Cactus prefer good light sources and need at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight every day, so it is best to place cacti in a bright place without exposure to direct sunlight.
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Everything You Need To Know
Do Cactus Need Sunlight?
Like all plants, cacti require sunlight to thrive. The cactus uses food produced by chemical reactions aided by a significant amount of sunlight. Plants need sunlight to photosynthesize, as we discovered in elementary science classes. Plants use the process of photosynthesis to change the substances that are already in their bodies. Sugars and other chemicals, along with their surroundings, combine to make food for plants.
Additionally, cacti are different from other plants, even though most do the same when adapting to photosynthesis. In general, sunlight is essential for a plant’s health and growth. For cacti, the majority of chemical reactions take place when sunlight is scarce and are completed once sunlight is present.
The recommended amount of daily direct sunlight exposure for cacti is four hours.
How Much Light Does the Cacti Require?
Species-specific requirements mean that your particular cactus may require more or less than this.
Avoid leaving your cactus in direct sunlight for extended periods of time because succulent plants thrive when they can absorb light gradually.
If you must leave it outside during the day, move it from a shaded area into indirect sunlight every hour or so, then move it back before dusk.
For your plant to grow to its full potential indoors, it will need at least four hours per day of some direct sunlight.
In the morning or evening, direct sunlight is best for cacti.
Your indoor cactus plant can receive more exposure during these times because natural light intensity is at its highest, without jeopardizing its health.
What Kind Of Sunlight Does A Cactus Need?
Despite the fact that, since they are desert plants, it can be simple to assume that all cactus plants require hours of direct sunlight.––the truth is some types of cacti do not need direct sunlight.
In fact, some people don’t do well in direct sunlight at all, and they risk getting sunburned when exposed to it, especially if the exposure occurs abruptly and they are not accustomed to the heat. Even if exposure to the sun’s rays does not result in sunburn, it could still suffer negative consequences like a brown or bleached appearance and stunted or strange growth patterns.
List a few of the cactus that can survive in this area’s shade.
In general, dry climates with bright, indirect sunlight are favorable for most cacti plants. In order to protect succulent plants from potential sun damage, plant them in a garden area that is somewhat shady. If you’re growing cacti indoors, it may be best to place them in a room with plenty of light, perhaps close to a window with a southern orientation.
Signs That Your Cactus Isn’t Getting Enough Light
A few symptoms that are simple to spot on your cactus plant can result from insufficient sunlight.
Some varieties will stretch toward the light and develop “leggy” characteristics. Even though you change the environment of your plant, this phenomenon is known scientifically as etiolation and it is irreversible.
Depending on the variety of your cactus, you can either prune or clip off growths that are the result of etiolation.
Other cacti will turn ugly. Changes in the color of your cactus are an obvious symptom because deep green cacti will turn pale green.
While root rot typically results from overwatering, problems with a light deficiency can also contribute to it. When the soil receives little sunlight, it dries out much more slowly, keeping it too moist.
There are also indications that a cactus is not receiving enough light when it grows unevenly on one side compared to the other. When this occurs, it indicates that one side is receiving more light than the other. Rotating the plant on a regular basis will help it receive adequate light from all sides, which will solve the problem.
If you move your plant to a new location where it will receive more light, do it gradually so that the plant gets used to its new environment and doesn’t get scorched by sudden sun exposure.
Signs That Your Cactus Is Getting Too Much Light
Your cacti may become distressed if they receive more light than 12 to 14 hours per day.
Signs of too much light include:
- Bleached aspect, yellowing or stem turning orange
- Brown spots or callousing
All of these things may take place if a cactus is moved from a location with indirect light or partial shade to one with direct light.
The CAM (Crassulacean acid metabolism) photosynthesis of cacti plants will also be hampered by excessive light. When temperatures drop at night due to CAM photosynthesis, the cacti can open their pores to prevent moisture loss.
In order for photosynthesis to occur at night, carbon dioxide must be taken up by cacti.
Where Should You Place Your Cactus Plant?
You want to start a cactus garden and have done your research. Which goes where is now your problem. What your plant needs and where to put it are outlined in the following guide.
See what your plant needs in terms of sunlight. If unsure, it’s best to inquire or do a little more research to learn what it requires. In the garden, you can usually plant full-sun varieties where they will receive plenty of sunlight. Cacti can also be grown in terra cotta pots with the proper potting soil and placed on your porch. By doing this, you can still control how long it spends in the sun. Make sure the terra cotta pots you intend to use are well-draining by checking them.
