Cacti expert on most common mistake which rots houseplant ‘Not meant to look like that!’

Gardeners’ World: Presenter discusses how to look after cacti

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Cacti and succulents are the most resilient houseplants and are incredibly popular right now. Tough, quirky and extremely cute, many succeed when it comes to caring for them. But some houseplant owners struggle to get their cacti or succulents to thrive. Luckily, cacti guru and founder of cacti and succulent score, Prick, Gynelle Leon revealed the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to looking after the prickly plants during a conversation with BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine podcast. 

When asked what the biggest problems she sees, or the mistakes people make when it comes to looking after cactis and Gynelle revealed three issues; location, overwatering and neglect. 

She explained further: “Putting it [the cacti] somewhere where there is hardly any sunlight. 

“So somewhere that looks great like on a nice shelf or on a mantlepiece, which is usually not directly next to a window and then they’ll carry on watering as if it is in bright light and end up rotting it. 

“Or people think they don’t need to do anything with it, they’ll get so worried about the rot they won’t water [the plant] enough. 

“So then you have a completely dried out cactus,” Gynelle added. 

“It’s either extreme neglect or overwatering and not getting enough light. 

“But I think it’s mostly not enough like because you’ll see them growing in a weird shape. 

“They’ll go ‘oh wow look at it’ and it’s ‘no it’s not supposed to look like that!’ 

“If you notice the top of the plant is getting narrower and narrower, it usually means it needs more light,” she added. 

To resurrect the strange shape the cactus has grown into, Gynelle said: “You can save it if you move it… turn it around and encourage its growth.” 

For anyone who doesn’t get a lot of light in their property, Gynelle recommends grow lights. 

“You can get screw in bulbs, or ones you can clip on overnight for a few hours,” she said.

“I’ve been using them in the shop at the moment, just so you’re getting some light for the plants and that does seem to help – especially if you’re someone who loves plants but you don’t get a lot of light in somewhere like a basement or flat.” 

In terms of whether the coloured grow lights are more effective than the white grow lights, Gynelle said she hasn’t found any research to suggest so but uses the pink and blue ones herself. 

“They work really well for me,” she commented. 

“I was quite surprised, but I use them as a little top up and they often have timers on them so you can have them on the same time every day and then they switch off to give them [the plants] a little boost. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by LDN’S CACTUS & SUCCULENT STORE (@prickldn)

“But I find them really helpful.” 

Gynelle went onto say: “During our winter there are days when it’s completely overcast and I’m thinking ‘is there any sunlight today?’ 

“And I think it just keeps them a little bit more happier and look less sad – as cactis and succulents usually do in the winter because they shrivel up a bit because they are underwatered. 

“So it’s not a great time for plants this time of year, but once the summer hits, they’re going to be looking great.” 

“I’ve been using them in the shop at the moment, just so you’re getting some light for the plants and that does seem to help – especially if you’re someone who loves plants but you don’t get a lot of light in somewhere like a basement or flat.” 

In terms of whether the coloured grow lights are more effective than the white grow lights, Gynelle said she hasn’t found any research to suggest so but uses the pink and blue ones herself. 

“They work really well for me,” she commented. 

“I was quite surprised, but I use them as a little top up and they often have timers on them so you can have them on the same time every day and then they switch off to give them [the plants] a little boost. 

Source: Read Full Article