How To Separate Barrel Cactus Pups

Take out the pups from the ground up. After firmly pulling the baby up so the stem is exposed, cut it off. In your attempt, make just one cut. The mother and the pup experience less stress when there is only one cut for each removal.

How are cactus puppies separated?

Amazing plants, cacti generally grow slowly and have extended lifespans. The day comes for many cactus aficionados, though, when they want to begin propagating their cacti. To share it with friends and family, to start growing fresh cactus because of an illness, or to add to the collection of cacti. We will provide you with a comprehensive tutorial on how to propagate cacti from seeds, stem and leaf cuttings, offsets, and share advice in this post. You will be able to discover brand-new techniques for growing cacti.

Propagating cacti by dividing offsetsthe easiest way

Cacti can be multiplied vegetatively by diving their offsets. Vegetative propagation is the process of a parent cactus producing an offset asexually without the use of seeds.

An identical offset, which is typically a small cluster, is produced by the parent plant and can be divided to form a new cactus. Cacti can be spread most easily using this method.

An offset is typically quite simple to divide, and it will establish itself fast and often successfully. When you separate small offsets from a mother plant, many of them already contain tiny roots.

Not all species of cactus can generate offsets, however many of them can. It would be relatively simple to spread cactus without using seeds if they could all reproduce by offsets. Some cacti can generate offsets, but because the plant is so little and delicate, it is not advised that you separate them. Small offsets help these cacti grow and look better.

You shouldn’t divide/cut offset from the following cacti:

  • The peanut cactus, Lobivia silvestrii
  • small (note that you can cut offsets for big species) Genus Gymnocalycium
  • Tephrocactus
  • Echinocereus, a genus of bigger shrub cactus, including species like Echinocereus engelmannii.
  • small-scale Rebutia cacti

One of the plants you should avoid reproducing using offsets is Rebutia heliosa.

As it can affect the cactus’ growth and integrity, it is often preferable to reproduce these cacti in other ways.

You can propagate cacti from offsets with these cacti:

  • Your offset-propagating cacti should be big, rounded, and clump-forming. It is ideal for offsets to be at least the size of a little ball and the primary parent cactus to be huge. These cacti grow “separately,” and the pups on them don’t have a nice appearance.
  • For instance, the majority of Mammillaria or huge Echinopsis eyriesii are ideal. Numerous additional species are equally appropriate. Please refer to our individual care papers if you have any questions.

Cacti that don’t produce offsets/pups:

Many cacti don’t normally generate pups or offsets. These include, for instance:

  • big cacti with a barrel form, like those in the genus Ferocactus.
  • Others include the genus Astrophytum of cactus,
  • Parodia,
  • as well as numerous others.

Offsets are unusual for these cacti. However, in the event of wounds, damage to the root system, cold, etc., they can still create offsets to preserve themselves. Some individuals propagate uncommon cacti in this way. However, most cacti create offsets, and it’s usually easy to divide them apart for fresh growth.

How to propagate cacti using offsets/pups:

  • In late spring or summer, cut the offsets from the main parent plant.
  • The offset ought to be between 1.5 and 2 inches long. Higher offsets on the parent cactus typically have stronger and healthier offsets.
  • You will need to either cut the pup/offset free from the parent plant with a knife or disconnect it manually.
  • To see where a parent plant and a pup are connected, remove the soil from the offset’s top.
  • It could be simpler to manually disconnect the offset
  • Simply take a pup, turn it around, and gently break it till it falls off.
  • You can use a knife if that doesn’t work. Cut the knife at the connecting place after sterilizing it (with boiling water or alcohol).
  • Cut off any remaining parent plant material from the pup using a clean knife. If not, it will decay and harm the pup.
  • After that, you must allow your pup to dry for around three days before planting it. The pup can be dried most effectively by being positioned vertically in a vacant container with drainage holes. If the offset isn’t dried, any wounds won’t heal in time for planting and will instead degrade the soil.
  • When you cut off any cacti offsets from the parent plant, their roots will develop organically (most Echinopsis cacti, for example).
  • A cactus pup without roots can be placed in dry soil with some gravel for a few days or even up to a week before it begins to grow roots. Alternatively, you might put your cactus in a pot with perlite, some ground charcoal, and sand so that it can develop roots. With small-rooted offsets, skip this step.
  • Set up the soil and container for your new cactus. Before adding soil, remember to utilize the proper containers and drainage. Learn how to make cactus soil and select the best container here.
  • Place a pup in the ground, but don’t bury it too deeply. The dirt should only cover one-fourth of the stem.
  • Deep under the stem, some adult cactus generate very tiny pups. These puppies will frequently be little and receive less light. These pups should be dried for a few days before planting in order to separate them. After leaving them in the shade for several days, gently move them to a lighter location.
  • After planting, don’t water the cactus right away! 5-7 days should pass before watering. By doing this, you will reduce the possibility of rotting and infections.

