How Often Do Water Cactus Indoors? -Tell You Some Secrets


Knowing when and how much to water a mini cactus is essential because your plant will die if the soil dries out. The stem could break and the roots could rot if you give it too much water.

If you adhere to the recommendations in this article regarding how frequently to water your small cactus, it will have the best chance of living a long and healthy life.

How to Water Cactus – The Essentials

  • Only water cacti when the potting soil is at least 90% dry.
  • As succulent plants, small to medium-sized indoor cacti will typically need to be watered every 10 days or more during spring or summer months, and every 4 to 6 weeks during winter.
  • The best way to water a cactus is to completely saturate the soil with rainwater or distilled water, then stop watering when water begins to drain from the drainage hole in the potting container.

How Much to Water Cactus Plants Indoors

In reality, this is the most simple part.

Many people believe that because cacti are desert plants, they don’t require a lot of water. Absolutely not! They’re just like camels in the deserts – they don’t drink water all that often, but when they do they drink loads of it.

A few times a year, very heavy rains fall on the majority of deserts in the world. They don’t do a light drizzle once every few weeks.

Cacti should be totally drenched when they get watered. The soil needs to be thoroughly saturated. When you notice water starting to emerge from the pot’s bottom, stop watering immediately.

Giving water sparingly to large plants is never a good idea. If your cactus is in a container without drainage, that is the only situation in which this rule does not apply. In that case, water is very sparingly because the water is trapped in that container with no way out.

How Often To Water Cactus Plants Indoors

The majority of people mistakenly believe that cacti only require the occasional sip of water, but despite their drought resistance, they still require a steady supply.

In fact, they flourish when they can give enough water. When cacti are watered thoroughly and then allowed to sit until the potting medium has completely dried, they typically grow the healthiest.

How quickly the potting medium dries out and consequently, how frequently you should water your cactus plants, depend on a variety of factors.

Here are nine of the most important elements that affect how frequently to water cactus plants.

1. Size Of Cactus

You might assume that a cactus needs watering more frequently the bigger it is. Younger, smaller cacti, on the other hand, tend to grow more quickly and, in proportion to their size, will need and use more water.

2. Size Of Pot

It takes longer for a cactus to absorb water from the potting medium in larger pots, and it also takes longer for the water to drain or evaporate.

The surface area-to-volume ratios of larger pots are also lower. As a result, a cactus planted in a large pot may only require watering every 4-6 weeks or more, whereas a cactus planted in a very small pot may only require watering once a week or less.

Because they don’t like to stay in water for too long, most cacti do better in smaller pots. It can be really difficult to avoid root rot if you have a cactus planted in an oversized pot, so if you are having problems, repot your cactus into a pot that is just large enough for the cactus and no more

3. Type Of Pot And Drainage

The best method for caring for cacti is to provide a lot of water, let the extra quickly drain, and then watch as the potting medium rapidly dries. Plastic containers will retain moisture, lengthening the time it takes for the potting media to dry out.

The amount of time it takes for potting media to dry out is significantly shortened by the porous nature of terracotta pots, which allow water in the media to slowly evaporate into the air.

Similarly, pots with a lot of drainage holes are much better because they enable excess water in the potting media to quickly drain out of the pot. In general, trying to grow cacti in pots without holes is a miserable experience. Even though it is possible, root and stem rot is much more likely to result. My words are based on bitter experiences.

4. Type Of Potting Media

Make sure the potting medium is quick draining if you want to grow cacti successfully. Any commercially available cactus mix will work, or potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite combined for a homemade version will work just as well. A well-draining mixture will make it simple for extra water to drain away and speed up the soil’s drying time. It goes without saying that you will need to water your cactus more frequently as a result, but it will appreciate it.

5. Ambient Temperature And Airflow Impact 

Warmer temperatures cause your cactus and the soil surface to evaporate more frequently. Additionally, higher temperatures typically indicate that the plant is actively growing and consuming more water.

During the cooler winter months, when your cactus isn’t growing much, you might only need to water the plant every 4-6 weeks. However, during the hot summer months, when the plant is growing, you might need to check the potting soil’s dryness every few days.

Cacti are wonderful because they do a great job of withstanding being submerged. Therefore, if you use the watering can a little slowly, the cacti won’t suffer too much, but being overly enthusiastic is where all the issues begin.

A higher airflow also raises evaporation in addition to temperature. Remember this, especially if you move your cactus outside during the summer when ventilation will be much higher and water needs will rise considerably.

6. Humidity Impacts 

In dry conditions, evaporation rates will be higher. Wet potting soil will dry much more quickly because there is plenty of room for more water to be absorbed by the air.

When caring for most indoor plants, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the humidity levels because you can predict when they’ll need water. Cacti thrive in dry environments, but you can still grow them successfully in humid interior climates as long as you keep an eye on the soil’s dryness.

