Growing cacti in a wicking bed

The effectiveness of growing cacti in a wicking bed has long been something we have wanted to explore.

In 2022 we had a conversation with a cacti breeder about WaterUps and thought that we would test the limits of wicking to seeing what would happen if we tried to grow cacti in our Square Planters. Cacti are noted for their ability to survive in arid environments. They store water in their leaves and stems to allow them to survive long periods without water. Most cactus plants are slow growing, gaining only 2 or 3cms per year in height. They are generally known to grow well with a light slow deep watering once a week.

Mitch Shailer from The Cacti Folk on the Central Coast NSW has been trialling WaterUps for the growing of their cacti and has just released some interesting, never before documented results. The trial covered 3 varieties of cacti grown side by side over a 6-month period. Each variety was planted in both a WaterUps Square Planter and an adjacent terracotta pot.

Mitch concluded: “It’s Confirmed. the WaterUps definitely produces better growth for cacti."

The main growth performance has been in the Cow Horn cactus, which has grown at nearly double the size and is visibly healthier.

The Eurphorbia Ammak has grown quite considerably as well, which is evident in the number of arms.”

Although the aloe style cactus (Dragons Tongue) didn’t grain a crazy amount of size in comparison, it definitely produced more pups (all the pups shown) and is noticeably larger, although only slightly.

So there you go, growing cacti in a WaterUps wicking bed is the way to go!.