I have good news for the indoor succulent gardeners. Do you know you can use pencil cactus for indoor gardens?
After a little preparation you can plant pencil cactus indoors successfully. Let me guide you through it.
Pencil cactus for indoor
To briefly touch on the origin of the pencil cactus, it is originating from Africa and India.
This would be a great pick for indoor growing and it would turn out to be one great houseplant once it grows to its fullest.
You only need to ensure that you provide it with adequate sunlight when you grow them as houseplants.
Pencil cactus indoor maintenance guide
As usual the most significant thing you need to practice in terms of watering the pencil cactus is watering them only when their soil is dry.
Consider that you are someone who lives in hot and dry weather conditions, then you need to water them once every two week maximum.
On the other hand, if the weather conditions get cooler, you could cut down on watering and reduce watering to once every month.
Always keep in mind to avoid over watering these cactus, unless there could be severe repercussions.
It could cause root rots of the plant and hence it could be fatal on the plant unless you do not remedy it immediately.
To reiterate, please bear in mind to first check whether the soil is dry and only then resume watering them.
If you think the soil is still moist, wait for another couple of more days and resume watering them.
In addition to the aforesaid, it is vital that you grow them in a pot which has enough draining holes so that the excess water could move through the draining holes without retaining in the pot.
On another note, ensure that you do not over saturate it too. If in case you spot your pencil cactus has become wrinkles and shriveled, you may assume that it lacks water.
As such you need to water them thoroughly whilst letting the water soak through the soil well.
Preferred Light condition
In terms of providing adequate sunlight for indoor grown pencil cactus, keep in mind that they still require plenty of sunlight to thrive.
What I would suggest you do is to locate the cactus near a bright and sunny window so that they could absorb the essential sunlight level.
Low light conditions would not suit the pencil cactus as they cannot survive in those conditions.
Having said that, they could still manage to stay alive if you water them on a constant basis. Further you need to keep them in an environment where the temperature is at a healthy level for them to thrive.
One more tactic you could practice when you are growing the pencil cactus indoors is rotating your cactus once every month.
Consequently, that will allow the entire plant to expose for light evenly. This will further avoid any potential etiolation of the cactus too.
Choosing a correct pot is crucial when you are growing the pencil cactus indoors as that would have a direct impact on the plant’s prosperity and on its well being as well.
As you may already understand, the pot you chose to grow them should comprise excellent drainage.
Moreover, your cactus should be able to fit in conveniently in the pot too. They could sometimes form long roots.
As such, the best is to use a deeper pot. When you provide a deep pot, it would help the cactus to grow better and vigorously and healthily too.
When it comes to selecting the right material for the pencil cactus, it should ideally be ceramic or glazed terracotta pots.
The reason behind using them is that they are porous, and it could avoid the water retaining in the pot too.
What is concerning about using these pots is that they are not light weight when you fill them with soil along with plants.
So just a piece of advice from me! Make sure you have located the pot in its final position before you plant the cactus and add the soil.
In case, if you think you might have to shift the cactus here and there, best is to use plastic or resin containers.
Obviously due to the light weight, you could shift them conveniently. Although you have this option, it would not be that helpful for the cactus to thrive well.
That is because they are poor insulators particularly during extreme temperatures. It would not be healthy for your cactus roots as well.
Chances are that the water could get heated in summer times when you grow them in such pots.
You could still fix this if you water them often. Moreover, you could paint the pots in white also Apart from that you could even wrap them also with aluminum foil.
Just like the succulents and with cactus, the soil mix you are using should be a well-draining one. Be it indoor growing or outdoor growing.
Moreover they would prefer to have dry and sandy soil to thrive well too. Further you may consider adding perlite also as that could enhance the draining of the soil.
If I suggest to you a right potting medium for these cacti to thrive well, it could ideally be a mix of two parts of cactus mix and one part of perlite.
Pencil cactus do not depend on fertilizers a lot and they have quite modest requirements when it comes to fertilizers.
Usually, they tend to grow in poor soil, and they could adapt to any kind of growing conditions as well.
However, although they do not depend on a lot of fertilizers, you could consider feeding them which would be beneficial to enrich their nutritional level.
If you want to feed them, you may utilize a diluted houseplant fertilizer once a year during the spring season.
