How to keep your Cacti & Succulents clean and dust free

Hi Guys πŸ™‚

In this blog I will be sharing my tips on how I keep my Cacti and Succulents clean and dust free πŸ™‚

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How to keep your Cacti and Succulents clean and dust free

I am often asked what I do and use to keep my cacti and succulents as clean and as dust free as I possibly can πŸ™‚

Cacti and succulents are not the easiest of plants to keep clean, especially when dust gets in between the spines because it is not as easy to brush or wipe off dust and grime like you can with soft leaved plants.

The best tools that I like to to use for keeping my Cacti and succulents clean and dust free is a good set of different sized small brushes such as Artist brushes or cosmetic brushes.

brushes for cleaning cacti

various sizedΒ Artist and make up brushes are great for cleaning your plants

I have found that using a stiff eye make up brush or an Artist paint brush is the best way to get in between those tight spines on the smaller plants or on the tight spines on the larger plants.

brushes for cleaning cacti 1

With the larger plants and large leaved succulents then a cosmetic brush or a larger 1 – 4 Β inch soft paint brush is a great help and a time saver for brushing dust or cobwebs off them.

brushes for cleaning cacti 3

A powerful water spray pump will work a treat when cleaning very large cacti and succulents that are heavily spined, and because its very difficult to reach those hard to get places with your brush the pressure of the jet spray will help to dislodge any dust and grime, but please make sure to only use this method during the watering/growing season and also overhead jet spraying is not recommended on rosette leaved plants such as Echeveria’s where water can get trapped in between the rosette leaf arrangements and encourage rot.

Jet pump spray for cleaning your plants

You can use a powerful water Jet pump spray for cleaning your plants of dust and grime

Another great way I have found to keep dust under control is during the watering season, instead of pouring the water in directly onto the soil, I water the plants from the top and the water will cascade down the plant and into the soil taking the dust with it and this isΒ also is a great helpΒ against Spider mites.

Here is a video that I have made form my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon that goes into more detail on How to keep your Cacti and Succulents clean and dust free and you can watch this video below :

Mold can often form on cactus plants if there is too much humidity in the air, this is a common problem in the Winter months especially in warm and humid rooms and often can be seen on the areoles of Opuntia and Ferocactus, while most molds can be harmless to plants and are mostly an aesthetic problem it is still best to clean the mold off and treat the plants with a fungicidal spray because there is still a chance that mold can invade inside plant tissue and encourage rotting of stems.

Here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel Desert Plants of Avalon on How to clean Mold off Cactus plants and you can watch this video below :

Hope you have found this helpful guys for helping you to keep your Cacti and Succulents clean and dust free πŸ™‚

sending you all lots of love and happy growing from Ireland for a fantastic day/evening.



5 thoughts on “How to keep your Cacti & Succulents clean and dust free

  1. Hi there! Great videos! I’m a cactus & succulent fan from Manitoba, Canada. Really think all the work you do (which seems to be a lot) is great! I often check your utube videos for an extra boost of cactus joy. I have maybe 300 hundred +/- plants. I like pachypodiums but I mainly collect Ferocactus which for some reason has my become my favorite. I probably have 100 feros, each one is so different… so addictive as you know. Anyway, I no longer have a utube account & don’t use fb but it seems I can say “Hi” & “Thank you!” from here : )
    Cheers! Todd

    • Hi there Todd πŸ™‚ Thank you so very much for your really wonderful message πŸ™‚ I am so happy to hear that you love cacti and succulents too and you have over 300 plants, thats incredible and I LOVE ferocacti and WOW at having 100 Fero’s I bet you have a fantastic collection of them and they are all wonderful πŸ™‚ thank you so much for watching the vids and your lovely mail πŸ™‚ Sending you an abundance of love and happiness and heaps of Cactus Power from right across the Emerald Isle to Canada and have a BRILLIANT weekend πŸ™‚ Lots of love Lyn XXXX πŸ™‚