7. Light Conditions

The rate of evaporation and the rate at which your cactus soil dries out will both increase in direct sunlight. You will need to water your cactus much more frequently if it is kept in a south-facing window as opposed to a cooler north-facing room.

8. The Species Affects 

Every plant has different watering needs, and cacti are no different. How frequently you need to water your homegrown cactus depends on the variety you choose. For guidance on how frequently to water your cactus, consult the specific species as some cacti prefer a little bit more water than others.

9. The Time Of Year Affects 

Cacti require regular watering, especially during the summer and active growing season. During the colder, dormant winter months, cacti typically require less water. During this time, you can reduce your watering by at least 50% or even more.

For more information on how much water to give your cactus when you water it, check out my other article, which pairs incredibly well with this one. Knowing how cacti react to water in their natural habitat can help you water your plants correctly each time, so it’s really helpful to know about that.


What Things Affect How Much I Water My Cactus?

The Type Of Soil

Cacti like light soil and especially well-drained soil. If you use cactus potting compost, for example, you will more or less fall within the average, but in case you see the soil does not dry up fast enough on a regular basis, my advice is to report the cactus or add drainages, like sand and gravel or little pebbles.

The Temperature And Climate

Naturally, if you live in hot and dry places, the soil will dry up faster than if you live in cold and wet places.

Thus, if you live in Mexico you may well find yourself watering your cactus more often than if you live in New England.

The Microclimate Or Room Climate

Much will depend on whether you grow it indoors or outdoors. If indoor, the humidity, temperature, and exposition of the room will affect the watering your cactus needs.

The same applies to whether you have heaters, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers.


Wind can affect how often you need to water cacti; In fact, it does dry up the soil, so, windy places may require more watering than places with little wind.

Watering Cactus During The Dormant Stage

Most cacti enter dormancy, which is a stage of life in which many plants slow down their metabolism and stop growing. You will need to at the very least reduce watering during this phase.

  • Watering should only be done once every 10 to 15 days.
  • You can even cut back on the water you give cacti during their dormant period to prevent them from withering or shrinking.
  • In some circumstances, particularly when there is little light and possibly higher than necessary humidity, you might even water less frequently than once every 15 days.

Overall, keep in mind that less is better during the winter or, in any case, during the dormant season, especially since cacti are more susceptible to diseases and pests at this time.

How Dry Should I Allow The Soil To Get?

Sometimes though, very dry may become too much. So, when is dry too dry for cacti? There’s a simple rule gardener use: Allow the soil to dry but not to dry so much that it cracks and it pulls away from your cactus pot.

So, always check around the edges of your pot and see if you notice any gap between the pot itself and the soil, if so, it means you have waited a bit too long and it is time to water your beloved plant.

Common Mistakes When Deciding When To Water Cactus.

There are a few mistakes you should stay away from when purchasing a new cactus as a house plant. The following list of typical errors people make when watering indoor cacti is provided for your reference:

  • Over Watering Or Under Watering

Typically, ignorance is to blame for these problems. You’ll be able to understand your cactus water needs if you know what kind it is. Root rot will develop if the plant is watered too frequently, while the plant will dry out, pucker, and die if it is watered too infrequently. Getting a careful balance is a key way. 

  • Using The Wrong Growing Medium

Growing media that drains quickly is necessary for cacti. Due to the widespread misconception that cacti are the most resilient plants and can thrive in virtually any environment, people frequently ignore this.

Your cactus may develop root rot if you use the wrong potting soil. For best results, either purchase or make your own succulent or cactus potting mix.

  • Overlooking The Nutritional Needs Of The Cactus

It’s a common misunderstanding that cacti don’t need additional fertilizer to flourish. This is most likely a result of how tough and drought-resistant the plant is thought to be.

The secret to growing healthy cacti may be to add some diluted fertilizer to your water. Obviously, avoid going overboard. Only mix diluted liquid fertilizer to a quarter of the strength recommended on the bottle, and only add it to your watering can during the growing season.

Too much fertilizer can cause a plant to burn or build up in the soil, which can harm the roots and cause leaves to turn brown or yellow, even fall off.

  • Using The Wrong Water Source

While some tap water sources are fine, others have high concentrations of dissolved minerals and chemicals, such as fluoride, chlorine, and chloramines, which can harm your cactus’ health.

Try using collected rainwater or distilled water to help your cactus thrive if it’s struggling and you’re not sure what’s wrong.

  • Using The Wrong Container

Cacti require containers with enough drainage holes so that no water can collect in the bottom and cause root rot. Although a cactus can be grown in a container without drainage holes, you must be particularly careful with the amount and frequency of watering.

A terracotta container or another material that allows for easy ventilation is the best option. The most practical option is to select a pot with built-in drainage holes that won’t get blocked by cactus mix.

Every plant is not easy to take care of especially cactus. As a result, knowing the regular rules of plants is an important role that when we keep with.  To be an excellent planter, hope we can know more about our plants just like our kids.