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by Michael
(Chicago, IL)


I have a black thumb.

Anyway, I made a cute planter by filling a melamine bowl full of cactus soil and placing it in a glass punchbowl, then filling the gap with colored sand. I then added a few succulents from my local Home Depot.

I had two plants were triangular and had colored flowers embedded in the tops. One died off. The other lost its flower top and became a monster.
That is my main question/concern. What, if anything do I do with it?

In the bowl, the star-spiked plant has grown and divided and seems to be doing well, but it’s getting crowded.

The one with the shorter spikes has budded a new arm. Normal, I guess?

Should I be replanting any of the cacti in the bowl?

And the tall cactus in the separate pot has about tripled or quadrupled in size and is adding new arms all the time. Time to replant to a larger pot?

I live near Chicago and these are all strictly indoors. They receive indirect sun from a south exposure. I have a grow light that is on a timer and runs about six(?) hours a day all the time.
I appreciate any suggestions or comments.

Comments for Help with Cactus Plants

Nov 13, 2022
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

This type of planter tends to be short lived and not meant to be permanent, so any time a plant outgrows the space and refuses to share, it’s time to take it apart and replant the plants into larger individual containers, and put new ones in to replace them.

Not all plants are suited to a mixed planter – some get more aggressive and take over, others fade away.

I advise you to replace all the soil, as in a non-draining container, the soil tends to get waterlogged, worn out, or gets pathogens that could infect other plants. Start fresh.

As for the light situation, generally, most succulents prefer eight to twelve hours of light a day, so maybe adjust the timing. The window light that they are getting would be counted as simply supplemental, and won’t be enough on its own.

Nov 18, 2022
Thank you.
by: Michael

It looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me…

Nov 18, 2022
Growing Plants
by: Jacki

There’s never a dull moment! Always something that needs to be moved, pruned, repotted or shuffled around. Good luck!