Cacti are the best. They’re low-maintenance and cute. They live for decades and make you happy every day. There’s only one thing better than a cactus, and that’s more cacti.
Did you know that you can cut and replant a cactus, and that part will grow into a new cactus? It’s called propagation.
Here’s all you need to know about it.
How to Propagate a Cactus?
Several methods exist to propagate a cactus depending on its variety or growth stage.
Usually, you hear about propagating a plant through a leaf cutting. However, cacti plants don’t have leaves. They do without them since they lose too much moisture.
Depending on the shape of the cactus, you can take a cutting from the stem. Here’s how to propagate different cacti verities.
How to Propagate a Bunny Ear Cactus
Bunny Ear Cactus have flat elliptical nodes forming the stem. They are called bunny ear cacti because these oval stem nodes resemble bunny ears standing tall.
To take a cutting from this cactus, look for medium-sized nodes. If you remove one that’s too small, it won’t grow much.
Simply take a cloth to protect your fingertips and hold the stem node close to where it joins the main stem. Twist the node left and right until it comes off the main stem.
You can also use a scissor to cut it off. Place the cutting in a cool, dry place for a few days. The area where you cut it will be wet to the touch. If the cutting is planted right away, it will rot. It would help if you let it scab over before proceeding.
Wait until the injured area has healed and you feel no moisture when you touch it. Then you can plant it in ordinary soil. The soil should be moist but not wet since the cutting would rot.
Water it even less than you usually would for the first few weeks. We must wait until roots are formed to replace the soil. Once the cutting has roots, you can place it in proper cactus soil with superior drainage. Then you can water it as you normally would. Now your cutting is its plant.
How to Propagate Christmas Cactus
A Christmas cactus is different from other cacti. It has a segmented stem. While cutting from a Christmas cactus, you must ensure that it has at least three nodes or “leaves” of the Christmas cactus. The same goes for the Thanksgiving cactus.
If the cutting doesn’t have enough nodes, it will fail. Use a sharp knife or a pair of gardening shears to make the cutting. The sharper, the better.
Before cutting, ensure the cutting tool is free from germs. It would be best to sterilize the knife or shears with rubbing alcohol.
Ensure you don’t cut too close to the bottom of the plant. That’s because it is close to the soil, and the moisture from the soil may cause the cut area to rot. Once you have made the cutting, you must place it aside for a few days. The place where you cut it must form a callous.
The callous will be hard, and you will feel no moisture when you touch it.
Now you can plant your cuttings in soil. If you have multiple cuttings, you can still place them in the same pot.
Over the next few weeks, you should water it a little less, just like the bunny ear cacti cuttings, so it doesn’t rot. Once you see new roots growing from the cutting, you can transplant it to a new pot with cactus soil and water it regularly.
How to Propagate Barrel Cactus
A barrel cactus is almost spherical. They may be difficult to propagate since they are stubborn against forming offshoots.
You must wait for this cactus to form little cacti pups on its stem. Once the pups are about the size of a silver dollar, you can cut them off for propagation.
The pups must also form a callous before you can plant them. Like other cacti, they must be watered less until they form proper roots. Report them at your discretion.
If the barrel cactus is not forming pups, you can encourage it to do so by coring through its center. When you drill through the center, its primary point of growth, it will be forced to send its energy elsewhere. That’s when it would be coerced into producing pups.
How to Propagate a Mini Cholla Cactus
To Propagate a mini cholla cactus, you need a sharp knife and a pair of gloves.
Leaving an inch or two from the bottom, cut away pieces of the cholla stem that is at least two or three inches tall.
These cuttings must be put aside to form a callous. You can place them by the window or even away from direct sunlight. They simply need to dry for a few days, so they don’t rot.
Once the callous has formed, they can be planted into normal soil. After they have formed proper root systems, they must be repotted into cactus soil.
How to Propagate a Cactus from its Shoots
When caring for your cactus for a while, you might notice it forming a baby or two. These would be like small clones growing adjacent to the mother plant. These are called cactus shoots.
If your cactus regularly grows shoots, it’s made the job easy.
These shoots already have well-developed root systems. You do not have to wait for it to form a callous or develop a new root system.
You can simply dig it up and replant it in a new pot. Have a pair of scissors ready in case you must cut it away from the root cluster under the soil.
The shoot will grow alongside the mother plant from the moment it’s replanted. This is the most accessible type of cactus propagation.
You can cut and replant a cactus to grow a whole new one. Isn’t that amazing? These were a few ways you can propagate a cactus through cuttings.
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.