Low watering requirements are ideal for cactus plants. Overwatering and oversoaking cacti plants can result in root rot due to excess water and improper flowerpots.
Conversely, low-light varieties also require sunlight. Low-light varieties can only withstand indirect sunlight, in contrast to full-sun varieties. Then you can cover low-light varieties with shade cloth with a percentage of coverage between 40% and 70%.
A 50% shade percentage will be the best option in areas close to deserts.
The best location for indoor cactus is close to windows so they can still receive indirect sunlight.
On the other hand, cacti plants in enclosed areas are a different matter. You can choose to use artificial lights or grow lights in place of natural sunlight. Usually, the amount of light produced by these man-made sunlight sources is comparable to, if not the same. This means that, just like with natural sunlight, you would need to control how much of it your plants were exposed to.
Can Cactus Plants Get Too Much Sun?
The simple answer to this question is “yes.” Too much sunlight is what causes sunburn and sun damage in cacti plants and other succulents. Unfortunately, sunburn can occur fairly quickly during a heatwave or when the temperatures soar so high. In some cases, the process can develop gradually.
Brown/yellow spots that start to appear on your plant’s surface are the first indication of sunburn. Fortunately, if you realize signs of sun stress early, the effects can easily be remedied to avoid further damage to your plants.
For protection from excessive sunlight, simply move your plants to a shaded area or place them next to other taller plants. Some cacti plants will fry to a crisp and eventually die if you don’t do anything even after realizing signs of sun stress.
It’s possible for some species to fortify themselves, adjust to the extreme heat, and endure the heat wave. Don’t take any chances; make sure your plants have enough protection when the temperatures rise.
Can Cactus Plants Live In The Dark?
The following query that must be on your mind is whether your cacti plants can endure in low light. Well, the truth is that cacti plants, just like any other plant, need sunlight to survive. The plant uses the light energy it absorbs to start chemical reactions that help it make food and energy.
However, cacti plants can still survive in low light conditions for some time. After a few days of insufficient exposure to light, your plants will start to show signs of stress such as etiolation and stunted growth. Additionally, they will appear pale and lose their lovely, vibrant colors.
Cacti plants are susceptible to root rot if they receive too much water and not enough light. The plant will begin to rot from the roots up and eventually die if the proper steps are not taken to remedy the situation. In fact, when root rot starts to set in, it can be quite difficult to save your plant from death.
How Can You Keep Your Cacti Plants Alive During Prolonged Heat Waves?
Weather extremes are a common occurrence across the globe due to the effects of climate change. Extreme heat waves that occur in some areas are easily harmful to succulent plants. Due to their propensity to last for days or even weeks, heat waves, especially in the summer, can be difficult to handle.
If you leave your plants alone during this time, you run the risk of losing them. What can you then do to shield your cactus from the strain and potential harm? Here are a few things you can do to keep your plants safe during this time.
Provide Your Plants With Shade
Planning ahead is one of the best things you can do during this time. If you anticipate a heatwave in the coming days, find good shelter for your young, smaller, and fragile cacti plants.
If you can, bring them inside and relocate them to your garden’s more shaded areas. The taller, more mature, and bigger plants that are accustomed to the outdoor heat may be fine, but you should still monitor them closely.
Do All Cacti Species Need Full Sun?
No, even though a lot of cactus species require full sunlight, some species don’t. Aloe, Agave, and Prickly Pear are some of the most popular full-sun cultivars. When exposed to direct sunlight, these types of cactus plants bloom to their full potential. These varieties are also easy to maintain because they adapt well to low-watering situations.
Where Should Your Cactus Plant Be Placed?
You want to start a cactus garden and have done your research. Your current issue is which goes where. The items your plant requires and where to put them are listed below.
Check your plant’s need for sunlight. If unsure, it’s best to inquire or do a little more research to learn what it needs. In the garden, you can usually plant full-sun varieties where they will receive plenty of sunlight. Additionally, you can grow cacti in terra cotta pots on your porch with the proper potting soil inside. The amount of time it spends in the sun can still be controlled in this way. Make sure the terra cotta pots you intend to use have good drainage by giving them a once-over.
Cacti require little water, so they do best in dry climates. Overwatering and oversoaking cacti plants can result in root rot because of insufficient water and the wrong flowerpots.
On the other hand, low-light varieties also require sunlight. Low-light varieties, on the other hand, can only tolerate indirect sunlight, not full sun varieties. Then you can cover low-light varieties with shade cloth with a percentage of coverage between 40% and 70%.
A 50% shade percentage will be the best option in locations close to deserts.
The best location for indoor cactus is close to windows so they can still receive indirect sunlight.