How Often to Water Cactus

by Succulent Market AdminJul 9, 2020


One of the biggest concerns among plant parent newbies is in regards to how to care for their new cactus. One of the most common questions we receive at Succulent Market is, “how often should I water my new cactus”? The answer is quite simple. Not A lot! When evaluating how much water your cactus requires, it is essential to follow these steps 4 steps.


1. Feel the soil. If the soil is completely dry, it is time to water! 


2. If the soil is wet or if you feel any moisture Do Not Water. It is best to wait for the soil to dry out more.


3. When watering, drench the soil surrounding your cactus with water. Do not mist or spray your cactus, thoroughly soak the soil.


4. After soaking the soil, you’re done! As a rule of thumb, it is usually best to water cactus when indoors once a month, and cactus outdoors every two weeks. Ultimately, the frequency of how much you need to water your cactus will depend on its environment. Check the soil of your cactus occasionally and water your cactus when the soil becomes dry.


How Do I Know When the Soil is Completely Dry?


For the most part, it is incredibly easy to determine whether the soil of a cactus is completely dry. We will outline two ways to determine the amount of moisture in a cactus below.

1. One way, which does not work with all cactus or pots, is to remove the cactus from its pot and to touch the exposed soil with two fingers. As seen in the picture, touch the entirety of the exposed soil with both fingers, especially the bottom. If all of the soil is dry, then it is time to water. If you feel any moisture whatsoever in the soil, then wait to water.



2. Another way to determine if your cactus needs to be watered is to use a toothpick. The toothpick method works best for dish gardens or cactus that have soil covered by rocks or moss. Push the toothpick into the soil of the cactus, all the way down to the bottom. Pull out the toothpick; if there is any moisture on the toothpick whatsoever, then wait to water your cactus.

A Note On Drainage: 

When watering your cactus and determining how often you should water a cactus, it is essential to note whether the pot of your cactus has drainage holes. A drainage hole is either one big hole or multiple small holes located at the bottom of the pot of your cactus.

It is crucial to determine whether your pot has drainage holes because drainage holes are ideal when watering a cactus. If your cactus has drainage holes, you can water your cactus as much as you want as excess water will seep out of the bottom of the drainage holes. If your cactus does not have drainage holes, then it is still crucial to soak the soil of your cactus, but you must ensure that you do not overwater your cactus. You must make sure that excess water does not flow outside of your pot or that water does not accumulate and flood the bottom of your pot.

Overall, pots with drainage holes are ideal for proper cactus care. It is challenging to drench a cactus without having excess water build-up at the bottom of the pot. As a result, pots without drainage holes often-times hold excess water, which can cause the cactus to rot. To find pots with drainage holes, check out our potted cactus for sale!

We hope that these tips and tricks on “how often to water cactus” was helpful. We wish you luck as you embark on your horticultural journey. If you wish to expand your cactus collection or are looking to buy cactus online for the first time, check out Succulent Market! Use code: succulentcare101 for 10% off your first order!