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.

 

 

 

How To Get your Cacti To Flower ALL Year Round

Hi Guys 😀 

We all love to see our cacti flower, and I am often being asked if its possible to get a cactus to flower not just in the Spring and Summer but also in the Autumn and Winter too, and how lovely would it be to experience a display of cactus blooms all through the year.

Sulcorebutia in flower, Sulcorebutia cactus, red flowering sulcorebutia
How lovely would it be to see a display of Cacti Flowers all through the year.

Now all Cacti have their own flowering seasons, and the majority of them do have their flowering seasons during the Spring and Summer only, but there are also many Cacti that have their flowering season in the Autumn and Winter, think of the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ( Schlumbergera ) these cacti produce and abundance of blooms from October until February often blooming more than once during the Winter season, and some of the Epiphytic cacti such as Rhipsalis are Winter bloomers and Rhipsalis also has the advantage of re blooming again in the Spring and Summer too.

Christmas cactus flowers, Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera buckleyi,,
Schlumbergera buckleyi The Christmas Cactus blooms from late November until early February
Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, red flowering Christmas cactus, Christmas cactus red flowers, Xmas cactus,
Schlumbergera truncata, the Thanksgiving Cactus blooms from October till December

Is it possible to get an individual cactus to flower all year round ?

Now as I mentioned above all cacti have their own flowering Season, but it is possible to artificially force a cactus to flower out of season by using LED Plant Grow lights and leaving them on in Winter for around 15-17 hours a day, this will make the cactus think it is Spring and Summer and will encourage the cactus to come into bloom, this is why Desert Cacti that are sold in flower in Winter in garden shops have been forced to flower at the wrong time by the plant nurseries by the use of grow lights, and of course many cacti are sold with fake plastic or paper flowers stuck onto them just to get a quick sale. However I strongly advise against forcing your cacti to flower out of season because this can weaken your cactus, cacti really need to have a resting period, they need this so they can put their natural energy into producing blooms and growth in the Spring and Summer, by forcing your Desert cacti to bloom in Winter when they should be resting is a recipe for disaster long term.

Mammillaria carmenera, Mammillaria carmernera flower
Mammillaria carmenera a beautiful Spring and Summer bloomer

So then How do you get your Cacti to flower all through the Year ?   

Well I suggest that you grow a variety of different types of Cacti such as Desert Cacti, Holiday Cacti like Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ( Schlumbergera ) and Epiphytic Cacti like Rhipsalis, and you will have Cacti that flower for you ALL year round.

Rebutia albipilosa flowers, Rebutia albipilosa
Rebutia albipilosa, a gorgeous striking bloomer with bright orange blooms in spring

Cacti really do surprise us with the most BEAUTIFUL of Blooms.

Echinopsis subdenudata, sea urchin cactus,
Echinopsis subdenudata a prolific bloomer in Spring and Summer and even early Autumn.
Rebutia perplexa, Rebutia perplexa flowers
Rebutia perplexa produces a stunning bouquet of pink blooms in Spring
Gymnocalycium pflanzii. Gymnocalycium pflanzii blooms
Gymnocalycium pflanzii a stunning Spring, Summer and early Autumn bloomer

Here is a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon where I talk about How you can get your Cacti to Flower ALL year round.

If you want to know How to get your Cacti to Flower then watch my video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Get your Cacti to Flower  

If you want to know what Cacti are the best and easiest to get to flower then you can watch my video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on the Top 10 BEST Flowering Cactus Plants

I hope you enjoyed the read and wishing you all a blooming lovely day.

Puna clavarioides, Dead man's fingers, Mushroom Opuntia, Maihueniopsis clavarioides, Opuntia clavarioides, Opuntia ruiz-lealii,

How To Care For Opuntia Puna clavarioides -The Dead man’s fingers Cactus

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I will be talking about a rather unusual and very unique little Cactus called Puna clavarioides also called The Dead man’s fingers Cactus, Mushroom Opuntia, Maihueniopsis clavarioides, Opuntia clavarioides, Opuntia ruiz-lealii, Opuntia Puna clavarioides.

