Cacti are low-maintenance houseplants that don’t often need repotting, but when they do, it’s crucial to do it properly and correctly. It is time to transfer your cactus if the roots begin to protrude through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot or the plant seems to have outgrown its container. Cacti normally only need to be transplanted every 3–4 years, or every 2–3 years for kinds that grow more quickly.
Sharp spines are a common feature on many cacti species, which serve to defend the plant. This makes transplanting cacti a challenging and occasionally risky task. Use of a towel or folded newspaper is one of the greatest ways to properly transplant a cactus. Purchasing a pair of sturdy, protective gardening gloves is another smart move. Avoid using fabric gardening gloves in place of heavy canvas or leather since most textiles are easily penetrated by cacti thorns.
When the plant has started its active growing season in the early to midspring, it is ideal to transplant cacti. This will make sure the cactus has the energy to bounce back from being handled and adapt to its new surroundings.
Wearing protective protection while transplanting a cactus is always advised because most cacti contain sharp spikes that are painful and challenging to remove from the skin if they come into touch.
Once transplanted, do you water the cactus?
When you’ve decided whether to repot your cactus, it’s time to grab your equipment and exchange the old soil or container with the new one. Fresh soil is an excellent idea even though every cactus doesn’t require a new container. Only plants that are pot-bound require a larger pot.
Gently tong, glove, or wrap the plant out of its pot. If the soil is dry, they normally come out easily, but you might need to use a trowel to remove the soil around the edges. Plant the cactus at the same depth it was growing in the old soil after shaking off the old soil. Put it in a bright southeast or east window, filling in the area around the roots with your medium.
Not watering the plant right away while it is accustomed to being handled and new soil conditions is one of the most crucial repotting cactus advices. A few weeks later, you can water the plant, let it dry up, and then water it once more.
How is a cactus transplanted?
Plants should be hardened off (acclimated) to direct sunlight and frost by being placed outside in a location with morning sun and afternoon shade before the last date for frost (early to mid-May). Unless frost is anticipated, avoid going outside at night. Bring plants inside if there is a threat of frost; let them outside the next day if it has warmed up above freezing. To keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, water as needed. Continue for around 10 days, after which the plants will be prepared for planting and unaffected by either frost or sunburn.
All hardy cacti and succulent species need soil that drains quickly. The ideal soils are loamy, rocky, or sandy.
Place succulents and cacti in your garden on a slope, on a raised area (like a berm), or in a level place that doesn’t retain water after rain or snowfall. Pick a bed that receives direct sunlight.
To guarantee appropriate drainage in heavy clay soils, it is crucial to replace half or more of the dirt from a 10×10 or bigger hole with coarse sand and small gravel that have been thoroughly mixed with the remaining soil. To the planting hole, add a handful or two of Yum Yum Mix.
Utilize a planting mixture consisting of two parts garden soil, one part coarse sand, and one part aggregate (coarse perlite, red volcanic scoria or expanded shale). To the dirt, add some Yum Yum Mix.
planting a pot indoors Use Black Gold Cactus Mix and expanded shale to mix with the sand for indoor potted plants (or red volcanic scoria). Use a ratio of 2:1 potting soil to coarse sand to shale or scoria.
Transplanting bare-root is recommended for cacti, agaves, and tap-rooted succulents (Aloinopsis, Titanopsis, and Nananthus). For a few days, allow the soil in the pot to dry out. The earth should slip away from the roots once you remove the pot and gently loosen it. Any broken roots should be cut off. 2 to 3 inches of earth should be added to the planting hole. After that, uniformly distribute the roots like a skirt and fill the hole with the adjusted soil. The soil should be on top of the plant’s base. To keep the plant’s base from drying out and from coming into contact with damp soil during the winter, mulch the area with a 12-inch layer of pea-sized gravel.
Ruschia, Delosperma, Sedums, and other succulents with fibrous roots don’t need to be transplanted bare-root; instead, the root ball should be scored and roughed up like other perennials.
