How To Plant Cactus From Cuttings

Probably the most frequent and straightforward method of propagation is stem cuttings. Stem cuttings are an effective method for multiplying many cacti. Stem cuttings from an existing plant are removed, then left to calluse and dry out. Eventually, the cuttings will begin to take root from the cut end and grow into a new plant.

Some cacti that are frequently multiplied via stem cuttings include:

  • Prickly pears or opuntia
  • Collapsed cactus
  • Globular and pincushion cacti

Can you root cactus cuttings in water?

Cacti are known for their capacity to endure in extremely dry conditions, such as deserts. However, these robust plants are frequently kept indoors as houseplants. You could try to root your own cacti if you already have a few and desire more without paying any money.

Can cacti grow roots in water? A form of succulent called a cactus can take root in either water or soil. While many cacti will also root in water, other kinds will root better in dirt. You can attempt growing extra plants without having to buy them if you try roots your cactus in water.

There is no assurance that any cactus will thrive in water or soil; occasionally, the conditions are simply not right for the plant. The good news is that roots your cactus in water is simple to do and has a strong probability of working.

How do you re-root a cactus fragment?

Large desert cactus, such as the prickly pear (Opuntia spp. ), can be rooted either indoors or outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3b through 11. Usually, smaller desert plants are rooted in flower pots. One-third to one-half of the pad or stem should be buried, bottom end down, in the potting media after making a small hole in it. Place in a warm environment with filtered light that is bright. Wait to water the plant until the roots start to form.

Before planting, how long should cactus cuttings have dried?

Care instructions for cacti vary widely depending on the particular circumstances in your garden. The recommendations for caring for cactus in a cool, damp setting are very different from those for a hot, dry environment like Phoenix. Generally speaking, cacti and succulents prefer dry soil, warmth, and light. Cacti are fairly tolerant of unfavorable conditions, but better ones lead to better outcomes.

Planting Bare Root Cacti

Open boxes as soon as you can after obtaining your bare root cacti plants. Trim any visible damaged roots with fresh scissors before planting. Till new roots begin to grow, keep the young cactus plants a little bit dry. If it’s hot outside, it might take a few days or weeks, but if it’s dormant, it might take longer. Some cactus plants may become de-acclimated from their usual full sun environment during shipment, and they risk burning if they are exposed to the sun too quickly.

Planting (unrooted) Cuttings

Before planting your cactus cuttings, let them dry for 10 to 45 days after you receive them. (Longer drying times are needed when there are thick cuts and cool temperatures.) Leave the cut in a warm, shaded location as opposed to direct sunlight to help the wounds heal. After that, place it in DRY cactus potting soil and wait 10 to 45 days before watering it again. Starting a gentle, regular watering cycle is safe once the cutting forms a root system. Always wait until the soil is completely dry before watering it again. A cutting will be much more likely to die from overwatering than from underwatering.


Giving specific instructions on how to water cacti and succulents is challenging. During the winter months, when cacti go into hibernation, they shouldn’t be watered. Keep cactus dry during the winter, especially if they are maintained in an area with a relatively low temperature. When they are active, cacti need to be hydrated.

If the plants are protected from rain, a typical watering schedule can be as follows: once in January, once in February, twice in March, and 2 to 4 times monthly during the growing season, depending on the circumstances.

The dirt in the pot should be given enough water to completely saturate it. Water that is too much should drain easily. The occasional rain shower won’t hurt you in the summer. Rain is preferable to tap water for plants. On the other hand, cacti should be planted in a protected spot during a prolonged rainstorm.

Although technically free of chlorine and alkaline salts, regular tap water will do. The cacti will develop white stains from hard water and chlorine, which is ugly and does close the stomata. (pores)


During their growing season, cacti and succulents require constant feeding (Spring-Summer). They require an appropriate variety of minerals. Potassium (K) promotes fruit and flowers, phosphorus (P) promotes healthy root development, and nitrogen (N) promotes vigorous top growth. Other trace elements are also required by cacti. The ideal ratio of nutrients is 20 percent nitrogen, 20 percent potassium, 20 percent phosphorus, and all of the other trace elements. However, any commercial houseplant fertilizer will do.


The minimum temperature for mature cacti and succulents in a warm region is 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16C). The photosynthetic process typically requires direct or filtered sunlight in cacti. An artificial light source, such as fluorescent lighting, can be used in addition to natural light.

Soil Mixture

Cacti have evolved to live in nutrient-poor, rocky, sandy, or clay-based soils. The perfect soil or potting combination, however, will drain quickly and still hold some moisture. To guarantee proper drainage, always use a grittier mixture; pumice works excellent. An acidic soil is preferred by the majority of cacti.

Pots and Containers

Cacti and succulents don’t require a lot of soil depth. Check to see if every container has drainage holes. Before adding soil, line the bottoms with anything like gravel or broken pieces of pottery. Choose plants with comparable cultural requirements and growing seasons when growing them all together in a container. Many succulents that grow slowly flourish when combined with desert cacti.

Pest and Diseases:

Although cacti are pest and disease resistant, they are nonetheless susceptible to scale, mealy bugs, and several fungal and viral infections. There are many treatments for scale and mealy bugs, but I’ve found that malathion and orthene combined with a wetting agent work really well. The best defense against viral and fungi infections is prevention. That is creating favorable conditions for growth, and watch out for too much wetness. Fortunately, desert plants can tolerate a wide range of unfavorable environments. The cactus will take care of the rest if you just give it the right range of conditions. Enjoy your garden!

How long does a cactus cutting take to take root?

