Posted by Newt on February 21, 2003 at 20:35:09:
In Reply to: New Cactus and Jade plant...HELP! posted by Chinman on February 12, 2003 at 22:17:32:
: Hello, I just purchased a couple very small plants. One is a cactus, a tiny (2 inches tall) cactus they call it a 'Bunny Ear' when I purchased it from, and have little groups of 30 needles that stick into you very easy, and a 'Sunset Jade' (3 inches tall) which is just a normal Jade plant I think. but anyways.. I'm a total bufoon with plants as i've never owned any before, but i'd like to know how to take care of them. I purchased them to put on my desk to make it look nice. About the cactus and the jade, I'd like to know how often I need to water them, they are still very very small and need t grow.. I watered them about a week and a half ago and today, is this fine? Also the jade has some purple lining around the edges of the leafs is this normal? I had watered the cactus a week and a half ago too.. afraid to water it right now I thought i'd get some advice.. also, the pots are roughly 2 1/2 inches by 2 inches big. Since the plants are still small i was wondering about how big they should get before I put them in a different pot. Any help would be appreciated, I'm new to this kinda stuff, never really cared about it before.. but now that I think about it having plants is kind of neat.. anyways.. Thanks in advance.
Plants sure can be a lot of fun. Here's a site that you should find helpful. It's great that you know the names of your plants. That is helpful when you need to know how to care for them.
You can also search for info on individual plants at www.google.com and put the name in quotes like this: "bunny ear cactus". If you get the botanical name, it's best to search with that. Also, you can click on 'Images' at google and often get pictures as well.
The purple around the edges of the leaves of your jade is probably part of the reason it was given it's name. Many plants have colors in their leaves.
You might want to stop at the library and get out a couple of books on houseplants. They will have pictures on when and how to transplant them. It's best not to transplant when you first get them home unless they are extremely rootbound. I would give them a couple of weeks to adjust to their new environment.
As for watering, it's not necessarily how many days between watering, but how dry the plant is that should be your guide. There are many things that will affect how soon a plant will dry out. If it's rootbound then there will be more roots in the pot drinking up the water and less soil to hold water, so you would need to water more often. Full sun will dry a plant out more as well as a clay pot that breathes. Small pots will dry out quicker than larger ones. To tell if your plant needs water, try poking your finger in. If the top inch is dry, it's time to water.
As to the size of the pot, that can usually be determined if you see roots coming out the bottom. Then it would be time to repot. You can use a pot 1" or 2" larger for pots 6" or smaller. If the pot is larger than that, repot in a pot 2" larger. Another indicator is the height of the plant in relation to the height of the pot. Generally, the pot should be one third the height of the plant.
Hope this helps,