How to Speed Up Cactus Growth: A Complete Guide

At times, you might feel that your cactus is taking its time to grow. Fret not; this comprehensive guide will teach you how to speed up your cactus’s growth and witness remarkable results while maintaining the health and beauty of your specimen.

Tall old man cactus in terracotta pot growth

Understanding the Fundamental Factors

Before delving into specific techniques, let’s grasp the essential elements that influence your cactus’s growth. By comprehending these basics, you’ll be better prepared to effectively foster your cactus’s development.

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Soil Selection: Building a Solid Foundation

Choosing the right soil is crucial for your cactus’s growth. Opt for well-draining soil that prevents waterlogging and root rot. A mixture of sandy soil and perlite works excellently, providing the ideal texture for cactus roots to spread and absorb nutrients.

Tall sidewalk cactus growth

Sunlight Exposure: Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Cacti thrive in sunlight, and ample exposure is vital for their growth. Ensure your cactus receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you’re growing your cactus indoors, consider placing it near a south-facing window to maximize sun exposure.

Cactus growth to the growth

Watering Techniques: Balancing Moisture Levels

Contrary to popular belief, cacti don’t thrive in completely dry conditions. Adequate watering is essential, but overwatering can be detrimental. Water your cactus sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. During the dormant winter months, reduce watering frequency to avoid root rot.

When you’re rooting or transplanting your succulents and cacti, use SUPERthrive to help reduce the chance of transplant shock and grow a strong root system.

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Pot Selection: Providing Adequate Space

Choosing the right pot is essential for your cactus’s growth. Opt for a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the roots. Additionally, ensure the pot is slightly larger than the cactus’s current size, allowing room for root expansion.

Temperature and Humidity: Finding the Sweet Spot

Cacti prefer warm and dry environments, making temperature and humidity crucial factors for growth. Aim for temperatures between 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C) during the active growing season. Avoid exposing your cactus to extreme cold or humidity, as it can hinder growth.

Fertilization: Nourishing Your Cactus

Feeding your cactus with the right nutrients is vital for promoting growth. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for cacti during the growing season. Remember to follow the recommended dosage, as over-fertilization can damage the plant.


Succulent fertilizer available to purchase on Etsy.

Optimizing Cactus Size: Advanced Techniques

Now that you understand the fundamentals, let’s explore some advanced techniques to supercharge your cactus’s size.


Pruning your cactus can stimulate new growth and shape the plant. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove dead or damaged stems. Additionally, consider pinching back new growth to encourage branching and create a fuller, bushier cactus.

Grafting: Speeding Up the Process

Grafting is a technique where a cutting from a fast-growing cactus is attached to a slower-growing one. This accelerates the growth of the slower cactus, allowing it to benefit from the vigor of the fast-growing variety.

Propagation: Expanding Your Collection

Propagation involves creating new cacti from cuttings or seeds. By propagating your cactus, you can multiply your collection and fill your space with vibrant, healthy plants.

Temperature Manipulation: Triggering Growth

In some cases, manipulating temperature can stimulate growth. For instance, subjecting certain cactus species to a cooler period during winter can encourage spring growth.

Rooting Hormones: Boosting Root Development

When propagating cacti from cuttings, consider using rooting hormones to encourage root growth. These hormones promote root development, helping the cutting establish itself faster.