That’s basically all for growing and dividing cacti from offsets. This is the simplest method for propagating cactus, and if you choose to use it in the late spring or summer, you shouldn’t encounter many difficulties. Ensure that pups are dry before planting.

Propagating cacti with stem and leaf cuttingsthe second best way

The second best method of cacti propagation uses stem and leaf cuttings. By straightforward division, this method of propagation is also vegetative. Cutting propagation is comparable to pup/offset propagation. This method of reproduction is quite helpful when a cactus is growing too large and unsightly, or if it is, for example, beginning to decay. A nice approach to share your cactus with friends or family is through stem/leaf cuttings.

  • Approximately 7 days after watering your cactus, take cuttings in the spring or summer.
  • Selecting healthy, non-dry, uninfected cactus portions is the first step.
  • To reduce the risk of infection, clean a knife or blade with rubbing alcohol in this manner.
  • With a knife, slice the leaf or stem portion across the joining point.
  • If the object comes off of the cactus loosely, you can avoid needing a knife to make the cut. Try to remove a leaf with a base by gently pulling it from side to side.
  • Apply some horticultural charcoal like this to the base of the cutting and a piece of a cut cactus to avoid infection of the plant and the cutting. To stop the chopped area of your cactus from drying out, you can even cover it with a piece of paper or fabric.
  • It is now crucial to use a knife to “sharpen” the end of the cutting base. Cut the base’s edges with a knife that has been sterilized. Sharpen the edge by slowly slicing across the cutting base, just as you would with a pencil. This is crucial because if the cutting is allowed to dry, the roots will draw back inside the skin at the location of the cut. Even while a blunted cutting will develop more quickly, its roots will only grow from one side and will be too feeble to support the plant’s stem for an extended period of time. This is so that there won’t be any root growth from the plant’s center.
  • However, if you sharpen the cutting edge, roots will begin to sprout from the center of the plant, building a stronger root system for long-term success.
  • The cutting should be dried. Once you pot them, this will help them develop more effectively. Drying should only be done vertically for 10-14 days for thick/large clippings and 5-7 days for little ones. It can be hung or put vertically in a container that is empty. Your cutting will begin to develop tiny roots on that side if you place it on a table (horizontally), which will result in permanent harm. Because the roots on this cutting are coming out of the side rather than the base, it cannot be potted. Therefore, only dry them vertically. The pot can be topped with a few rocks if you have a flat cutting.
  • Place the base in the temporary substrate so that it can begin developing roots if you notice that the base is becoming coated in callus (a dried wound) or after a general drying period. Sand, charcoal, and peat should make up the majority of the temporary substrate.

One method of growing cuttings Sand and charcoal make up the top white layer, which is followed by soil and drainage level.

  • Roots should start to show after around two weeks. At this point, a cactus can be repotted into a typical substrate like this cactus and succulent mix. More information on creating cactus soil may be found here.

You can chop off the healthy top of a cactus and develop a new cactus if any portion of the plant is sick or rotting. To preserve a dying cactus, a stem cutting will be used. As previously mentioned, use a sharp knife to cut and sanitize the cutting edges.

Propagating cactus with seeds

Cacti can also be grown from seeds, although the likelihood of success is smaller and the process will take much longer. A useful technique to raise uncommon or hard to find cacti species that don’t produce pups is by sowing their seeds.

Cacti that you successfully grow from seeds will be robust and healthy since they will become accustomed to your surroundings and climate from day one. But if you want fast results, avoid growing cacti from seeds. Your cacti won’t grow to maturity for many years, if ever. The majority of young cacti need between one and three years to mature before they can bloom.