      • Hi Lyn, thanks so much for your kind reply : ) I just saw your video on the mealy bugs… ugh, I can’t say I like them very much! I keep a close eye on my plants now too. & you are right, this is the time of year for them. Luckily, lately I haven’t had a serious problem with them but know they can take over in a hurry, so I keep watching for white fuzzy stuff. I picked a few off lately, so on alert! I noticed what look to be fero pilosus & hystrix in your collection (I could be wrong though).. if I’m right, have they flowered? It’s always very exciting when they flower even though Feros aren’t necessarily the most spectacular bloomers. I have one old F cylindraceus that looks like it might produce seed this year : ) Last year I found a nearly 40 year old Fero gracilis in the local online buy/sell, what a find that was! πŸ™‚ Most of my plants (all the feros) are in the house now. Winter is on the way! Happy growing! Cheers! Todd

        • Hi Todd πŸ™‚ thanks so much for watching the mealybug video, Mealies are such a pain in the butt cheeks haha! and I have noticed more of them this year than ever, the worst was on my big old Epiphyllum cactus it was covered in mealies at the back of the stem where I couldn’t see them, thankfully I managed to take them off easily with a damp cloth, but the very spiny ones like Mammilaria are a nightmare and I often see the odd one or few lurking in the spines and they are difficult to reach to pick off, but I find that using isopropyl alcohol sprayed on them in between all of the tight spines helps to eliminate them as much as possible, and I love to use Neem oil on Spider mites, its brilliant at getting rid of red spider mite but not as good with the Mealies, the Mealies at the Botanic gardens was dreadful to see it looked like the plants were covered in snow, and I wanted to get a cloth and wipe them off myself haha! yes I have some Ferocacti in my collection, I am not 100% what variety they are though as they were only labelled as Ferocactus variety when I bought them, but there is a very good possibility thy are both F. pilosus and F. cylindraceus, but they have never bloomed for me although I have had them for many years. I bet your Ferocactus cylindraceus is an absolute beauty, and WOW I bet your Ferocactus gracilis at 40 years old is a stunner, and so extra special:-) I will be bringing in all my plants in the next couple of weeks too now the nights are getting colder πŸ™‚ sending you heaps of love and tons of happiness Cactus Power from right across the Emerald Isle to Canada and have a BRILLIANT Sunday ahead πŸ™‚ Lotsa Love Lyn XXXX πŸ™‚

          • Hi Lyn, Bugs can become more of a problem when the collection grows in numbers. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of everybody! I had a nice little gymno, I noticed a few fungus gnats… when I had a serious look, the fgs had taken over the entire plant, I’ve never seen them do that before. I tried saving it but finally gave up : ( I keep most of my plants in 50-90% pumice which seems to help keep the gnats down but sometimes a plant seems to be targeted by the bugs. I’ve never used neem oil, I’ll have to get some.
            Great to see your Botanic Garden in your vids. It’s always interesting to see how large collections are managed. We have 1 great C&S place to visit near (well, about 3 hours drive) here at the International Peace Garden. The PG has a collection of around 5,000 C&S some very old ones. I love to visit there & it’s one of the few places I can seriously talk cactus & succulents. I think the PG has some videos on utube if you care to look. They have some great old Feros there too, I love visiting them. Looking at one of your re-pot videos, I’m pretty sure the barrel type one is Ferocactus hystrix, I’m not positive but I think that’s it. I know it shouldn’t matter but it drives me crazy when I don’t know a plants name : ) I have a few feros that don’t have names, I look at them and try to figure out what they may be. Probably hybrids as they tend to hybridize a lot..
            We have most of our plants in the house too. Our first touch of frost here 2 nights ago. Still have a few things to bring in. Once the plants are all in the next concern is our cats.. We have 4 spoiled house cats. You’d think the cactus could defend themselves from the cats but that’s not the case here. We put up a high mesh wire fence to keep the cats out of the plants. So crazy!
            Featheredfan had a video a while back showing Ferocatus diguetii, & knew I had to find one. I finally got an F diguetii last week, smaller than baseball size but really excited about it, so different looking than my other feros : ) The old gracilis I told you about is pretty corky but still absolutely great! Surviving against the odds for so long, that’s admirable. I hope I can encourage it to flower next year. HAve a great week! Cheers! Todd