Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Take Care of a Cholla Plant

...
desert cholla 2 image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com

The cholla cactus is a member of the cactus, Opuntia genus along with the prickly pear cactus. They have prickly spines, joints and rudimentary leaves. In order for cacti to conserve moisture during the heat of the day, they actually grow at night when they can take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen without loosing extra moisture. As a perennial, it needs little care as long as its basic requirements are met.

Provide a good draining site for your cholla cactus. It can withstand dry conditions but will rot quickly if it sits in water. This is considered to be the most important element in growing the cholla plant. If you are not sure that your site has adequate drainage, you can either lift the cactus by planting it in a raised bed or add more sand to the soil.

  • The cholla cactus is a member of the cactus, Opuntia genus along with the prickly pear cactus.
  • If you are not sure that your site has adequate drainage, you can either lift the cactus by planting it in a raised bed or add more sand to the soil.

Water your cholla plant. Even though you might think that as a cactus it might thrive in the dry heat of summer, it is still a plant that needs moisture to undergo photosynthesis. Cholla typically requires about an inch of moisture a month and can handle even more as long as the drainage is keeping the water from pooling. A mixture of garden soil, sand and gravel is usually a great base for the cholla cactus.

Plant the cholla cactus in a site where it will receive at least six hours of full sunlight every day. Although it can survive for a time in part sunshine, it will not be able to generate new growth. A lack of light will eventually cause the plant to become more susceptible to disease and pests.

  • Even though you might think that as a cactus it might thrive in the dry heat of summer, it is still a plant that needs moisture to undergo photosynthesis.

Fertilize your cholla cactus with a balanced fertilizer in the middle of the growing season or about the second week of summer for your area. According to Don Campbell, of the Colorado Cactus and Succulent Society, you can fertilize by diluting with water, by mixing it in with compost applied around the base of the plant or by applying a powder or granules on the soil. Make sure you don't over-fertilize or the plant will produce too much soft growth that won't be ready for cooler winter temperatures.

Related Articles

How to Care for Orchid Cactus Plants
How to Care for Orchid Cactus Plants
Plant Care Instructions For a Christmas Cactus
Plant Care Instructions For a Christmas Cactus
Care of San Pedro Cactus
Care of San Pedro Cactus
How to Take Care of a Bird of Paradise
How to Take Care of a Bird of Paradise
Can You Cut a Cactus?
Can You Cut a Cactus?
What Are the Different Types of Cacti Living in Mexico?
What Are the Different Types of Cacti Living in Mexico?
How to Care for a Cactus With Yellow Flowers
How to Care for a Cactus With Yellow Flowers
How to Transplant a Cutting From a San Pedro Cactus
How to Transplant a Cutting From a San Pedro Cactus
How to Dig Up a Cactus
How to Dig Up a Cactus
Garden Guides
×