Some cacti can produce seeds without the help of other plants (which means by themselves). Most Rebutia species, a few Echinocacti, Mammilaria, and Cereus cacti fall under this category.

However, by shaking their own stamen to release some pollen onto the pestle, some cacti can also be fertilized with their own pollen. It is especially true with cacti that have been developed from the same plant that certain cacti may not be pollen-receptive and won’t produce seeds (cuttings for example).

For instance, zygocacti struggle to generate seeds. Cactus fruit can also be used to obtain seeds. The tiny, frequently black, and dust-like seeds of cacti.

There are some important rules for growing cacti from seeds:

  • Early in the spring, plant cactus seeds.
  • Place a white tissue or cloth on the table before you begin working with seeds. This is due to the fact that seeds are tiny and will disappear if you can’t see them.
  • Purchasing seeds is the most common method of obtaining them. Nevertheless, you may also gather them from fruits (for example dragon fruits).

How to sow cacti seeds. Step by step instructions:

  • Select a seedling container (or trays without holes), as they require high humidity; drainage holes are less critical. If you want to avoid heating the seeds, you may also purchase a germination kit like this. A heating pad, a dome, and a tray are included with the germination kit. You’ll need to make a heating container if you’re using your own containers. Using trays can help you divide the many species of cactus you are cultivating (if you are not using a mix of seeds). Additionally, because each seedling is isolated, if one gets sick, it won’t spread to the others.
  • This will serve as a drainage level. Fill the bottom of the pot with gravel and charcoal to a height of 1 inch. Add some coarse sand and small gravel on top.
  • The compost is then added. Coarse sand, crushed charcoal, and cactus compost should all be present in equal amounts in the compost. You can add more small rocks or gravel on top of the compost. Because seedlings don’t yet require a rich substrate, don’t merely use compost by itself.
  • To provide seeds room, divide the compost surface into equal pieces.
  • You won’t be able to identify the precise species you are growing if you are using a combination of seeds from the pack. However, if you are planting a specific species, you must create a label and place it in a pot so you will know which seeds belong to which kind of cactus.
  • Use a small toothpick or tweezers to pick up seeds and place them in the spaces you have created after tapping your finger on the compost. Covering the seeds will cause them to suffocate.
  • Douse the seeds with water.
  • The pots must now be heated in order for the germination to be successful. A temperature range of 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit is required during the day and no lower than 70 degrees at night. The compost shouldn’t be too dry or too wet, and humidity should be somewhat high.
  • It will be simple to heat the pots (or trays) with a germination kit, which is effectively a miniature greenhouse. Use your own pots or trays instead, place them in a container or a plastic Ziploc bag, and heat the area with a heating pad or another heating source if you can’t afford one.
  • If there is condensation, check on the germination container once or twice a day and remove the lid to allow for an air exchange. Once each day, lightly mist the compost with water.
  • The germination container should not be exposed to direct sunlight. It will vary, but seedlings should appear after 1 to 8 weeks. Young seeds will grow more quickly. You can now take them out of the germination kit or container. Your seedlings now require indirect sunlight in order to thrive; otherwise, they won’t.
  • From the first day of sowing, indirect light is crucial, but it becomes even more crucial as your seedlings begin to grow during the spring and summer. They absolutely need indirect lighting at this time. Please keep in mind that they could die from exposure to direct light. Put them in the office or on shelves; that should be sufficient. However, you can also utilize artificial lighting. Purchase a low-wattage compact fluorescent or daylight bulb, install it nearby (within a few inches), and use it for 10 hours per day. Seedlings will begin “stretching” and tilting if this doesn’t happen.
  • Around 1-2 months after seeding, transplant cacti into fresh, drainage-hole-equipped containers. But when the seedling has two lobes and some spines, this will rely on it. Use regular cactus soil mix this time.

All compost elements should be sterilized by either microwaving or baking them in the oven to avoid any mold, algae, or pest formation on the seedlings (read more on disinfecting soil here). Clean the containers completely as well (boiling water, bleach etc.).

Act right away if you spot any growth of white mold or even green or blue-green algae on the soil. The top layer of dirt should be removed with a toothpick or another thin object.

Add more sand and charcoal that have been combined on top after that. This will stop mold from growing in the future and maintain the soil healthy. Remove and destroy any infected seedlings as soon as possible.