Caring for your Cactus Terrarium

You may think that cacti are hardy plants since they mostly live in the desert but here’s a secret: they will survive with minimal care but making them thrive? That requires putting your green fingers to work! Here are some tips for you to maintain your cactus terrarium.

1. Watering

Firstly, ascertain what type of cactus your plant is. Different types are used to different climates and there are varying watering schedules. For desert-types, water them once a month. For tropical-types, watering it every 2-3 weeks is a safe gauge. If the tropical cacti is flowering, it would be good to keep the soil moist instead of dry. A general rule of thumb is to water only when the soil is dry (i.e. no soil particles clinging to your finger after touching the soil). Secondly, alter the watering schedule if your cactus terrarium is a closed terrarium. Water the terrarium less frequently if it is closed; follow as per above if it is an open terrarium.

Warning signs:

Under-watering – crispy, dried up

Over-watering – limpy, lighter in colour

2. Sunlight

Desert cacti prefer around 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, while tropical cacti can be kept in partial shade.

Warning signs:

Too little sunlight – stretching or extension of cactus towards the sun

(Tip: Slowly ease it into an area with more sunlight, otherwise the cactus will be scorched due to the sudden change in environment)

Too much sunlight – paling in colour, usually turns yellowish-brown


3. Pest Control

Mealybugs are common to find on cacti! They are tiny white insects that look like white powder or cotton on your cacti. This “cotton invasion” dines on plant sap, weakening your plant over time. To combat these little devils, rub or spray alcohol onto the infestation. There are a few other types of pests (e.g. spider mites, fungus) which you can read over here.

cactus terrarium