I have filmed a How To Care For video on this Cactus on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can watch this care video HERE

Puna clavarioides, Dead man's fingers, Mushroom Opuntia, Maihueniopsis clavarioides, Opuntia clavarioides, Opuntia ruiz-lealii,
My Puna clavarioides aka Maihueniopsis clavarioides.

ABOUT :

This weird and wacky Cactus is the type species of the genus Puna  also known as the genus Maihueniopsis. 

The Puna genus of cacti are some of the most diverse cacti of the opuntiads and are closely connected to Opuntia, Tephrocactus and Austrocylindropuntia.

These Cacti are all part of the very large group of the Opuntioideae Family of Cacti. The Opuntioideae  Family of Cacti are commonly known as ‘The Prickly Pear’ 

Puna clavariodes is a low growing geophyte cactus that grows in clusters up to 15 cms tall, with conical shaped stems of reddish brown to dark green to grey colour that emerge from tuberous roots.

In natural habitat this Cactus is found in Argentina growing in high altitude on rocks and sand between 2,000 -3,000 metres above sea level in a very dry arid environment.

The Puna clavariodes Cactus although part of the Opuntioideae Family of Cacti does not have glochids that are more commonly associated with the Opuntioideae.

The flowers on this cactus are a yellow /green colour and about 4 cms in length.

This Cactus is rare in cultivation and therefore not commonly seen for sale and when it is for sale it is more commonly sold as a cristate form that is often grafted onto a grafting stock cactus such as Trichocereus spachianus.

CARE & CULTIVATION:

LIGHT:

Puna clavariodes  likes a bright and sunny position all through the year, but can tolerate some light shade too but these Cacti grow better in full sun as long as they are protected from very strong heat.

A bright sunny greenhouse or a south facing window is ideal if protected from heat and sun scorch from glass on very hot Summer days.

WATERING:

Water well in Spring and Summer but ALWAYS allow the soil in the pot to fully dry out before watering again as these Cacti are very prone to rot if kept too wet due to their tuberous root systems.

Clean rainwater is always preferred if it is available, but tap water is ok as long as the Ph of your water is not too high ( above 7,5 pH ) Its always best to let tap water sit for 24 hours before using it to allow some of the chemicals to dissipate. 

Keep this Cactus totally dry over the Winter dormancy period with no water given whatsoever.

SOIL:

Puna clavariodes likes a very well draining mineral soil as this cactus is very prone to rot due to the tuberous root system and a well draining soil is a must. I like to use a soil mix of 3 equal parts of a Loam based soil with with Horticultural sand and grit. Check out my page on this website on GROWING MEDIUMS for more advice on How to Make Your Own Cactus Soil.

RE POTTING:

Re pot only in Spring and Summer when this cactus is actively growing, this is because it is a slow growing cactus and because of the tuberous root its best to keep this plant in a clay pot that is deep enough just to cover the tuberous root, it is always safer to under rather than over pot.

Do not water this cactus for the first 2 weeks after re potting to allow the roots and tuber to acclimatise. 

FERTILISING:

Feed Puna clavariodes in Spring and Summer every month with a Cactus fertiliser diluted at half strength, this is because this cactus is a slow growing plant and does not require lots of fertilising.

FLOWERING:

Puna clavariodes flowers in Spring and Summer with yellow blooms. A dry winter rest period will help to encourage blooming the following year.

TEMPERATURE:

Puna clavariodes likes to be kept above 5 Celsius / 41 Fahrenheit in the Winter months, but can take lower temperatures than this if growing this cactus in a very dry arid climate.

Protect this Cactus from very high Summer temperatures above 32 Celsius / 90 Fahrenheit.

Here is a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants Of Avalon on How To Care For Puna clavariodes and you can watch that video below:

Thank you so much for reading and HAPPY GROWING GUYS 😀