacti & succulents
- When handling cacti wear gloves and use a loop of folded newspaper to grip and lift the plant.
- Handle gently – cacti are very susceptible to root damage.
- Mulch with a layer of gravel or quartz.
Feeding and watering
Succulents benefit from a controlled-release fertiliser in a granule form applied during spring and summer, when they are actively growing. These plants are like a living sponge, they take what they need from rainfall and the excess must be able to drain away quickly. Be aware that persistently wet soil will quickly spell death for succulents, as their stems will rot away at the base. Avoid this by planting in well-drained soils, crevices, pots, and mounded garden beds, and completely avoid watering in winter.
- Mealybugs – these small, fluffy-coated sucking pests flourish in dry conditions.
- Scale insects – The first thing to do with a plant that is infected with scale is to physically remove the scale from the plant. This can be done using your fingernail or a tweezers, but the most efficient method is with a spray nozzle on your garden hose. Left untreated, scale will spread to other nearby cactus plants, but they seem to prefer certain species over others. To prevent repeated outbreaks, you should treat your plant with a systemic insecticide. Avoid treating during hot weather.