). It didn't grow for years, and now it's growing astonishingly quickly. Why? And what can I do to help it along? Any tips?
I bought it from a garden centre in 2010 or so, from one of those displays of small cactus
that seem to be popular by the checkouts. It sat on my windowledge in West London (UK) for the next three years, but didn't seem to grow at all despite the aloe plant next to it seemingly thriving. When I moved out earlier this year, I wondered whether to chuck it as it seemed dead, but hung onto it anyway.
Since moving to our new flat in south-east London, it has grown like a weed. In six months, the main stalks have shot up three or four inches, and a new thick branch has grown off the side with another one coming in. Since moving it into our bathroom - which has no window - I'm noticing extra growth daily, with the first new branch getting thicker and growing longer spines.
Why is this happening, and what am I doing to help? Obviously the UK isn't a natural habitat for cacti, so it seems really strange. Will the lack of natural light harm the plant long-term, and also the use of the products we use to clean the bathroom?
- the old place had a dodgy roof, to the point that the wooden windowframe rotted away. I'm not sure which way the house faced, but it always seemed dark and dusty.
- Our new place is east-west facing - the cactus went on the kitchen windowsill where it got plenty of light, but it seems to really like the bathroom.
- Neither place had air-con, but both have central heating.
- It was repotted into a bigger pot three months ago, which is wider rather than taller. (I'm no horticulturalist, apologies for the vague description.) I didn't use cactus compost as I couldn't get any. At the same time, I potted some cuttings from my aloe plant. These have taken a few months to seem as though they are healthy and growing well - whereas the cactus has been growing like a weed, especially in the bathroom.
- I haven't given it any kind of plant food, just water when the soil seems dry.
- I was pretty miserable in the old flat - was the cactus doing some kind of magical realism trick where it didn't want to grow until I left?