Can Cactus Live in Cold Weather? (All You Need to Know)

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Winter is coming. For many of us, that means bundling up in sweaters and coats to keep warm.

But what about our cactus plants? Can cactus live in cold weather?

The answer is yes, cactus can live in cold weather. However, not all cactus species can tolerate cold temperatures.

In general, cactus plants can tolerate temperatures down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

But a few cold-tolerant species can handle temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Most cacti are native to desert regions, which means they are accustomed to hot, dry conditions.

However, some cacti can survive in cold weather. If you live in an area with a cold climate, you can still grow cacti by choosing the right type of cactus for your area.

This article will explore whether or not cacti can live in cold weather conditions and provide some tips for keeping them healthy during the cold winter months.

Can Cactus Grow in Cold Weather?

Yes, cacti can grow in cold weather conditions as long as you choose the right type of cactus plant for your area, and make sure they’re kept dry and get enough light and warmth during the day.

Some cacti can survive in colder temperatures, but they may not be as healthy or productive if grown in a cold climate.

Cactus plants that are native to cold climates can handle colder temperatures, but most cacti cannot tolerate frost.

If you live in an area where the temperature regularly drops below freezing, it is best to grow cacti native to your climate.

You can also protect your cactus plants from cold weather by bringing them inside or placing them in a greenhouse during the winter months.

The best way to ensure your cactus can withstand colder temperatures is to choose a hardy cactus variety that is native to a cold climate.

What Temperature Is Too Cold for Cactus?

Most cacti can live in cold weather, but there is a limit to how cold it can get before they start to die.

The lowest temperature a cactus can tolerate depends on the species, but it is generally between -20°F and 0°F.

If the temperature drops below this, the cactus will start to experience damage.

This can include things like the leaves turning brown and falling off, the stem shrinking, and the plant becoming less resistant to disease.

You also have to consider that some species can tolerate cold temperatures but not frost.

Frost can cause the same damage as extremely cold temperatures, so knowing if your cactus is susceptible to this before putting it outside is essential.

Growing your cactus indoors or in a greenhouse is best if you live in an area with cold winters.

This will protect them from the cold and allow you to control the temperature and humidity.

If you decide to grow your cactus outside, make sure to choose a spot that is sheltered from the wind and gets plenty of sun.

With a little care, you can grow cactus in cold weather. Just make sure you know the limits of your plant and take steps to protect it from the elements.

Which Cactus Can Survive Cold Weather

If you live in an area with a cold climate, it is important to choose a cold-hardy cactus variety that can withstand lower temperatures.

When selecting a cactus for your garden, it is essential to consider the minimum temperature that the plant can tolerate.

You should also consider the amount of sun and water the plant needs.

Some of the best cold hardy cacti for cold weather include:

Opuntia Humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear)

The Opuntia humifusa is a type of cactus that can tolerate temperatures as low as -20°F.

It is native to the eastern United States, growing in woodlands, prairies, and hillsides.

This cactus has large, flat pads that are covered in small spines. It produces yellow flowers in the summer and red fruits in the fall.

Sclerocactus Whipplei (Whipple’s Fishhook Cactus)

The Sclerocactus whipplei can tolerate temperatures as low as -10°F.

It is native to the southwestern United States, growing in dry canyons and hillsides.

This cactus has a cylindrical shape and produces yellow flowers in the spring.

Echinocereus Reichenbachii (Lace Hedgehog Cactus)

The Echinocereus reichenbachii can tolerate temperatures as low as 0°F.

It can be found in grasslands and oak and juniper woodlands in northern Mexico and the southern United States.

This cactus has a spiny cylindrical shape and produces pink flowers in the spring.

Echinocereus Viridiflorus (Green-Flowered Hedgehog Cactus)

The Echinocereus viridiflorus can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F.

It is native to the south-central United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in desert scrub and grasslands.

This cactus has a small spherical or cylindrica shape and produces greenish lemon flowers in the spring.

Ferocactus hamatacanthus (Turk’s Head)

The Ferocactus hamatacanthus can tolerate temperatures as low as 25°F.

It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in desert scrub and grasslands.

This cactus has a large spherical shape and produces large yellow flowers in the spring.

How To Grow Cacti in Cold Weather

Cactus plants can be a great addition to your garden, even if you live in an area with cold winters.

Just make sure you choose a cactus that can tolerate the lower temperatures and provide it with the right growing conditions and protect it from the elements.

Light Requirements

Most cactus plants need plenty of sunlight to thrive.

Some can tolerate partial shade, but most need at least six hours of direct sun each day.

It is important to provide your cactus with as much bright light as possible during cold weather. This can be done by placing it near a south-facing window.

Water Requirements

Cactus plants are succulents, which means they can store water in their leaves, stems, and roots.

This allows them to survive in dry conditions for long periods.

During the winter, you should water your cactus less often, but make sure to water it well when you do.

You can tell if your cactus needs water by checking the soil. If the top of the soil is dry, then it is time to water your cactus.

Soil Requirements

Cactus plants thrive in sandy or gritty soils that drain well.

They do not do well in soils that are wet or clay-like.

You can improve the drainage of your garden soil by adding sand, gravel, or perlite to it.

Humidity Requirements

Cactus plants do not like high humidity.

They can tolerate humidity levels as low as 50% but prefer lower levels, such as 30-40%.

During the winter, you can help to reduce the humidity in your garden by using a fan or by planting your cactus plants in an area that gets good air circulation.

Protection from the Elements

Cactus plants can be damaged by wind, rain, and snow during cold weather.

You can protect them from the elements by placing them in a sheltered location near a building or fence.

You can also wrap them in burlap or place them in a plastic container.

How To Protect Cactus From Frost

Although some cactus plants can tolerate cold weather, they can still be damaged by frost.

Frost can cause the leaves of your cactus to turn brown and can damage the roots.

Some ways you can protect your cactus from frost are:

Place a Frost Cloth Over the Cactus

You can purchase a frost cloth at your local garden center.

This is a lightweight, breathable fabric that can be draped over your cactus to protect it from cold weather.

Bring the Cactus Indoors

If possible, you can bring your cactus indoors during cold weather.

Place it in a sunny location, such as near a south-facing window.

You can also grow cacti indoors in a pot.

Put the Cactus in a Sheltered Location

If you can’t bring your cactus indoors, you can place it in a sheltered location outdoors.

This could be near a building or fence. You can also wrap the cactus in burlap or place it in a plastic container.

Cover the Soil Around the Cactus With Mulch

You can also protect the soil around your cactus from frost by covering it with mulch.

Mulch will help to insulate the soil and keep it warm.

Reduce the Amount of Water You Give the Cactus

You should reduce the amount of water you give your cactus during cold weather.

Watering can cause the soil to freeze, which can damage the roots.

You should only water your cactus when the top of the soil is dry.

Final Thoughts

Cactus plants can live and thrive in cold weather with the proper care.

Just make sure to choose the right plant for your area and provide it with the proper growing conditions.

Water it less often during the winter, but make sure to water it well when you do.

And be sure to protect it from the elements, either by bringing it indoors or placing it in a sheltered location.

You can enjoy your cactus plants all year long by following these tips!