What to do if you bring home a cactus or succulent that is *not* from us
When we first got into plants, we would bring home a new cactus and find ourselves asking countless questions.
- Should I re-pot it?
- Which soil should I use if I re-pot?
- What type of planter do I need?
- How can I tell if my new plant is getting enough sunlight?
- What else do I need to watch out for with my new plant???
We know we aren't the only ones!
Fast forward 7 years and we've learned the exact steps to take and how to answer all these questions when bringing home a new cactus or succulent.
If you aren’t buying a plant kit from us, knowing what to do when you bring home a succulent or you are gifted a cactus can be difficult. We were given so many conflicting instructions when we started out but eventually realized when set up correctly, it is very easy to make sure your cacti and succulents will be happy in their new homes.
If you’ve already bought a cactus or have been gifted a succulent, run through these questions to make sure they are set up to do well in their new home:
SHOULD I RE-POT IT?
- Check to see if your new plant passes the soil test. If you found a plant in terrible soil you’ll want to re-pot it into an absorbent planter like one of ours or a terracotta pot. If it’s in that terrible soil, re-pot as soon as possible. If your plant passes the soil test, you can wait a few days for the plant to acclimate to the new environment before you re-pot.
- If someone gifted you a plant that has been in a pot for years and years and has been doing well, you do not want to re-pot it because it could cause shock in its new environment. We recommend keeping it in its pot until there is a reason to re-pot it i.e. it becomes too large for the pot. If you would like to re-pot it, be sure to wait at least a month so the plant can acclimate to its new home.
- If you are unsure how to re-pot your new plant, find our Step-By-Step Repotting Blog Here.
WHICH SOIL SHOULD I USE IF I RE-POT?
- When you re-pot your new cactus or succulent, you need to make sure it’s in fluffy, nutrient rich soil, like ours and is in the right sized pot. If the planter is too small it won’t be able to hold enough water. If it’s too big, it’ll have too much soil in it to dry fast enough and water will sit in the planter, which can lead to root rot.
- Learn How to Find the Best Soil for Your Plant on our blog.
WHICH TYPE OF PLANTER SHOULD I USE?
- When picking a planter for your cactus or succulent, you’ll want to find something that replicates its natural environment. An absorbent planter like one of ours or a terracotta pot is best. You’ll want to avoid any glazed or sealed planters because this can hold water against your plants roots, leading to root rot, even with a drainage hole. Our absorbent planters and instructions do not need a drainage hole since we give specific amounts of water that will not result in over watering and the planter can absorb and expel any extra water.
- To find out more about what planter is best for your plant, check out our blog How to Find the Best Planters for Your Plants.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY PLANT IS GETTING ENOUGH SUNLIGHT?
- Place your new plant somewhere in your home that provides the correct type of light for your plant. Most plants enjoy bright indirect sunlight. All of our plants have been acclimated to lower light so they do well with low light to high indirect light. If you don’t know how to tell what type of light you have your plant in, check out our blog How to *Actually* Understand Types of Indoor Light.
DOES TEMPERATURE IN MY HOUSE AFFECT MY PLANT?
- Changes in temperature can negatively affect the health of your plants. Be sure you put your plant in a space that is not near any heating or AC vents so it’s in a consistent environment.
THINGS TO BEWARE OF WHEN YOU BRING A NEW PLANT HOME:
- If it has spots on it, or appears to have pests, the plant can transfer disease to your other plants. Quarantine it immediately away from your other plants so it doesn't spread. You can try and identify the specific problem and find any treatments.
- If you found a plant with a flower glued on - you know those ones from the big box home improvement and gardening stores - then you can carefully remove the fake flower and hot glue with a pair of tweezers. Be gentle while peeling the glue off so you cause the least amount of damage.
When you bring home a new cactus or succulent, all you want for your new baby is for it to be happy! All we want to do is to help you have plants that thrive! Make sure you ask yourself these questions to help your new plant acclimate to its new home and live its best life.