How To Get Water Out Of A Cactus: Top 6 Tips & Best Guide

How to get water out of a cactus: smart lifehacks

How to get water out of a cactus? As desert plants, cacti are prone to accumulate and store water inside their stems. However, is this water suitable for drinking? How safe it is to drink some water from a cactus? Which cacti varieties are good to drink from?

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Is it okay to drink water from a cactus?

Although cacti store water inside their body for an extended period, you can’t extract pure water from cactus.

The main thing to keep in mind is that a cactus can’t be a spine-covered basin that is full of drinking water.

What is more, most cacti are not suitable for extracting any liquid at all!

Thus, if you have a temptation to extract some water from a huge saguaro cactus, never do that! Despite being a great plant, it is quite a disputable source of water in the desert. So, if you can avoid drinking from a saguaro cactus, just do that and find water in a safer place.

Two cacti species are known to surely produce drinkable cactus water:

  • Prickly pear
  • Fishhook barrel cactus

Neither of these cacti are so delicious if you eat them raw. However, they are used to produce commercially sold cactus water.

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What is commercial cactus water?

The commercial cactus water is truly extracted from cacti. This substance is extracted from prickly pear fruits and processed so that it is safe to consume.

If you are concerned about the commercial cactus water properties, keep in mind that it is full of health-boosting nutrients and powerful antioxidants. In addition, it is high in electrolytes and low in calories, so you can consume it safely and benefit from it.

Always remember that natural cactus water that is not processed is not safe to drink. If you are interested in drinking cactus water, opt for the commercially available cactus water instead of the naturally occurring one.

Why cactus water can be harmful?

So, if you know that you can drink water from only cactus varieties, you may wonder why the other cacti are dangerous to get water from.

Like any other ingested substance, cactus water is digested by your body. This jelly-like inner fluid is rich in acids and alkaloids. These contaminants are harmful to the human organism, so the results can be unpredictable!

Among the side effects that you can get from drinking cactus water, there are several possible symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomachache
  • Vomiting

Some other factors can worsen the situation. The lack of water in your organism makes your kidneys work intensively.

So, if the harmful contaminants get into your organism in such a situation, the results will be much harsher for your body.

Another point that can affect the reaction of your organism is the presence of medications. If you consume any medications and then drink cactus water, they can turn into a harmful reaction.

The risks increase for people with lower blood sugar levels. The ingested substance can affect such an organism more severely.

That is why cactus water extracted in the natural environment is full of risks that are not worth taking.

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Which cactus species are safe to drink from?

As you already know, most cacti aren’t good for drinking water from them. However, two varieties are safe for human consumption.

Fishhook barrel cactus

The fishhook barrel cactus belongs to the barrel cacti. It is the only cactus variety from the barrel cacti that is not toxic so you can drink water from it.

The fishhook barrel cactus water is not water by nature, so it can’t fully replace the potable water for you. It can turn into your source of emergency water, and be a great way to purify the natural water you have.

If you don’t have any access to the normal potable water, fishhook barrel cactus will be your best bet. You can purify water by boiling a piece of fishhook barrel cactus in it. This procedure will clean water from harmful contaminants and make it safe to consume.

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Prickly pear cactus

This type of cactus plant is known for its edible fruits. Prickly pear cactus fruits are harvested in summer to make them quickly roasted in the coals. While roasting, the fruits lose their spines and hairs and become more pleasant to eat.

However, as you already guessed, these cactus plants are also known for extracting cactus water. When prepared properly, this liquid comes as a commercial cactus water that is safe for human consumption.

You can also use this plant to obtain water directly from the cactus fruit. You can also use cactus pads or any other juicy segments to get some water from them.

Watch out for the spines and hairs on the surface of this cactus! You need to access its flesh that you can drink water from.

Bonus: How Fast Do Prickly Pear Cactus Grow

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How can you squeeze water from a cactus?

Extracting water from cacti is not a science. However, it requires certain tips and you can’t drink water from a cactus directly.

This simple guide suits for both prickly pear and fishhook barrel cactus water extraction.

#1. Define the shape of your cactus. Depending on the shape, there are several ways to cut the cactus:

  • long-shaped cacti are good for cutting their tips;
  • round-shaped cacti can take more pressure to cut in half.

#2. Take the flesh out of the cactus. Carefully cut the prickly skin off the flesh to access it easily.