Having said that, please be mindful that you do not overfeed them as it could badly affect the cactus’ wellbeing and on their health as well.
It would have severe repercussions such as what you encounter with over watering
. You could grow the pencil cactus well if you provide them with bright light, sandy soil and water them on and off as appropriate.
You may use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer to feed them during spring season
Consider that you have a mature and a well grown plant, then you could use a 20-20-20 houseplant food at quarter strength.
You may further use a controlled release fertilizer to feed them. If not, instead of that you may use a fertilizer which has a low nitrogen level.
Where to put pencil cactus indoor
If you wish to add some greenery and a visual attractiveness to your living rooms, this could be a great plant to think of
They do not require a massive area treatment from you and do not usually form deep root systems as well. As such they would perfectly fit in a living room.
They would further be useful in purifying the air too. They would add more beauty and calmness to the whole living room.
However, it would be somewhat messy when you have to water them though. Moreover, you will have to keep an eye on the pets in case they get involved with these plants and make a mess.
In addition to that, keep in mind they are toxic plants for both humans and for pets as well. As such , make sure that they are not reachable for pets and for kids as well.
If you think of adding a pencil cactus into your bedroom, it would be beneficial for you to sleep well too.
It could filter fresh air and it would help you to breath well. What is exceptional about this plant is that it could transform carbon dioxide into oxygen during night.
As such, it makes them an extraordinary plant to grow in bedrooms as it could contribute to proper air circulation.
They would help you to sleep well and better. It could be somewhat messy when you have to water them occasionally though.
You could add pencil cactus in your study room as that would calm your mind and would further make you feel relaxed too.
They are well known for improving moods and to enhance your concentration as well. That would make you efficient and productive too.
More importantly, it would be so peaceful to study in a room which is beautified with greenery such as pencil cactus.
This would be a little tricky situation to grow pencil cactus in bathrooms as they cannot thrive in low light conditions.
However, they could still thrive if you provide the necessary treatments as appropriate. You could try supplying them light from using grow lights or locating them near windows etc.
They would grace the entire bathroom when you grow one of those in the bathroom.
Pencil cactus would be a great pick for the kitchen. It would require only a minimum treatment from you, and they would look aesthetically beautiful when you place them in the kitchen.
It would give a greenery look to the kitchen. You could grow this plant no matter what kind of a space in the kitchen you have allocated.
However, you need to make sure that you keep them at a far distance from the pets as well as from the kids due to its toxicity.
How to repot pencil cactus indoor
Pencil cactus would also tend to become larger in size as they grow. As such you would want to repot them ideally in a slightly bigger pot so that they could thrive well.
It is an easy process you could follow to transplant them. Before proceeding with anything, make sure you are wearing eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, and gloves which could cover up to your wrist.
That is because chances are that they could produce a milky sap which could be poisonous if they are cut. So, take precautions before you go ahead with anything.
One more important thing to note is that you need to ensure the soil medium is dry before you take off the plant from the older pot.
After that you could select a pot which has enough draining holes and which is made out of a good material as explained above.
You may now remove the plant from the older pot and get rid of the old soil. Next you could snip the dead, brown, and rotten roots of the plant.
Next you may place the plants in a naval pot and fill in the potting medium. You may arrange a potting medium as aforesaid.
After about one week’s time, you could water them. It is best to wait for about one week’s time and then water them as they need to adjust to the new growing conditions.
Is pencil cactus good indoors?
Pencil cactus could survive well indoors given that they get adequate sunlight. Having said that, they could not thrive in low light levels though.
As such, place them near a bright sunny window which will allow them to absorb enough sunlight.
You may consider growing them as nice indoor ornamental plant plants during colder weather conditions.
Do pencil cacti need direct sunlight?
They would require full sunlight. Having said that, they could thrive in direct sunlight for some time too.
When you expose them to full sunlight, it would be beneficial for their optimal growth. They will not survive in low light levels and best is to locate them in the brightest sunny spot in your home when you grow them indoors.
Do pencil cacti help you sleep?
Pencil cactus help to sleep you well since they can filter the air.
Do pencil cacti attract bugs?
Mealybug, scales and aphids are some of the bugs which could commonly attack the pencil cactus.