Cutting & Planting Cactus Correctly

Cactus cuttings are fairly easy and a fun way to get several of these spiky friends. Now I hear you think, but how do you do that? In this post we take you through the entire process of cuttings. But also when you can do this best, how to root the cactus afterwards and some handy and practical cactus cutting tips. So after reading this post you can get started with your own cactus adventure in no time.

Why Should I Cut My Cactus?

A cactus does not suddenly need cuttings if all goes well. But if the plant starts to rot after a while, you can save the healthy parts of the cactus by cutting them. But also if you have a cactus that has become much too big or because you don’t like the shape. Some cacti also make many new side shoots. Then the cuttings are a nice way of propagating your cactus.

What Do You Need?

To take the cactus cuttings, there are a few things handy to have ready. A sharp knife. Sometimes a cactus can be very sturdy inside. It is also important that your knife is clean. Otherwise, dirt and possible bacteria from the blade will end up on the cut wound of the cactus. In addition to a knife, you need something protective to be able to grab the cactus. Think of: Thick gloves, styrofoam, newspaper or grill/BBQ tongs. These are all handy things that you can use to hold the cactus while cutting without getting thorns in your hands.

Where Do I Put The Cactus?

This differs per reason why you are cutting the cactus. Below is a description of where to plant the cactus for each reason.

Your cactus is rotten. Cut off the healthy part a few inches above the rotten spot. After that, it is important that you only see green plant tissue. If you still see rot, cut off a 2cm slice each time until you only see healthy green plant tissue.

Your cactus is too big or out of context. In this case you cut off the part you still like or find the right size.

You want to take side shoots from your cactus. You get this from the base of the mother plant. With some cactus species you can already twist them off. Then you don’t have to make a cut.

I Have A Cutting Of My Cactus, Now What?

If you have a wide cutting of, for example, a bulb or column cactus, you can cut the bottoms diagonally. This gives you more surface area where roots are formed and your cutting stays better in the soil. The wound of the cutting must first dry before you put the cactus in the soil. Therefore, place the cutting in a dry environment for about 1 week. This does not have to be in the sun, because then this ensures that the moisture in the cactus cuttings evaporates and you do not want that. As a tip, you can sprinkle cutting powder or cinnamon powder on the wound. Both have an anti-fungal effect and promote root development.

After a week you can pot the cactus cuttings in dry cactus soil. Place a bulbous cactus and a columnar cactus on the soil (you can still use sticks so that the plant does not fall over). You put a disc/leaf cactus a few centimetres deep in the soil. With this cactus shape, the roots do not grow from the bottom of the cutting, but from the side of the leaf. You can also mist the cactus with water from time to time. As soon as you have the idea that your cactus cutting is starting to stand a bit more firmly in the soil or you see small root points at the bottom of your cutting, you can start watering. You can water the plant from below or above.

Now you can plant a cactus too! You will see that after a few times it gets easier and easier. Good luck!

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