If you want indoor plants that practically care for themselves, succulents and cactus plants are the ideal choice.
As detailed here, stem or leaf cuttings can be used to readily propagate the majority of cacti and succulents. Always remove entire segments from cacti with segmented stems (such as Christmas cacti and prickly pears), as cuttings don’t divide segments in half.
Aloes, haworthias, and agaves are clump-forming succulents that can be divided by simply removing the plant from its container and slicing the rootball. Numerous Mammillaria and Echinopsis cacti can be separated, or individual heads can be removed and used as cuttings.
In our No Fuss video guide, Kevin Smith of Gardeners’ World Magazine demonstrates how to use cactus plants to make a visually appealing display. Kevin discusses the benefits of using salad tongs to handle cacti, the best compost to use, and how to make attractive mulch.
Select a healthy stem that is at least 10 cm long and use snips to cleanly cut it off. When handling spiky cacti, use tongs. Remove entire leaves from plants without stems by hand; don’t chop them off. Until the cut surfaces have healed over, leave cuttings on a window sill.
After heavily watering, set the pot on a warm ledge that’s preferable out of the sun. Cuttings of succulents or cacti shouldn’t be put in propagators or covered with plastic bags.
Watch the cutting and moisten the compost when it feels dry. The majority of cactus and succulent cuttings take a month or less to root, although new growth could take longer.
Can you plant a portion of cactus that has been chopped off?
A loved cactus plant might quickly lose a portion due to overly active kids, scavenging animals, an accidental bump, or an unplanned incident. You need not worry if it occurs to you because you are not required to discard the chopped piece.
Even if the main plant can still survive if a portion of its stem is lost, it may seem wasteful to toss the broken piece and ignore the rest.
So, can you cut off a piece of cactus and plant it? Yes is the clear-cut response. Cuttings can be used to grow a sizable number of cacti species. Hedgehog, prickly pear, and branching columnar cacti like the night-blooming cereus are a few of the common cactus species that are typically reproduced via cuttings.
Don’t discard the broken piece if your cactus accidently breaks off a portion of it. Instead, replant it from seed and let it grow.
Can a cactus cutting be rooted in water?
It’s time to get your cutting ready for planting in a pot once it has dried! Cactus propagation can potentially be done in water, just like with other houseplants, but it’s not a very usual procedure because they thrive in soil.
Your brand-new cutting will require excellent drainage to survive, much like other cacti (unless it’s a jungle cactus like the Christmas cactus). The roots of cacti have not developed to become used to extended wet periods. They enjoy a cool splash, but the soil shouldn’t be prone to being wet or humid afterward; instead, it should immediately dry out again.
It’s not too difficult to spot an excellent cactus soil because it will be grippy and contain little to no potting soil at all. You can either purchase a prepared cactus soil combination or create your own by mixing 1 part potting soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part orchid bark (not too gritty) for your cutting.
As far as planters go, as long as they have proper drainage, you should be set to go. Standard plastic nursery containers are excellent, but some cactus growers like to use clay planters to provide even more drainage. Water can really evaporate through the walls of this substance since it is porous.
Advice: Visit the article on planting succulents indoors for further details on how to grow succulents like cacti.
When is the best time to collect cactus cuttings?
Cacti have benefited from this summer’s favorable weather by responding with fresh growth. In just a few weeks, my bunny ears cactus, Opuntia microdasys, produced three new pads. That is, until I made the decision to wipe the window behind it, at which point all three of the fresh pads were adhered to the cleaning cloth with one fairly awkward motion.
Not a big deal, though, as cacti are remarkably simple to spread. The optimal time to take cuttings is during the summer, but I’ve had success taking them as late as now, and emergency cuttings are the best way to save the plant if life provides you unexpected bunny ears to propagate or the bottom of your cactus starts to rot.
You only need to remove one segment from a prickly pear, a rabbit ear, or any other segmented cactus to produce a new plant. These are some of the simplest to reproduce; just gently cut off a part while using thick gloves or kitchen tongs (never assume any cactus spine will be nice, no matter how small). You can cut off or divide each head of a mound-forming cactus, such as a mammillaria or an echinopsis, at the soil level. Use a sharp knife to make a straight, precise cut. Take a significant chunk of the head off a columnar cactus if possible. The similar method can be used to salvage the healthy portion of rotting bases while discarding the remainder.
Lay the cutting carefully on its side on a saucer. Before it can root, the exposed flesh needs to callus over, and exposure to air causes this to happen. With a small specimen, this might take a day, but with a bigger surface area, it might take a week.
You can place a hard callus into a tiny pot once it has hardened. Cacti require extremely free-draining environments for their roots. I advise using a ratio of five parts grit and horticultural sand to one part compost when we enter the latent phase of growth. Running water through the mixture in the pot will allow you to check whether it drains rapidly.
Pads or segments can be positioned either upright or on the ground. Cacti that are upright in the pot should stay that way. Water as soon as you plant and again when the soil is entirely dry; throughout the winter, this may only require one watering until spring. Leave the plant in a well-lit area away from the sun.
Cuttings can be completed in 24 hours in the summer but up to three or four months in the winter. Either roots will show through the drainage holes, or the cutting will feel firm in the container, indicating that it is rooted. And fresh spines will grow in the spring.
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.
How long does a cactus cutting take to take root?
