cacti, cactus plants, desert plants of avalon, Succulents, succulent plants,

Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ?

Hello Cactus and Succulent growers,

In this Article I will be talking about ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North facing Window ?’

cacti, cactus plants, desert plants of avalon, Succulents, succulent plants,
Cactus Plants are Sun Worshippers but is it still possible to grow them in a sunless north facing window ?

When we talk about growing Cactus plants in cultivation, we often think of them being sun lovers and needing the sunniest window or position in the garden to thrive, and while this is true for quite a lot of the desert growing Cactus varieties, what do you do if you don’t have a sunny window to grow Cactus plants on and all you have is a sunless window ? and on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon I am often being asked ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ?’

well the answer to this is both a Yes and No

It all depends on the type of Cactus/Cacti that you want to grow in your north facing window, although the majority of Cacti do love a sunny position there are also Cacti that grow very well in a more shadier position, in fact some cacti actually prefer a more shadier position and will grow and flower much better in either a north or east facing window.

So then what Cactus plants can be grown in a north facing window ? 

The Schlumbergera ‘Holiday’ group of Cacti commonly known as the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti and also the Rhipsalidopsis Cacti commonly known as the Easter Cactus can be grown very happily in a north facing window, and I know from experience that these ‘Holiday’ Cacti will definitely grow well and flower in a north facing window as long as the window is bright and the light is not overshadowed by larger buildings, I have had my ‘Holiday’ Cacti flower for me in north facing windows, its important to remember though that ‘Holiday’ Cacti are very light sensitive and its the shorter days/nights that trigger blooming for them, and if you have your ‘Holiday’ Cacti in a part of your home that you have the lights on after dark, this may prevent your ‘Holiday’ Cacti from blooming, and a good tip is to place a box carefully over your cacti during the evenings you have your lights on, this will block out the light from your cacti and mimic the natural darkness outside, then remove the box when you turn the lights back off again.

Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower
Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower, these Cacti will grow and bloom quite happily in a north facing sunless window.
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Schlumbergera gaertneri, Easter Cactus in flower
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Easter Cactus in flower, these Cacti can grow and bloom in a north facing window

Rhipsalis is another group of Cactus that will grow very happily in a north facing window too, these Rhipsalis Cacti are epiphytic and grow in their natural habitats in Rainforests where they are shaded from direct sunshine, and the majority of them will grow and flower happily in a north window as long as it is bright enough, but in my experience there are some Rhipsalis such as the Rhipsalis pilocarpa that will not flower as readily in a north window and an east facing window may be better if you want to have blooms, but they will definitely grow well and survive in north facing windows, or you can add a plant LED Grow Light over the plants and have the light on for about 3 hours a day during the daylight hours to mimic the sunshine outside for a higher chance of blooming on your Rhipsalis Cacti.

Rhipsalis baccifera in flower
Rhipsalis baccifera, most of the Rhipsalis will grow and even flower in a north facing window.
Rhipsalis crispata in flower
Rhipsalis crispata in flower, this Rhipsalis will grow and flower well in a bright but sunless north facing window.

What about the Desert Cacti ? 

The Desert Cacti unfortunately can’t be grown and will definitely not flower in a north facing window without the help of additional plant Grow Lights, they can however be overwintered in a north facing window for the Winter rest period from September to April with no problems at all, as long as they can be kept cool and dry with no water given to them during the Winter months, watering the Desert Cacti during the winter will encourage thin spindly growth and possible rot, and as long as you can move your Desert Cacti to a sunny window or position during the Spring and Summer for their growing period, then its perfectly fine to overwinter Desert Cacti on a north facing window, however I would still recommend adding a plant LED Grow Light for Desert Cacti in north facing windows over the winter to give them a boost of artificial ‘sunshine’ as this will help to encourage more blooms on your cacti in Spring and Summer.

Grow Lights for plants
If all you have is a sunless north facing Window and you really want to grow Desert Cacti then you can install a Plant LED Grow Light, these are available on AMAZON, the Grow Light in this photo is one by ‘Mars Hydr0’ 

But what if I only have a north facing window and I can’t move my Desert Cacti outside for Spring and Summer ? 

Well the good news to this is that there is always a way around everything haha, and if all you have is a north facing window and you don’t have any sunny windows or a garden or balcony to move your Desert Cacti in Spring and Summer, then what you can do is install a LED Plant Grow Light/s there are many excellent ones on AMAZON, but personally the ones I would highly recommend for growing Cacti would be the top notch quality Grow Lights from Mars Hydro or Spider Farmer, both of these companies produce excellent plant LED Grow lights and are available to purchase on AMAZON, and although they can be pricey to buy initially, they are a fantastic investment for your Cactus plants, and I know a lot of you may be worrying about the cost of having Grow Lights on for your Cacti especially with all the recent rising costs with electricity, they are very cost effective as most of these Grow Lights will give off 1000 Watts of bright artificial sunlight but only consume 50Watts of actual electricity, and if you are placing these lights in a north facing window that is bright but sunless, you only need to have these lights on for around 4-6 hours a day to mimic the amount of direct sunshine these cacti would normally receive in a sunny window, by the use of grow lights you will definitely be able to grow your Desert Cacti in north facing windows and you will get them to flower for you too. 