When growing cacti in the summer, place a tall rock or board on their south side to provide shade for 7–10 days. This aids with cactus acclimatization and prevents sunburning of the stem. Using Bobbex ANIMAL Repellent 32 oz., repel rabbits. Ready-to-Use.
Wait a day or two (but no longer) before watering bare-root cacti and tap-rooted succulents to give the roots time to callus over any broken or damaged regions. You can start watering additional succulents right soon. Including Medina Fish Blend as a root stimulant to promote robust new root growth, at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. For the first month or two, use Medina Fish Blend multiple times a day.
fresh plants After transplanting, outside beds should receive watering at first once every 5 to 7 days for around a month. During the summer heat, cacti and succulents benefit from routine irrigation and develop quickly. If there hasn’t been enough rain after the first year, most cacti species simply require a good bath once every 2-4 weeks in the spring and summer.
New outdoor potted plants need weekly watering during the summer, especially if it’s hot and dry outside. Indoor plants in pots require watering every 7 to 10 days.
How do you move a cactus without damaging it?
There aren’t many ways to repot a cactus without getting pricked and hurt. Wearing nitrile coated gloves (may be two pairs or double coated) and utilizing folded newspaper may be sufficient to handle small to medium sized cactus.
Utilizing silicone tongs is an additional technique for handling little cactus (not metal ones). Be very cautious with your cactus and avoid pinching it. Use foam sponges or anything comparable as well.
You must be careful not to harm the roots that are wrapped around the main root ball. Try to remove a cactus from its pot by turning the pot vertically. If you wait three to five days before repotting your cactus, it should be simple to perform.
Use this technique if your cactus isn’t coming out on its own. The top soil layer should be removed with a thin wooden stick or something similar. Then, while holding the cactus and using folded newspaper for particularly spiky cacti, gently tap the pot against the table to see if you can slide it out of the pot. By pulling your cactus in this way, you risk damaging its incredibly thin and delicate roots.
How to handle and repot a large or tall cactus with sharp spines
You must exercise extra caution if your cactus is large and tall, grows outdoors, or both. When moving your cactus, put on your nitrile-coated gloves and use some folded newspaper. Additionally, you could wrap your cactus in a large towel.
If you’re having trouble getting your cactus out of the pot, try using a wooden stick to push the rootball out of the drainage holes.
You can smash the pot or chop the cactus if nothing else works to get it out. If your cactus still won’t emerge after you cut the pot, you can use a hose to spray water on the roots of the plant. This will soften a rootball. You don’t want to hurt your plant, so always be kind. Remember that you must wait for the roots to dry after spraying them before potting them into a new container.
To ensure that the roots of your cactus dry out, hang it. Put something underneath the huge cactus to provide support (for example some bars under the cactus so it is hanging). Additionally, hanging it outside the pot will help the roots dry out more quickly.
Before planting the cactus, you must dry the roots if you used a hose to shower them.
After you have removed your cactus from an old pot
You must clean the rootball and get rid of old soil after taking the cactus out of its old container. Dry soil should make this task simple. However, if the soil has dried and you are unable to clean it, put the rootball in a plastic container and soak it for 20 to 40 minutes in warm water (about 122 degrees F or 50 Celsius).
Wash the rootball with water to remove any remaining soil after it has softened. Dry the rootballs of your cactus for 12 to 30 hours to ensure full drying.
A helpful suggestion would be to hang your cactus so that the roots are upright. This will hasten the cacti’s transition to a new pot and preserve the roots’ healthy natural shapes. The rootballs of your cacti will sprout more plants if you wash and soak them in warm water.
Take a look at cacti’s roots
Examine the roots after removing your cactus and removing any remaining soil by shaking (or washing) it off. You must inspect the roots to look for rotting and parasites. You must use micro-tipped pruning shears to remove any visible rotting roots.
Another option is to use tiny scissors. However, be sure to sanitize the blades with alcohol, a flame, or boiling water and antibacterial soap before cutting any bad roots.