Keep in mind that you need to act carefully. The best idea is to use protective gear if you have any.

#3. Cut the flesh into pieces. To get the cactus water, you need just a piece of a reasonable size, or else it will be quite difficult to deal with.

#4. Wrap the cactus flesh in a clean cloth. Take a piece of clean cloth and place a piece of flash inside it. Now, wrap it completely.

#5. Prepare the container for water. Before you start getting water from the cactus flesh, place it into a clean container where the liquid can get into.

#6. Start squeezing water from the cactus! To extract cactus water, you need to apply enough pressure to the wrapped flesh. Keep squeezing until you can see cactus water coming out of the cloth.

You can drink water extracted in this way as it is already filtered enough from harmful contaminants.

However, be sure to drink this water in small amounts as a reasonable water source that helps you survive.

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Can you make cactus water at home?

Yes, you can! There is a simple way to make cactus water that is quite similar to the commercial one.

#1. Wash the cactus fruits and remove their skin.

#2. Slice the flesh in half through the diameter. However, don’t cut completely so the flesh can be kept as a whole. You need these deep cuts to extract the liquid from the flesh.

#3. Place the fruits into the saucepan and make them boil.

#4. Boil some water in another saucepan. As soon as it boils, add the boiled fruits and cover the lid.

#5. Simmer the fruits in that water. Now, the homemade cactus water is done, and you are good to go!

However, if you are not sure about the safety of such water, it is better to get a commercial cactus beverage. It is sold similarly to coconut water which comes as juice.

How to get excess water from a cactus?

When talking about getting water from a cactus, it doesn’t always mean drinking. This question may come from the overwatering problem when you need to save your plant and get excess water from it.

It is possible to save an overwatered cactus.

The first thing to do is to repot it into the dry and fresh potting soil. Make sure that the potting mix is clean and free of pests so as not to throw your plant into another sort of risk.

To maintain the repotted plant, water it minimally for a few days. Avoid giving too much water! Let the plant dry out completely and come back to its normal condition.

Another way is to keep the plant dry for a few days until it comes back to its normal state. For a too-affected plant, avoid watering sessions for a while.

To get excess moisture from the cacti roots, use a dry paper towel. Wrap the roots with a paper towel and let it absorb excess moisture.

If your plant is severely overwatered, there can be signs of rot on its roots or tissues. Remove the rotten parts carefully to prevent the rest of the plants from damage. Then, let the cut zones dry for a few days before repotting.

You need to make sure that you won’t make the situation worse again.

Provide enough drainage to avoid any excess moisture accumulation in the pot. Besides, choose the right well-drained potting mix that doesn’t let water keep inside for a long time.

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Can you extract water from cactus?

You can extract some liquid from cacti species. However, this liquid is not pure water and is not suitable for drinking. It is extremely high in alkalis, so you can easily get poisoned. As a result, you will end up with severe stomachache, diarrhea, vomiting, or even temporary paralysis.

In other words, you can’t extract water from a cactus for drinking. Don’t trust the western movies!

You can use two cacti varieties to extract water or to purify the existing water by boiling a piece of cactus in it. This is quite a nice survival tip if you don’t have any other water supply nearby – for example, in desert areas.

How do you fix an overwatered cactus?

Overwatering can kill your cactus plant, so you need to know a few tips that will help you to save the cacti:

Repot the plant into the dry cactus potting mix
Opt for well-drained potting mix
Provide enough drainage in the pot
Water your plant moderately or stop watering for a few days
Get rid of the rotten roots and tissues of your plants

What is the liquid inside a cactus?

The liquid contained in the cactus plant is called mucilage. This sticky and viscous substance works as a water sealer in the cactus stem, so it can preserve water to survive in droughts.

How long does water stay in a cactus?

Cacti are created to accumulate and store water inside their body. Since they don’t have leaves that evaporate water, they can store enough water to survive even severe droughts.

Besides, the inner part of the cactus stem is created to have enough room for water storage. The mucilage, a viscous substance inside the cactus stem, works as a natural water sealer. As for the outer parts, cacti have a protective covering that prevents the stored water from evaporation.

Cacti can survive a whole year with no need to absorb water. What is more, some desert cactus species can live up to two years without any more water!

Final thoughts

Always remember that most cacti are not safe to drink from. There are only two varieties that you can use as a water source in an emergency situation!

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