How To Get Cactus To Bloom. 2 Factors For Success

You can learn how to get cactus to bloom using general care and dormancy. This is easy to achieve because cactus are already not demanding in terms of caring and attention. However, remember that there are 1200 species of cacti, which means you have to know your plants’ specific needs and adjust the practices accordingly. 

While cactus is not one of those plants that struggle in challenging conditions, you can help them bloom much more comfortably in a consistent environment. You can achieve this with a greenhouse, significantly if your region experiences fluctuating climates. As you will read in this article, the general care and environment play a significant role in cactus blooming. 

 

How To Get Cactus To Bloom. 2 Factors For Success

How To Get Cactus To Bloom: Beginner’s Guide

 

Factor #1. General care

 

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The first factor to check is where you are keeping your cacti. Remember that standing water can cause rot, and a soggy medium itself can affect your cactus’ health, therefore, affecting blooming as well. You want to use a well-draining succulent potting mix to encourage your plants to flower and prevent diseases. 

 

Temperature

The second environmental condition that you must check is the temperature. You want to provide a significant difference in day and night states to mimic cacti’s natural environment. For example, cool temperatures during the night are optimal for the plant’s growth cycle, and failure to achieve this can affect bloom formation. 

Those who grow in the greenhouse can aim to have temperatures between 60 to 65⁰F during the night. Otherwise, check the outdoor conditions if it is around 50 to 55⁰F to ensure healthy plants. But what about the temperatures during winter?

A common reason why you do not see blooms on your cacti is you haven’t overwintered them. You want to place them somewhere dry and cool, but not freezing. You don’t have to provide heat in the greenhouse, but instead, a range between 35 to 44⁰F would be best during the winter months. 

 

Light

The last environmental factor that can help your cactus bloom is the light they receive. This is especially important during spring and summer when the plants are actively growing. Receiving maximum light and heat should encourage blooming, so strategize their location or add grow lights if you have them in the greenhouse. 

Aim to provide 6 hours or more of light for your cacti. Depending on the types you have, you may need to provide filtered light instead of intense full sun to prevent damaging the cacti. A promising sign indicating the plants not receiving enough light is a pale color and no flower formation. 

 

Water

Besides the location itself, general care also refers to the practices you do for your cacti. Watering, for example, should encourage flowering. This can be confusing for some gardeners since cacti store water and generally tolerate drought

Still, you want to water them regularly, especially during the active growing season. If the plants don’t experience a depletion of their water storage, they should bloom readily. However, overwatering will also be problematic, so check the top two inches of the soil first if it’s dry before watering. 

Let the water drain to the bottom of the container and adjust watering depending on the climate. You may need to water more frequently during the summer and decrease the amount during winter. Overall, find the balance and never let the soil turn soggy nor dry. 

 

Feeding

Fertilizing cacti is not necessary, but remember that adequate nutrients are crucial to encourage blooming. You can boost your plants by feeding them with a cactus fertilizer in spring until the beginning of summer. However, be mindful of providing within the recommendation since overfeeding will also prevent blooming. 

Think of fertilizing as a supplement during the flowering season. You can dilute the fertilizer and feed every two weeks and then stop by the end of fall and never feed in winter. Check the fertilizer as you want something high in phosphorus and potassium and not nitrogen.

 

Factor #2. Dormancy

If you have ticked all the general care areas but still not seeing your cactus blooming, perhaps they need to undergo dormancy. Remember that most desert cacti will only flower in response to a dormant period. To encourage this, you must limit the amount of water and provide a dark and cool environment. 

You can start watering your plants only once a month by winter and then place them in the greenhouse to create a cool and dark spot. Some gardeners also start cutting their watering by fall and have intervals of three to six weeks. On the other hand, the darkness period can begin by reducing the light the plants receive at two months before they bloom. 

During the day, the cacti will still benefit from bright and indirect light. However, they will need around 12 to 14 hours of darkness to undergo dormancy. At this point, you can also place the plants somewhere between 50 to 60⁰F as inconsistent temperatures can affect their dormancy. 

 

Conclusion

Cactus is not only a low-maintenance plant, but it is also capable of showing unique and attractive flowers. You don’t have to get frustrated in learning how to get cactus to bloom because general care and encouraging dormancy should get them flowering without issues. First, check the environment of your plants. 

The medium, temperature, and light all affect the flowering of cacti, especially during the growing season. Feeding and watering are practices that you must also do properly to avoid problems in blooming. Lastly, most cacti should undergo dormancy to bloom since this mimics their natural conditions. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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