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Euphorbia pachypodiodes: Watering and Fertilizing: During their growing season, these plants like regular watering and fertilizing. For most, the period of growth is from Spring into Fall. Many plants rest (stop putting on growth) from late Fall to early Spring, when temperatures are cool and daylight length is short, and during mid-Summer, when temperatures are at their peak. How often to water and fertilize: While growing, cacti and succulents should be watered at least once a week. Some people water more often than this. During each watering, give the soil a good soaking, so that water runs out of the 'drainage holes' of the pots. During the growing season, a balanced fertilizer, which has been diluted to 1/4 strength, can be added to the water for each watering. (A balanced fertilizer is one that has roughly equal proportions of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. A 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength is ideal.) When the weather cools and day-length shortens, plants enter a rest period. During that time, increase the interval between watering, and let the potting mixture dry out between watering. Some people say that during dormancy, cacti and succulents should be given just enough water so that they show no sign of shriveling. Use some common sense here. If your plants are kept indoors on a window sill in a heated room during the Winter, they will need more water than if they were over-wintered out-of-doors. In any case, do not fertilize your plants during dormancy. A word about water: Tap water often can be alkaline and/or hard, meaning it contains high concentrations of dissolved minerals. Such minerals can build up in the plant's 'soil' over time, causing harm. This is one good reason why your plants should periodically be 'repotted.' Buildup of such minerals can also cause unsightly deposits to form, especially on unglazed clay pots. Never water your plants with water that has been through a softening system that uses salt as a recharging agent, as these systems simply replace the "hardness" in the water with sodium ions. Rain water is preferable to tap water, if you can manage to collect and store it. Light: Most cacti and succulents like bright light, but not all can tolerate intense, direct sunlight, especially in conjunction with high temperatures. The intensity of the light that a plant will thrive in depends on the species. A plant that is grown in optimal light conditions will "look normal" (unstressed), and is more likely to flower than one grown in sub-optimal lighting conditions. For a potted plant that slowly grows toward the light over time, you can rotate its pot to cause it to grow in a more balanced fashion. Remember, if you do this, that the side of the plant that had not been exposed to direct sunlight for a long time might scorch if you make the transition too quickly. Be careful! Pots and Potting: Pots come in all kinds of styles, and are made of various materials. Pot materials: The materials used most often for pots are plastic and clay/ceramic (either glazed or unglazed). Cacti and succulents can be grown successfully in pots made of either material, and choosing one over the other is usually a matter of personal preference. Plastic pots are lighter, usually cheaper, take up less room compared to clay or ceramic pot with the same inside dimensions, and are easy to keep clean. Plants kept in plastic pots also tend to require less watering compared, especially, to those kept in unglazed clay pots. The extra weight of clay and ceramic pots provide stability for tall or top-heavy plants. Many people also feel that a good clay or ceramic pot just plain looks better than a plastic pot. Remember that if you water with hard water, a buildup of minerals on the outside of unglazed clay pots can cause unsightly deposits to form. Regardless of the material the pot is made of, it must allow good drainage. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to grow a cactus or succulent successfully in a pot that lacks drainage holes. If you find a pot that is perfect in every respect except for its lack of drainage holes, drill them yourself. Styles of pots: If you know the species of cactus or other succulent you have, you can make a better choice as to what style of pot to keep it in. For example, many species of cacti have fibrous roots that remain close to the surface of the soil. Such a plant has no use for a narrow, deep pot; a shallow pot with a relatively large diameter would suit it much better. Many cacti and succulents, while appearing quite modest above the soil line, have a massive, deep, tuberous root system below the soil, and require a pot suited to that root system. Some people like to use bonsai pots for their plants. These pots are often very attractive, and a specimen planted and skillfully staged in such a pot can be a real attention-grabber. If you have limited space, be aware that bonsai pots tend to take up a relatively large amount of space, and their price can be a real attention-grabber also. Soil: Cactus and succulent potting mixes are sometimes available commercially, but many people like to create their own special mix for their plants. There are some basic characteristics that a potting mix for cacti and succulents should possess. Perhaps the most important characteristic is that the soil should drain very well. The best way to achieve this is by adding horticultural-grade sand and grit to the compost component of the soil. Many believe that a good starting ratio for the mix's components are one-third compost, one-third horticultural-grade sand, and one-third grit.