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Watering my Peyote

Posted by Justin Deneschuk on

Hey, Justin here, wanted to write a quick note about watering frequency of Peyote Cactus. I'm frequently asked the question about just how much water to give Peyote cactus. There is a lot of bunk information floating around the internet regarding the issue. They are tough little buggers, and the most common way to send them to their demise is to over-water. Once every 2-3 weeks in the summer is plenty, and 2-3 waterings during the winter is plenty as well. There are two things to consider when watering Peyote.

1. Peyote are native to the Chihuahuan Desert in South Texas/Mexico. Because Peyote grow in the desert, they are well adapted to surviving with a minuscule amount of water every year. The taproot as well as the crown of Peyote can store water for extended periods of time. Also Peyote use a different system for storing and using CO2 than most plants. Peyote are adapted to absorb CO2 through Crassulacean acid metabolism at night through their Stomata, and do not require these stomata to be open during the day, thus they do not lose water during the day as most plants do. What does all of this mean? It means that a peyote is FAR more efficient in using available water than most other plants, so need very little water to be happy, healthy and thrive in your home. 

2. What type of soil to use for growing Peyote. Peyote do not have wet roots very often in their native habitat. This means that they are quite happy and are well adapted to having dry roots and though they are a tough cactus, they have little defence against rot caused by wet environments. We can help protect them against rot by using a very fast draining soil mix. There are as many cactus mixes for soil as there are growers on the internet, but they all have this in common: they dry out quickly. The soil must dry out COMPLETELY in 3-4 days to ensure the health of your lovely Peyote. 

How often do I water my Peyote? Every 7-10 days in the growing season, sometimes a tad more often if it's extremely hot in the nursery and am using little pots, but I AM ALWAYS CERTAIN the soil has COMPLETELY dried out before feeding. Once my little beauties have gone dormant, I water once every 6-8 weeks.