How to Plant Cactus in Ground: A Step-by-Step Guide

In order for the exotic, thorny beauties to feel at home, important aspects must be observed when planting. Use our tips to learn how to plant cactus in ground.

how to plant cactus in ground
“Cactus Corner” by Julie is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A bed of colorful blooming cacti doesn't have to remain a pipe dream. There are definitely hardy species that cause a sensation in the garden all year round.

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Tips for site selection and tillage

The vast majority of frost-hardy cacti are native to high up in the Andes and North American mountains. Shade and nutrient-rich soil are in short supply there. You should therefore adjust the choice of location to the natural habitat conditions.

How to do it right:

  • A sunny, rain-protected location
  • Sandy-loamy to sandy-gravelly soil
  • Fresh to moderately dry, without waterlogging

Conventional garden soil contains too many nutrients for frugal cacti. Targeted cultivation of the soil optimizes the quality of the location for the demands of the cacti. For this purpose, dig the ground about 30 cm deep. Spread a layer of gravel on the base for drainage. Above this, fill the dug up soil again after you have enriched it with lime-free silica sand or perlite.

How to make a cactus garden outside

The ideal time window for planting cactus in the ground outdoors is open from mid-May to late June / early July. We recommend doing the soil preparations 14 days before the planned planting date so that the soil can settle.

How to proceed:

  1. Dig a planting hole for each cactus with 1.5 times the volume of the root ball
  2. Put on thorn-proof gloves
  3. Pot the plant and insert it in the center of the pit as deep as it was in the pot
  4. Press the substrate on with your hands for a good connection to the soil
  5. Finally, spread a 3-5 cm thick layer of gravel, grit or lava granules

Adjust the planting distance to the respective type of cactus. For popular outdoor cacti such as opuntia, a distance of 30 to 40 cm between the plants has proven to be good.

Pro Tip:

Your frost-sensitive cacti prefer to spend the warm summer time in the garden or on the balcony. From mid-May to mid / end of September, your summer visitors can enjoy the sun's rays in a rain-protected location. During this time, numerous species put on their flower dress to attract everyone's attention.

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