Wash off the dirt and dab some alcohol on cuts if you notice any damage or cuts in the roots. Before putting the cactus in the pot, let the roots dry.
Place the cactus in its new pot
Place your cactus in the pot after looking at the roots. It ought to already be partially filled with gravel or rocks, charcoal, and dirt on top. Insert your cactus, then begin slowly filling in the sides with soil.
While adding the soil and once you are finished, pat the earth lightly without using any instruments. Be sure to leave the top layer’s soil free by 1-2 inches. Your cacti may be more susceptible to root rot if the dirt is overfilled in the pot.
You can water your cactus after about 5-7 days. Add extra soil on top if it has greatly drained. Two to three weeks after repotting, a good cactus should become sturdy and feel at ease in the soil. Your cactus’ roots are unhealthy if it is unsteady and need additional support.
What to do after you have repotted your cacti
You must give your cactus a 7–10 day period of relaxation after repotting. When your cactus are resting, avoid watering them. Additionally, throughout these 7 to 10 days, you need to stop any water from the cacti’s stem from evaporating. The stem will dry out if you don’t do this, which is really crucial.
Take your cactus to a cool, dark location, and cover it with a white transparent plastic veggie bag to make sure water is not evaporating from the stem. Spray your cactus with some warm water after 4-5 days and cover it again if the room becomes too hot. Take the cactus out and plant them in their permanent location after 7–10 days have passed. Additionally, after repotting, water them for the first time.
During the first month or two, you may notice additional growth and possibly even flowering if the repotting was successful.
Please share and read more about caring for cactus if you liked this article!
How do I move a large cactus?
When the time comes, you can easily transplant your cactus by following a few easy procedures. You might need a couple extra hands to aid you if you’re handling a very huge or heavy plant. To make sure that the entire transplanting procedure runs successfully, you can also hire professional assistance. You may learn to transplant a huge cactus on your own or with assistance by following this step-by-step tutorial.
Dig a Trench
Digging your cactus out of its current location carefully comes before transferring it. This must be accomplished with as little harm to the root system as possible, which can be difficult with mature or big plant specimens. You need to be gentle while transplanting cacti since they can have thick, brittle roots.
To avoid cutting into the plant’s root system, dig a trench that is one to two feet away from the plant. You don’t need to go very deep because the majority of cactus roots are found at the soil’s surface. Normally, 18 inches or so will suffice to reach the cactus’s root ball.
Remove the Plant
After you’ve dug your hole, use a shovel to carefully pry up around the plant to dislodge it. The cactus doesn’t have to be completely free. Instead, try to keep the root system as far away from the soil as you can without harming it.
You can securely remove the plant from the hole once it is free. In general, doing this by hand is not a smart idea, especially with huge cactus species. You might not be sufficiently protected from some species’ spines by thick leather gloves.
Using a hose as leverage is the most effective technique to lift the cactus out of the ground without harming either the plant or yourself. Just below the plant’s middle, wrap a thick garden hose, making sure it fits securely without slicing into the plant’s base. Use two hoses and enlist the assistance of a buddy if you’re handling a particularly heavy cactus.
Lift the cactus out of the ground with the hose (or hoses). To make transportation simple, either tip it onto its side or place it right onto a cart or dolly. During this process, be careful to avoid damaging or squashing the roots.
Dry the Roots
A live cactus cannot be moved right away to its new site after being dug up. You must make sure the roots are strong and devoid of any infections or pests that could impede growth.
Any damaged roots should be removed as soon as possible since they might degrade and spread diseases that could harm your plant. Give the remaining healthy roots two or more days to air dry and scab over. By doing this, problems like root rot are avoided in the future.
Plant Your Cactus
While the roots are drying, it’s a good idea to get your transplant site ready if you haven’t already. Make sure the earth has adequate of drainage in the area and dig a wide, shallow hole.
Lift the cactus into the hole from the root up gently. Make sure you’re orienting it correctly by using your previous markings. When you’re finished, press down the healthy, loose soil around the roots. If your cactus is taller than five feet, you might want to think about staking it.