How Fast Do Cacti Grow?

How Fast Do Cacti Grow?

Slow growth rate

Cacti grow slowly by nature. This slow growth rate can be attributed to their low light requirements. Cacti need at least four hours of direct sunlight per day and should be placed near a south or east-facing window. They should also be rotated regularly to allow equal distribution of light.

Variation in growth

In the first couple of years, cacti are only a few centimetres tall. However, rare varieties can grow up to fifteen centimetres per year. If you want to grow a cactus, you must be patient. This process can take several weeks or months. Moreover, the seedling stage of cacti is exciting, and will only grow a few centimetres in the first year or two. Afterwards, it will grow two to three centimetres per year.

Numerous stomata

Another reason for the slow growth of cacti is that they don’t have a large number of stomata compared to other plants. These stomata allow the plant to take in carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is needed for photosynthesis. However, cacti don’t have enough stomata and they can’t absorb much sunlight.

Growing cacti in container

When growing cacti, it’s best to select a large pot or container with plenty of drainages. Excess moisture will damage the plant’s roots. When repotting, be sure to allow the soil to dry up before watering it again. In addition, you should choose a bright area for the plant to get adequate light.

Optimal temperatures

Cacti are native to the desert and grow best in warm temperatures. They should be grown in a climate between 65 and 85 degrees F. If you live in a colder climate, keep in mind that temperatures below 55 degrees F can cause damage to your cactus. Cacti also prefer a low humidity level and sufficient airflow. Although some cacti can survive in higher humidity areas, they can’t grow well in extremely moist conditions.

Variation in temperature 

The optimal temperature ranges for cacti vary depending on the species. Some can tolerate temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to an optimal temperature, you can use a cactus fertilizer to stimulate its growth. Apply this fertilizer two to three times a year.

Most succulents do best in temperatures between 40 and 80degF. While minor temperature fluctuations are tolerable, sudden changes of more than five degrees can cause irreversible damage to the plant. Keeping temperatures in the middle range can help keep the colour of your plants more vibrant and beautiful.

Watering schedule

To grow cacti successfully, you should know how to determine the ideal watering schedule. In hot climates, cacti need to be watered twice a week during the growing season. They do not need additional water in winter. If you plan to grow cacti indoors, the watering schedule for indoor cacti will vary from outdoor plants.

Watering in morning 

For outdoor plants, watering should be done in the early morning. This will allow water to reach the roots and prevent the plant from getting sunburned. Aside from watering frequency, the type of water you use can also affect the growth of your cactus. It’s recommended to use soft water, which is water that has been treated with sodium and potassium to reduce mineral content. Water with too much sodium in the solution can kill your cactus, as it dehydrates the plant and interferes with the absorption of water.

Hose irrigation system 

If you have an outdoor cactus, it is useful to use a drip hose irrigation system. This will drip lukewarm water at a slow rate. You should turn off the hose after two to six hours. Depending on the size of your cactus, you might have to water it every day or every other day.

Lack of leaves

Most cacti grow without leaves. This is due to their stomata, tiny holes in their stems that allow them to absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. However, the presence of stomata also makes water evaporate, and cacti need to conserve this water for long periods of drought. Hence, cacti have evolved to have fewer stomata than other plants and to open them only during the night.


Lack of leaves is not an immediate cause of slowing down cactus growth, but if you notice a loss of leaves, you should take immediate measures to protect your plant. First, avoid allowing your cactus to sit in water. This will reduce the moisture in the soil and reduce the stress on the plant.

Slow germination 

Cacti don’t grow spines right away, so their growth can be delayed by two or three months. They start as seeds and may take several weeks to germinate. This germination process can take weeks or even months, so water your plants regularly. After they’ve germinated, you can cover them up at night and leave them uncovered during the day. Water them when they get dry. It can take up to 12 months for a seedling to grow fully.

Conservation of water

Because cacti do not have leaves, they don’t get the sunlight that other plants need for photosynthesis. As such, they need to conserve water to survive in deserts with a high rate of evaporation.


Fertilizer is an essential component in the care of cacti and should be applied at the beginning of the growing season or right before it starts to bloom. The purpose of fertilizing cacti is to help them absorb nutrients efficiently. Cacti that do not receive adequate fertilization will experience slow growth.

Types of fertilizers

Fertilizer is available in different forms. There are liquid fertilizers and powder fertilizers. When using liquid fertilizers, follow the instructions on the label to ensure they are diluted to the appropriate strength. Phosphorus is crucial for the development of flowers and fruits. A good fertilizer should contain adequate levels of these nutrients.

A slow-release liquid fertilizer for cacti is an effective option. It is odourless and chemical-free and can be used daily. Depending on the size of your plant, you can repeat the application every 14 to 21 days. If you are growing a mature plant, you can apply fertilizer every two weeks.

For best results, organic fertilizers are preferred. They contain active microbial life and are good for the soil and potting medium. You can purchase these products online.

Dormancy period

Cacti go through a dormancy period during the winter. It will slow down its growth from October to March and will require reduced watering. During the summer, it will begin growing but will require minimal watering. Watering during this period should be limited to every thirteen hours.

Dormancy conditions

Cacti prefer low humidity and warm temperatures. Because of this, they will not dormant if left outdoors all year. However, if you’re going to keep a cactus indoors during the winter, you should take steps to protect it from the harsher temperature changes.

Unlike many other plants, cacti and succulents can survive periods of dormancy. The process is very simple but requires some preparation. For example, cool soil must be prepared well in advance, and the amount of light provided should be minimal. This way, the plants can go to sleep and not be bothered by too much light.

Planting by cuttings

If you don’t have a garden and want to grow cacti in your home, you can start with their cuttings. The cut parts should be allowed to dry for one to four weeks before planting. The larger the cut surface, the longer you should let the cuttings sit. Once the cutting is dry, the cut surface should form a dry callus, which will prevent fungal soft rot.

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How Fast Do Cacti Grow?

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