Gynelle Leon, owner of PRICK
Gynelle Leon

Cacti and succulents are adored for their interesting forms, structure and character. These traits have evolved over thousands of years as adaptations to survive warm, dry climates. As indoor plant owners, our aim is to try to replicate their natural environment to help them follow their natural rhythms, so they can grow and flourish in our homes. And even, all being well, provide beautiful flowers. Most people fail by over-watering cacti and succulents or not providing enough light. So here I share my five top tips for cacti and succulent care.


Gynelle is the owner of PRICK, a boutique dedicated to cacti and other succulents.

Gynelle's five favourite cacti and succulents


Cactus sit on a windowsill
Cacti sitting on a windowsill

Most cacti and succulents require full exposure, so a sunny south-facing windowsill is perfect. Too little light will lead to your plant stretching or lead to rot as the plant stays wet for too long. Be sure to rotate your plants every couple of weeks to prevent them from leaning towards the light.


A collection of succulents
Caring for cacti and succulents year-round

For cacti and succulents, it is important to replicate the seasons of their natural habitat. The growing season is early spring to mid-autumn, when we should water and fertilise every 7-10 days. The dormant season is mid-autumn to early spring when we should water our cacti and water succulents sparingly, and keep them in a cool position in the home.

More like this


Cacti and succulent collection
Keep cacti and succulents away from a heat source

Central heating in our homes provides a warm and dry environment, which is perfect for these plants. However, in the dormant season this can cause them to continue growing, instead of enjoying their winter’s rest. So try to make sure your plant is not above a radiator or other heat source, but at a temperature no lower than 10°C.


Watering a cactus
Watering a cactus

Many people kill their cacti and succulents with kindness, usually by overwatering. They do not need watering as frequently as other houseplants. Cacti and succulents like their roots to be kept dry, so make sure you allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again and only water frequently in the growing season.


Preparing soil for cacti and other succulents
Preparing compost for cacti and other succulents

Cacti and succulents like an open, gritty compost that will allow surplus water to drain through easily, this helps prevent root rot. There are many different substrates you can use to create free-draining compost. You can mix pearlite, pumice or even kitty litter into your compost.