Watering your cacti and succulents in containers indoors

Hello Everyone,

How much do I water my cactus or succulent in a pot inside my home or office? This is one of the most frequent questions we receive from our customers.  The answer is so simple.  The answer is, it depends.

Many of our customers are cacti container gardeners out of necessity. There are few areas of the country where you can grow cacti in the ground with out freezing them or drowning them. The watering instructions included below are for folks who have cacti in containers in their home or office.

My general rule for indoor potted cacti is to give them a thorough soak every 4-6 weeks. You do want to see a bit of drainage out of the bottom of the pot.  Cacti can use a bit more water than most people realize but the key is to LET THE SOIL DRY OUT thoroughly before you water again.  Consistently moist soil will rot your cacti and succulents quickly.  The best instrument to gauge soil moisture is a moisture meter which can be purchased inexpensively through Amazon.  A wooden dowel plunged down to the bottom of the pot works as well.  If the dowel comes up dry the soil is dry.  Do not water unless your instrument is telling you the soil is completely dry.

You may find that during very cold weather outside that you need to water your cacti more inside.  The heat is cranking in your home drying out the air and drying out the soil in your containers faster.  As the weather gets warmer, in most areas of the country, the air will become more humid.  You may be watering less frequently as a result. If you are uncertain about watering your cacti indoors always hedge to letting the container dry out more rather than watering more.  Many more cacti and succulents are killed with over watering than under watering.

So the bottom line when asked about watering cacti and succulents in containers is that it depends!


Mike Hymson
Arctic Cactus
(520) 616-7086

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