Propagate your Cacti in 5 Easy Steps
Cacti are plants from the desert, this means that they thrive in dry, hot conditions. Even though this is not our outdoor climate in Canada, these plants make excellent indoor houseplants! Cacti are low maintenance, easy to care for plants, making them an ideal plant for new gardeners, not to mention great housewarming gifts. Three tips to growing healthy cacti indoors is providing them with plenty of sunlight, not overwatering, and using the right soil. When your cacti do grow, you will see new buds generate. You can use these to great more cacti for your home or as gifts to friends and family!
Step-by-Step Cacti Propagation
Step 1: Take cutting from cactus
Cacti will grow new buds, these are also referred to as pups. Choose a pup that’s plump, unblemished, and healthy. Gently cut or break off an entire pup from the parent plant.
Step 2: Allow to callous over
Let the wound heal. You will need to wait 24 hours for the cacti to callous over before you can officially plant and water it. Transfer the cutting to a sunny windowsill. Lay the cutting down flat and leave it for about one full day if it is a small bud and 2 full days if it is a larger pup. If you don’t let the wound heal before planting, the cutting will likely rot instead of rooting.
Step 3: Plant your pup
Select a pot for the cacti pup. The most important thing to remember when choosing a pot for a cactus is drainage, therefore using a nursery planter is a great idea as it has 4 to 5 holes at the bottom of it. This will allow excess water to drain out. Cacti do much better in smaller pots. Choose a pot that is twice the size of the plant. You can use clay or plastic pots for cacti. Plastic pots are lighter and cheaper, but heavier clay pots are better for large or top-heavy plants.
Step 4: Fill pot with soil
Fill the pot with a cactus mix, this is a specific type of potting soil. Cacti require soil that drains quickly. For even better drainage, mix two parts of the cactus potting soil with one part lava rock pebbles or pearlite. Cacti that sit in wet soil are prone to fungal and bacterial growth which can kill the entirety of your cacti plant.
Plant the cutting in the soil. Place the stem or leaf cutting callous over, bottom down in the cacti mix. Push the cutting in just deep enough so that it will stand up on its own. Use your hands to gently firm the soil around the cutting to stabilize it.
Step 5: Fill pot with soil
Mist the soil. Moisten the soil to provide the cactus with water. Do not soak the soil until roots and new growth start to form. Only mist the cutting lightly when the soil feels dry. Otherwise, the cutting may rot.
Keep the cutting in a bright location. Make sure this is indirect sunlight, rather than direct sunlight. Move your newly planted cacti cutting to a windowsill or area that gets lots of bright light. Too much direct sun can damage the new cutting. Leave the cutting in this location for a month or two, until new growth starts to appear.
Pull out your cacti cutting in approximately a month and check to see if it has roots. If your cacti cutting has rooted you can plant it in a new planter pot to begin it's new life!