Caring for indoor desert plants is a rewarding experience that involves patience and determination, but ultimately isn't difficult if you follow simple steps to ensure healthy growth.
Because cacti and succulents hail from a variety of habitats and vary in requirements, we always recommend a quick online search of the botanical name of your plant to hone in on specific care guidelines.
March - June: Water once every two weeks
June - Late September: Water once every two-three weeks
Early October - March: Water once every two-three months
Watering of indoor plants is the most crucial part of care. When the time comes to water your plant, thoroughly saturate the soil until you see drainage from the bottom of the pot. Allow the soil to completely dry between waterings to prevent root rot. When checking for moisture, use a moisture meter to determine whether the soil is wet or dry. If you don't have a moisture meter, you can stick a finger into the dirt down to the knuckle. If the soil is totally dry, it's time to water it.
Cactus and succulents prefer soil that is well aerated and fast draining. This type of soil prevents root rot, which is a common cause for failure of indoor plants due to overwatering. A good cactus soil generally contains pumice or perlite mixed with a variety of sand, crushed granite, and soil mediums. We use coconut coir as the soil base in our Cactus Soil Mix.
For a plant inside your home, place in an area that is brightly lit. Indirect light from a south or east facing window is best. If a light source is inadequate, you might notice etiolation of the extreme parts of a plant, like the tips of arms "stretching" toward a window as an effort to gain better light. Be sure to rotate your plant once a month so that all areas of the plant are happy.
If placing outdoors (summer time for you Midwestern folks), ensure that your plant has adequate shade during the hottest parts of the day. Some plants enjoy being in full sun, but must be gradually acclimated to prevent bleaching of the plant.