How To Take Care Of A Spring Cactus Successfully

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 Successfully

How To Take Care Of A Spring Cactus For Beginners

 

Ideal location

 

Light

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. 

 

Humidity

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. 

 

Temperature

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. 

 

Maintenance

 

Watering

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. 

 

Feeding

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. 

 

Conclusion

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. 

 

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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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