cactus in the mug
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How to Grow a Cactus From a Cutting

Growing cacti from cuttings is a relatively straightforward process and an excellent way to add to your collection. But before you get started, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

First and foremost, select the correct cactus species for propagation. There are various varieties of cacti, each unique in their way of propagating itself. Some can be propagated from stem cuttings, division or pad cactus plants.

Propagating cacti from stem cuttings is an excellent way to grow new plants, particularly those that come off in segments like blue candles and prickly pears. Furthermore, they make excellent decorative garden plants.

Step 1: Cut a healthy piece of stem from your plant that measures at least 10 cm long with sharp scissors. For spiny cacti, use tongs instead. Place these cuttings on a windowsill area and wait until they have healed over.

Next, fill a 7cm or 9cm pot with cactus compost and insert your cutting’s base deep enough to stand upright (to promote root growth). For even stronger root development, you may wish to dip your cutting in rooting hormone powder before planting it.

assorted cactuses
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

To ensure your cactus’ optimal growth, plant it in soil that provides excellent drainage. This will prevent excess water from seeping away and leading to the cutting becoming rotting. A suitable potting mix should include at least 50% coarse sand or pea gravel and no more than 10% cactus mixed soil, along with some organic matter like compost.

If you don’t already have a potting mix, creating one is simple. Simply combine equal parts of potting soil and perlite or orchid bark. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-made cactus soil in an appropriate pot that fits the stem of your cutting.

Once planted, expose your cutting to bright light for 3-6 weeks to encourage root development. After these have formed, switch over to a regular watering schedule and gradually increase their exposure to sunlight.

At this stage, your cactus will be dependent on stored nutrients and moisture to survive. Without these resources, your cutting may wilt and die.

Most cacti will root within one to two months, depending on the variety and size of the cutting as well as how consistently you water it.

Root growth for smaller cacti is faster. Larger ones take longer to establish.

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How to Grow a Cactus from a Pad

Are you searching for an easy-to-propagate cactus from its pads, consider trying prickly pears or Christmas cacti. These are popular choices among gardeners because they’re easy to locate, don’t require much space, and require minimal upkeep once established.

Growing a cactus from a cutting can be done year-round, provided the weather is warm enough for outdoor work. If you plan on bringing your cuttings indoors for winter storage, be sure to cover them with plastic so that they don’t dry out during colder temperatures.