I hope you found this Article helpful and here is a video below that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ? ‘ 

For lots more Tips and Tricks on How you can care for Cacti and Succulents then please do check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon by clicking HERE

Thanks so much for reading and wishing you ALL a fantastic Plant Powered day or evening.

 

 

 

Cereus spiralis, Cereus forbesii spiralis, cereus spiralis, spiral cactus, twisted cereus cactus,

How to Grow Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ – The Spiral Cactus, Twisted Cactus, Cereus Spiralis

Hi Guys, In this Blog I will be talking about the wacky and wonderful Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ commonly called the Spiral Cactus and sharing info about how to care for and grow this unusual looking Cactus.

Cereus spiralis, Cereus forbesii spiralis, cereus spiralis, spiral cactus, twisted cereus cactus,
                                                                       Me with my Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cactus

ABOUT:

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cactus is a fast growing columnar and then later branching cactus that over time forms into a ‘Candelabra effect’ from the base.

When young and grown from seed these cacti start off growing straight and then start to grow with a twist after 5 cm’s in height and can reach 13 feet high when mature.

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ originated from an original cactus in Brazil and around 1980 a few cuttings from this original cactus were taken and imported into Europe. Nearly all Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ that are sold worldwide have been grown from seed or from cuttings.

This cactus is becoming more common in cultivation with many online and garden shops selling it.

Here is a special Video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for & Grow Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ Cactus, and you can watch this video below:

LIGHT REQUIREMENTS

Mature Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ like full sun, and a sunny position or window or greenhouse is ideal, but young plants like to have more shade until they are more mature.  If you are growing these Cacti behind glass though you will need to protect them from intense midday sun on very hot days in Summer, this is to prevent scorch or yellowing of the cactus skin, and a shade cloth or light net curtain can be used over glass to protect these cacti from the very hot midday sun in Summer. If you only have a north facing window that never receives any sun or growing indoors away from windows then LED Plant Grow lights especially made for plants can be used to replicate the natural full spectrum light and sunlight that these cacti need to grow and thrive.

SOIL

Cereus forbseii ‘Spiralis’ need a very well draining cactus and succulent soil that is free draining and dries out fast in between watering’s, you can use any good quality cactus soil that is ideally low in peat, but I like to make up my own Cactus soil of 3 equal parts of Loam, Grit and Horticultural sharp Sand, you can also use Pumice or Perlite or Lava Rock instead of Grit, the most important thing to remember is that the soil drains fast and dries out fast in between watering.

Here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to make Cactus Soil in 3 easy steps: 

WATERING

Spring and Summer water when the soil in the pot has dried out and reduce watering from late Summer, keep Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ cacti dry with little to no water over the Winter months, If your cactus starts to look shrivelled over the Winter months then a light watering can be given as long as the temperature you are overwintering your Cactus is above 10 Celsius /50 Fahrenheit, as temperatures lower than this can cause rot. 

FERTILISING 

Feed Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cacti twice a month in Spring and Summer with a good quality cactus and succulent fertiliser, you can also use a good quality Tomato feed used at half the recommended strength that they recommend for tomatoes, if you want to see what I like to use to fertilise my cacti and how I do it then check out this video I made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How I fertilise my Cacti and you can watch this video below:

TEMPERATURE

These Cacti like a minimum Winter temperature of 50 Fahrenheit / 10 Celsius and they are not frost hardy at all. The ideal temperature during their growing season in Spring and Summer is around 60 – 80 Fahrenheit / 15 – 27 Celsius, its best to protect these cacti from excess heat above 85 Fahrenheit / 30 Celsius because stems can scar and scab and yellowing can occur unless plenty of ventilation can be given, open windows and use circulating fans in very hot sunny weather.

RE POTTING 

Re potting is best done in Spring and Summer and when the cactus has outgrown its pot. Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ grow fast when they are given plenty of root space and you may need to re pot every one to two years. Once repotted its best to keep these cacti unwatered for a week to ten days to allow the roots to settle into the new soil and pot.

If you want to know How to repot a cereus forbesii spiralis cactus than check out this video I made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on Repotting a Cereus forbesii spiralis Cactus and you can watch this video below:

FLOWERING

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ will produce White and pink blooms in Summer with buds a deep purple colour, red fruits form if the flowers get pollinated.

If you want to know How to get your Cacti to flower, then check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to get your Cacti to Flower and you can watch this video below: 

PROPAGATION 

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ can be propagated by seeds or from cuttings taken in Spring or Summer, Cuttings must be allowed to fully callus over for a few days or weeks first before planting. These cacti grow tall and branch out over time and these branches can be pruned off and taken as cuttings. Seeds will germinate after 2-6 weeks. If you want to know How to Grow Cacti from Seed then check out a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to grow Cacti from Seed and you can watch this video below:

PESTS 

Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites, Thrips and Scale insect are the most common pests of all cacti, but Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ is very prone to Mealy Bugs and Scale insects, this is because these pests love to hide in between the twists on these cacti. Remove any pests that are visible with a q tip cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol / Isopropyl alcohol, and then once pests have been removed with the rubbing/isopropyl alcohol treat the whole cactus with a systematic insecticide spray or Horticultural Neem oil mixed with Horticultural soap.  Check out a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to use Neem oil on Cacti as a pest and disease treatment, and you can watch this video below:

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on How to Grow and Care for Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ and for lots more tips and tricks on growing many different types of cacti & succulents then check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and facebook at @desertplantsofavalon

Happy Growing Guys,

lyn 😀