You have three considerations when learning how to take care of a spring cactus. But first, identify what a spring cactus is. Gardeners often get confused with spring cactus, Christmas cactus, Easter cactus, and Thanksgiving cactus. To clarify this, spring cactus is also known as Easter cactus or Rhipsalidopsis gaertnerrii attributed to blooming in spring around Easter.
In general, spring cactus is easy to care for and is even a popular houseplant. With this in mind, you can assume that you’ll have an easier time maintaining and managing this plant in the greenhouse. Regardless of how easy they are to take care of, growing plants indoors will always put you at an advantage due to the stable conditions that you can adjust to the plant’s specific needs.
How To Take Care Of A Spring Cactus For Beginners
According to the University of Arkansas System, spring cactus is easy to grow. However, we all know the significant influence of the location on any plant. You can opt to develop a spring cactus inside the greenhouse because you can provide bright light without the harm of direct sun outdoors.
The greenhouse can also protect the plant from extreme heat and winds that can damage it. But if you have a spring cactus in your home, make sure that it has a distance of around 5 feet from the window to prevent damages from the sunlight. More so, check its location and be wary of drafts and vents.
For the condition of the environment itself, a spring cactus will thrive in high humidity. You can easily adjust this in the greenhouse, but indoors, you can also put it in the bathroom or kitchen since these areas are humid.
Lastly, spring cactus would thrive and bloom well in warm temperatures and nighttime temperatures between 45 and 55°F. You can also create your mix for their medium using a special cactus and succulent mix with compost and coco coir to create a rich yet porous environment.
Much like other cacti, spring cactus won’t do well with overwatering. You want to check the medium first if it is dry before you water your plants. Once the surface is dry, use lukewarm water and let it drain from the container.
A general rule for spring cactus is never to get the medium completely dry or soggy.
When it comes to feeding, you can use a water-soluble 10-10-10 fertilizer for your spring cacti. Feed them when not in bloom, preferably once a month. Gardeners recommend fertilizing in spring until the middle of summer when your cactus has finished blooming.
Common problems of spring cactus
In general, you’ll be pleased that a spring cactus is not prone to severe problems. However, be on the lookout for pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. They are easy to prevent and eradicate as long as you monitor your plants and practice measures early on.
Like most cacti, a common issue that you can easily avoid in spring cactus is root rot. As mentioned earlier, it’s never ideal for a spring cactus to be in soggy soil. Make sure that you only water when needed, and use a well-draining and aerating soil and container.
Winter care and transplanting
How to take care of a spring cactus in winter? During this period from December to March, the plants must enter dormancy. You can encourage dormancy by decreasing watering and halting feeding.
More so, transfer the plants to a dark location from sunset to sunrise with temperatures between 55 to 68°F at night. After some time, you might also need to transplant spring cactus. The plant can outgrow its pot around three years, so ensure that you will pot it somewhere more comfortable once it stops blooming.
Please choose a new container a size larger than its previous one and fill it with a cacti mix.
How To Propagate Spring Cactus
The most common way to propagate spring cactus is by taking leaf cuttings. This method is straightforward since you can plant them directly. However, you can also divide a spring cactus if your plant is mature enough.
When starting a spring cactus from leaf cuttings, you want to remove the whole leaf sections (i.e., stem with two to three segments) at the end and let them be for a week to dry. You can then use a succulent and cactus mix to root these sections half an inch deep before repotting them after a month. By this point, they should be well-established to survive the new container, but make sure that you don’t let their medium dry.
It’s no secret that those who want a plant should consider cacti and succulents. Knowing how to take care of a spring cactus will have you something rewarding in spring, around Easter. In general, spring cactus is relatively easy to maintain, and you can have them indoors.
The greenhouse gives you control with light, temperature, and humidity. Otherwise, select an area in the house that’s bright, warm, and humid. Once you have the location secured, feed the cactus after it has finished blooming and water only when the medium is dry.
The common problems of spring cacti are easy to avoid with proper practices, so you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with this plant. When winter comes, encourage your plant to undergo dormancy. And after some years, you can transplant it in a bigger pot or consider propagating leaf cuttings or division.