Cactus Sunlight Requirements

Sunlight is vital to growing a thriving cactus houseplant. Give cacti bright, direct to indirect sunlight, depending on the variety. At least 6 hours of daylight is ideal. Many cactus houseplants cannot tolerate direct sunlight, while some varieties can handle limited amounts of direct sunlight. It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid direct sunlight to protect the plant from sunburn.


Best Rooms To Grow Cactus Sunlight Requirements

Cactus houseplants do best in south-facing windows where they will receive plenty of sunlight. Most cacti can be placed on a sill or very close to a south-facing window, but move the plant back several feet if the window gets hot or if the fleshy foliage is burned from too much direct sunlight. 

Near an east- or west-facing window is also a suitable spot for a cactus houseplant. It may be necessary to move the plant closer to the window or relocate it to a south-facing window during the winter when less sunlight is available. North-facing windows do not receive enough sunlight to support cactus growth.

Providing Supplemental Sunlight To Cactus Sunlight Requirements

Mirrors can be a creative way to reflect sunlight into a space and give a cactus the light it needs. You can also use grow lights to make a naturally low-light area a good spot for a cactus. Grow lights can be set on a timer to ensure the plant always receives plenty of light, and you don’t have to remember to turn the light on and off. Just about any area of a home can become the ideal spot for a cactus with the use of grow lights.

Sunlight Needed For Growing Cactus Sunlight Requirements Outdoors

You can move your cactus outdoors for the summer when the temperature is warm enough. Move the cactus to a protected spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Once the plant has acclimated to the outdoors, you can move it into a position with more direct light. Morning sunlight and afternoon shade is often the best exposure for a cactus houseplant spending the summer outdoors. Monitor the plant for signs of sun damage and move it to a protected area if burns occur.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 12-1-2023