Even for novice gardeners, cactus species are among the simplest plants to root at home. The method is effective throughout the year, although cactus cuttings potted in late summer to early autumn develop the quickest roots and healthiest plants. Cactus cuttings can root easily, but they must be carefully prepared beforehand and potted in sterile rooting medium to prevent them from wilting and decomposing before they take root. Most cactus cuttings that have been potted usually take four to six weeks to root and are prepared for transfer one month afterwards.

Can you plant a cactus after removing the top?

The enjoyable part is now. With the exception of damaged or dead stems and leaves, almost all of the material you remove is salvageable.

  • If pads are placed on top of soil, they will take root and grow into a new plant of the same species.
  • After several days, cut stems and trunks should be allowed to callus before being planted to grow new cacti.
  • You should immediately pot up any offsets or pups that you remove from the specimen’s base because they are new plants in their own right.
  • Compost is used for dead flower stalks and leaves, although certain cactus species develop leaves on the flower stem that can be treated similarly to other species’ pad material. Within a month, the majority of cactus portions will begin to root.

Once you’ve brought your first cactus back to life, you’ll enjoy creating more of the magnificent plant so you can add to your collection or give them as gifts to loved ones.

Can succulent cuttings be planted directly in the ground?

What is there to love other than a succulent? Obviously, a full garden of succulents! Fortunately for us, it’s simple to propagate a variety of these resilient, vibrant plants at home. We can’t wait to see succulents growing all year long in containers around the house and garden; there are various easy ways to reproduce them.

Propagating by Division: Plants that have gotten too leggy perform best with this method, which produces new succulents from cuttings. Start by delicately removing any leaves that may be attached to the stem below the rosette; be sure to preserve the leaf’s base while you do so. After all the leaves have been eliminated, cut the rosette with shears, leaving a brief stem intact. The cuttings should be let to dry in an empty tray for a few days until the raw ends have calloused. The cuttings can then be rooted in either water or soil.

Soil: After the stems have calloused, set the cuttings on top of a shallow tray filled with well-draining cactus/succulent soil. From the base of the cuttings, roots and little plants will start to emerge in a few weeks. Once the roots start to show, water sparingly once a week; take care not to overwater. The parent leaf will eventually wither; carefully remove it while taking care not to harm the young roots. Your propagated succulents can be replanted once they have established roots. As soon as the plants are established, keep them out of direct sunlight.

Water: After the stem has calloused, place a cutting with the end barely visible above the water’s surface on the lip of a glass or jar filled with water. Pick a sunny location for your glass. The incision will eventually produce roots that extend toward the water. Once roots have sprouted, your new succulent can either be replanted in succulent potting soil or allowed to remain submerged in water as illustrated above.

Offsets are little plants that develop at the base of the main specimen, and many species of succulents, such as aloe, hens and chicks, and some cacti, will generate them. Check for root growth after an offset has developed for two to three weeks before carefully twisting, cutting, or using a sharp knife to separate it from the main stem. Be cautious to prevent destroying any already-formed roots. Follow the directions above for propagating in soil or water, letting the offsets dry, establish roots, and then repot when they have had time to callus any exposed regions. Removing offsets has the added benefit of enhancing the health of your current succulents and redirecting energy into the growth of the primary plant.

What part of the cactus can be propagated?

The majority of cacti are simple to grow from stem cuttings, particularly those with segmented stems like blue candles, prickly pears, and Christmas cacti.

How is a cactus pup rooted?

It’s time to pot up offsets from cacti after removing them and letting them callus. The ideal medium is grippy and well-draining. You can buy cactus mixes or make your own by mixing 50 percent peat or compost with 50 percent pumice or perlite.

Cuttings only require a pot that is slightly larger than their base diameter. In order to prevent the offset from toppling over, cover one-third to one-half of the base with the medium. Keep the medium mildly moist and place the pup in indirect but bright sunlight.

Although some cacti can take months to root, most do so in four to six weeks. By observing any fresh green growth, which shows that the roots have taken hold and the plantlet is receiving nutrients and water, you may determine when it has rooted.

Can you replace a cactus that has been broken?

As long as the damaged component is otherwise healthy, a broken cactus arm or stem segment can be used to grow a new cactus. If your cactus has spikes, never forget to wear protective gloves. Until the ends of the plant piece harden and start to callus, allow it to sit in a cool, shaded area for about a week.

How frequently should a cactus be watered?

The most frequent reason for cacti failure is improper watering, whether it is done too much or too little. Cacti have evolved to store water for extended periods of time and can maintain moisture through droughts because they are endemic to arid regions and dry temperatures. They have a limited capacity, which is why over-watering can result in a variety of issues.

When it comes to regularity, watering your cacti will largely depend on the season but also on the variety. Checking the soil is the easiest technique to determine whether your cactus needs water: It’s time for a drink if the top inch is dry. That entails applying the “soak and dry procedure” on cactus.

What is the soak and dry method?

The soak and dry technique is thoroughly wetting the soil until part of it begins to flow out the drainage hole, then waiting until the mixture is nearly dry before wetting it once more. If done properly, this strategy will help them endure a period of under-watering should you need to travel or leave the house because it takes use of their natural tendency to store water (or if you just get busy and watering falls to the wayside, as happens to all of us now and again).

Watering during the growing season versus the inactive season

Like with many houseplants, the season affects how frequently you need water. It becomes more crucial that you get in the habit of examining the soil to determine whether your cacti are thirsty. A healthy cactus needs watering every one to two weeks during the growing season, according to general wisdom. The frequency changes to once every three to four weeks during the off-season.

Even then, it’s crucial to examine the soil. The same way that not all interior spaces and not all cacti are alike. The only way to be certain that your cactus require watering is to carefully examine the soil to determine how dry it is because there are so many different factors.