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 a shattered cactus be replanted?
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.
Which cactus parts can be multiplied?
The majority of cacti are simple to grow from stem cuttings, particularly those with segmented stems like blue candles, prickly pears, and Christmas cacti.
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.
Can a cactus grow in water?
Fans of cacti and succulents are aware that properly watering these plants is difficult because it’s easy to over or underwater them. That’s no longer a concern thanks to your germination plate. To ensure that your cactus always receive the proper amount of moisture, you can convert them to hydroponic growth.
How should a cactus be chopped and replanted?
Pick your trimming from a mature cactus’ top. Make sure the cactus piece you choose is healthy and grown. Choose a columnar cactus with a slender stem so that it can root more quickly.
Just a few inches from the top, cut the stem off. To reduce the danger of infection to the parent plants and the reproduced plants, perform this with a clean cutting tool. Make sure the cut is as free of dents or crushes as you can make it.
For the wound to develop a callus, let the fresh cut sit in the sun for a few days.
Put premium potting soil made for cacti in your pot. This mixture of soil ought to be light and allow for adequate drainage (Here are our recommended ones).
Once the cut end has dried, bury it upright in the soil mixture with the wound end downward. Before planting, you might want to dip the cutting in some rooting hormone to encourage the growth of roots.
Lightly mist the ground. Do this repeatedly every few days to promote the growth of roots.
Your cactus should root if you follow these instructions in a few weeks. However, the type of cactus, the extent of the cut, and the effectiveness of the irrigation will all affect how quickly the roots grow. Your new cactus can then be exposed to sunshine to help preserve their color and shape. The stem may not develop significantly in the first year, but the roots will continue to spread out.
How do you cut grass?
Softwood cuttings should be taken between mid-spring and early summer. From the middle of fall through the middle of January is when hardwood cuttings are taken.
How to take softwood cuttings
- Fill your pots with compost and water them to get them ready for the cuttings before you take a plant cutting.
- Early in the day, when the plant stems are still wet, take cuttings. Use cuttings as soon as possible after placing them in a plastic bag to prevent drying out.
- If you want to take a cutting, pick a sturdy side shoot that has no flowers and cut a portion that is 5 to 10 cm (2-4 in) long, just below the leaf junction.
- The lower half of the cutting should be completely leafless, and the growing tip should be pinched off.
- Apply hormone rooting powder to the cutting’s bottom end. This lessens the chance of bacterial infection while assisting the cutting in growing roots.
- Make a hole in the center of the compost with the dibber or a pencil, then insert the cutting so that the lowest pair of leaves is just above the soil’s surface. Around the cutting, compact the compost.
- When all of the cuttings have been potted, name them, and either place them in a propagator with a bottom heat of 18–24 oC (64–75 oF) or cover each pot with a clear plastic bag and place it in an area with bright but indirect light. For ventilation, open the propagator vents every day or take the plastic bags off once a week for ten minutes.
- Water the compost frequently to keep it moist but not soggy. Depending on the plant, the cuttings may take six to ten weeks to take root. Examine the drainage holes in the pots for any indications that the roots may be showing.
- After the cuttings have taken root, they should be “hardened off” for two weeks by being kept inside at night and placed outside during the day.
- Replant the cuttings in larger pots once they have hardened off so they can continue to grow until they are big enough to be planted outdoors.
How to take hardwood cuttings
- In the fall, when the plants have lost their leaves and are dormant, take hardwood cuttings. When it’s cold outside, avoid taking cuttings.
- Prepare a small trench outside in a protected area if you intend to take numerous cuttings. This will house the cuttings for the most of the following year. Lay a layer of sand at the bottom of the trench, then backfill it with soil that has been amended with compost to ensure proper drainage. Use containers filled with a 50/50 mixture of multipurpose compost and grit if you only need a few cuttings or don’t have room for a trench.
- Choose a sturdy, pencil-thick woody shoot that has grown this year and cut it off just above the shoot’s base to take a plant cutting.
- Cut the shoot into lengths of 15–30 cm (6–12 in) after removing the tip. At the top of each length, make a slanted incision slightly above a bud. This deflects rain from the cutting and serves as a helpful cue as to which end is which.
- At the bottom of each cutting, make a straight cut right below a blossom.
- Each cutting’s lower end should be dipped in hormone rooting powder.
- So that one-third of each cutting is still visible above the soil’s surface, place the lower ends of the cuttings into the trench or pots. In trenches, space cuttings 15 cm (6 in) apart.
- Till the fall after, keep the cuttings in the trench or pots. Water during dry spells to prevent the compost from drying out.
- The cuttings can be replanted in their ultimate locations once they have developed roots.
What are the best plants to take cuttings from?
There are many appropriate plants to pick from once you understand how to take a cutting from a plant. Many delicate plants, including pelargoniums, petunias, verbena, argyranthemums, and osteospermums, respond best to softwood cuttings. Many deciduous shrubs, such as lavender, rosemary, forsythia, fuchsias, hydrangeas, lavatera, and buddleja, allow you to take softwood cuttings as well.
Most deciduous shrubs, roses, climbers like honeysuckle and grape vines, and fruit bushes like fig, gooseberry, redcurrant, and blackcurrant do well with hardwood cuttings.
It’s simple and pleasurable to add more plants to your yard by taking plant cuttings. Why not give it a try?