One of the nicest things about houseplants is that you can take cuttings. This is also possible with a cactus: cutting a cactus is super easy.
Read on for everything you need to know about cactus cuttings and caring for your brand new plant.
Cactus Cuttings Step 1: Take A Cutting
When cutting a plant, you remove part of the mother plant to pot separately. This cutting then forms its own roots and continues to grow: a completely new plant.
To cut a cactus you only need a sharp knife and some rubbing alcohol to disinfect the knife. It can sometimes be helpful to also have gardening gloves and pliers handy, especially if your cactus is on the spiky side.
Tip : Most cacti cuttings are easy, especially with the clustering, segmented and elongated varieties. The bulbous cacti are a bit trickier, because you can’t easily cut off a piece without ruining the look.
Find a cluster/segment/column that looks healthy. Sometimes you can easily pry off a piece with the pliers, but if not, use the knife to cut the cutting from the mother plant.
After this it is important to wait a few days. Place the cutting on the windowsill so that a scab can form on the cut. This way you prevent bacteria and fungi from attacking the cutting.
Tip: Some cacti produce offshoots on their own. You can separate these from the mother plant without any problems. Sometimes the offshoots even have their own roots.
Cactus Cuttings Step 2: Pot & Potting Soil
You can root cacti, just like other houseplants, in water. However, they do so well in potting soil that it is usually easier to just pot them up.
Unless you’re dealing with a jungle cactus such as a lid cactus , good drainage is crucial. Cacti can’t stand it if their roots stay wet for too long. They love water, but after a good shower the soil should dry out as soon as possible.
A suitable cactus soil is nice and coarse and often contains little potting soil, or even none at all. For your cutting, you can combine 1/3 potting soil with 1/3 perlite and 1/3 orchid chips, or simply buy cactus soil from the garden center.
As for the pot, you’re fine as long as there’s a hole in the bottom. Plastic grow pots are fine. Terracotta is absolutely perfect, as this is a porous material that allows water to evaporate.
Cactus Cuttings Step 3: The Long Wait
Leave a cactus cutting to dry for a few days? Check. Pot with suitable potting soil? Check. Time to pot up your cactus cuttings! If you have cutting powder on hand, you can apply it to the bottom of the cutting.
Place the cutting in the potting soil: far enough not to fall over, but not too deep either. Water a little and place the pot in a nice light spot. And then the long wait begins.
Spray the potting soil every other day to encourage root growth. If you are curious, you can gently wiggle the cutting back and forth after 3-4 weeks. If you feel resistance, you are in the right place, which means that the roots are developing well.
Once you see the cutting actually growing, you can switch to regular watering (wet the cactus every 1-3 weeks and then let the soil dry out completely).