It likes the sun
As a desert cactus, it thrives in full sun. That means at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Indoors, a west- or south-facing window works best. Outdoors in harsh sun, some shade during midday can prevent scald.
It likes its soil kind of dry
The secret to watering your cactus is to let the soil dry out entirely.
Poke a chopstick deep into the soil – if it come out even slightly moist, don't water. Let the soil dry out. Once the soil is completely dry, water thoroughly until liquid runs out of the drainage hole to nourish the lower roots. It’s a bit of experimenting to get to the right balance but don’t worry, you’ll get it after a bit of trial and error.
Discard any drained water because the plant doesn't like wet feet and this can cause root rot.
Start with roughly once a week. More in the hot months, less in the monsoon and cooler seasons.
Spa day, once a month.
Rejuvenate your cactus with a few easy steps.
1. Scrape off any white mould on top of the soil. It’s just harmless fungi that lives in the soil. Lightly dust the soil with ground cinnamon.
2. Aerate the soil by poking holes with a chopstick.
3. Gently wipe its leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust that may collect. This not only makes your plant look nice but also helps it to soak in light more easily.
4. Spin it around to make sure its sunned evenly as it tends to grow towards sunlight.
Why do the pads look shrivelled?
If the pads on your cactus look shrivelled and dry, it's likely been underwatered. Water in an increasingly large quantity over several days, just until the pads are plumb and full again. But do not continue watering heavily; excess water is a more severe problem. It's fine for cactus to be allowed to shrivel slightly in the winter, as it is a natural part of the life cycle.
Why have the pads split?
Pads Are Splitting If the pads on your cactus are so plump and full that they split, your plant is probably getting too much water. Reduce your watering intervals. Affected pads may need to be removed.
Why are the pads mushy?
Parts of the Plant are Mushy If selected parts of the plant are mushy and soft, it's a warning that it is developing rot from too much water. If you reduce watering immediately and cut away rotted areas, you may be able to save the plant. But if rot continues to spread, discard the plant.