Growing cacti from cuttings is an easy and inexpensive way to propagate your favorite plants. With the right supplies, a little experimentation, and some patience, you can quickly expand your cactus collection in no time at all.
Whether you’re adding a few extra plants to liven up an indoor space or creating an outdoor garden, growing cacti from cuttings provides a practical solution that requires minimal effort and supplies.
Here are some tips for getting started.
Gather the Supplies You’ll Need
To get started, you’ll need the following tools and materials to grow cactus from cuttings:
- a sharp knife
- rooting hormone powder
- cactus soil mix
- small pots or containers
- a propagator (preferably with a humidity lid) – optional
You may also want to use pruning shears if you are taking cuttings from larger cacti.
Finally, select a healthy parent plant that will provide cutting material for successful propagation.
It is important to select healthy plants that are strong enough to be propagated by cutting. Cacti with at least four or five segments are ideal.
Can I Grow A Cactus From A Cutting? How to Select the Right Cuttings
Yes, you can grow a cactus from a cutting!
When selecting a cutting, look for one that is healthy and free of pests.
Look for firm tissue and make sure the outer surface is dry before selecting it for your project. Avoid any pieces with signs of rot or disease.
If possible, select a cutting that contains at least 3 “joints” of stem or branch, as this will increase your chances of successful growth.
To begin, prepare your cutting – cut off the top part of the cactus but leave at least two inches of stem attached below the surface.
Use a clean and sharp knife to make the cut cleanly. Cut at an angle so that more surface area is exposed for better root growth.
Can You Put Cactus Cuttings Straight Into Soil? Prepare Proper Potting Soil
The answer is yes – but only if you follow a few important steps first.
Before putting your cactus cuttings in soil, make sure your pot or container is deep enough to hold the roots and any additional growth.
Once your cutting is ready, remove any dead or loose material from around the stem.
Make sure your container has a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
Prepare the potting soil mixture. Cacti prefer an alkaline, sandy or rocky mix that allows for excellent drainage. A quality commercial potting mix combined with equal parts inert ingredients like perlite, vermiculite and coarse sand works best. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the final mix for optimal success. Now you’re ready for planting!
Cacti typically grow best with plenty of root room, so it’s important that you provide enough space.
Opt for a cactus/succulent mix made with sand and perlite instead of compost or peat moss.
For best results, water your cutting thoroughly before planting it in the soil.
Fill a pot with well-draining potting soil and make a hole for the cutting. Carefully insert the broken piece of cactus in the hole and lightly press down around it secure it. Ensure the hole is deep enough that the plant will stay in place but don’t fully submerge the cutting in soil.
Moisten the soil enough for it to hold its shape when squeezed in your hand, then place the pot in indirect sunlight.
Water lightly every 5-7 days and allow any excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot before placing back in indirect sunlight.
Make sure that you don’t over-water, as this can cause root rot and other diseases.
Once planted, keep an eye on the soil moisture level – if it gets too dry, your cutting may not root properly.
Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering’s, but avoid letting it become too dry or sandy.
It is time to wait patiently while your new plant establishes its roots. This may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the type of cactus and its growing conditions.
Additionally, fertilizing sparingly can help give your newly rooted cactus an extra boost. Choose a fertilizer specifically designed for cacti and succulents and apply it according to the directions on the packaging.
Over time, you should see new growth beginning to emerge and with patience and proper care, your broken piece of cactus will soon be rooted and flourishing in its new environment.
Remember that cacti are best suited to drier climates and will not do as well if exposed to prolonged wetness. If you live in a humid area, be sure to provide your plant with proper drainage by regularly cleaning out the container and making sure that there is no standing water around the base of the plant.
How Do You Root A Broken Piece Of Cactus?
Accidents happen and you may end up with a broken cactus. If this happens, cut the broken cactus branch so that a portion of it remains attached to the main plant.
Take the now unattached piece of branch and allow the cut end to dry and callous for 1-3 days before planting.
Follow the steps above for planting cuttings and wait for your broken piece of cactus to take root.
How Long Do Cactus Cuttings Take To Root?
The rooting process for cactus cuttings can take anywhere from a few days to many months. The amount of time it takes to root will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and age of the cutting, the growing conditions, and the species of cactus.
In general, smaller cuttings tend to root more quickly than large ones. Cuttings that are taken from young plants have better success rates than older ones because they are less prone to bacterial or fungal problems.
Healthy cuttings with good rooting potential will root in as little as 1-2 weeks; however, this isn’t always the case.
For most types of cacti, temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C – 24°C) are ideal for rooting. The cuttings should be kept in a warm, bright location but not too much direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause the cutting to dry out quickly, leading to the failure of the rooting process.
The soil used to root the cactus cuttings should be light and fast-draining. A combination of equal parts potting soil, sand, and perlite is a good option.
Watering should be done sparingly as overwatering can rot the cutting or slow down the rooting process significantly.
Rooting hormone products may also be used when propagating cacti from cuttings. The hormones help to stimulate root growth, leading to more successful rooting.
Overall, it can take anywhere from a few days to several months for cactus cuttings to root depending on the size and age of the cutting and the prevailing conditions.
Things To Remember When Growing Cactus From Cuttings
- Choose a healthy cutting with good rooting potential.
- Plant the cutting in a light, fast-draining soil mixture.
- Keep the cutting in a warm and bright location, but not direct sunlight.
- Water sparingly as overwatering can cause rot or slow down the rooting process significantly.
- Rooting hormones may be used to stimulate root growth for more successful propagation results.
- Be patient – it can take anywhere from a few days to several months for cactus cuttings to root depending on size, age and other conditions.
Rooting cactus cuttings is a great way to add new plant life to your garden, and with the right care and patience, you can expect successful propagation in no time.