There are many people, including myself, who cannot stop at just one cactus!
Many people, including myself, cannot stop at one cactus. Since they are easy to grow and highly attractive, you can create a collection before you know it! However, instead of spending money on new cacti or seeds, you can grow cacti from those you already have.
Even if your cactus hasn't grown 'babies' (small replicas of the cactus will often develop around the mother), you can still grow new cacti from the ones you already have, provided they are healthy. This is fantastic for those who don't have much experience growing new plants and thus don't want to spend money on seeds out of fear that they will fail.
Separating Baby Cactus From Mom
If large babies surround your mother cactus, you will find growing new cacti very easy. Separate the baby from the mother, gather as many roots as possible, and then re-pot. (Remember to wear gloves or use something to protect your hands during this procedure!)
If this has caused any scarring to the mother plant, you may want to use horticultural sulfur powder—this will ensure that no fungal infection can manifest itself where the plant is damaged. To ensure good drainage, you should plant the pup in a mixture of soil and sand or soil and gravel. Calcium carbonate is also a fantastic addition to ensure that your cacti thrive to their full potential.
However, you may find that when you try to separate the baby, it simply comes or snaps off, with no roots to be seen. Don't worry, though—this can still be grown but will instead be treated as though it were a cutting.
Firstly, you'll want to protect your hands when taking a cutting. Looking at your cactus, find a section that looks healthy. This may be at the head of the stem or, if your cactus has arm-like branches, these could alternatively be removed.
When taking the cutting, make it as smooth as possible—using a sharp knife will be beneficial to ensure there are no rough edges. It would be best to sterilize the knife beforehand to avoid infection in the plant.
Planting a Cacti Cutting
Before you plant your cutting, you will need to wait until it is ready. Leaving your cactus cutting somewhere shady, give it time for the wound to callus. Depending on the size of your cactus cutting, this could take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
Most people leave their cutting until it has started growing roots, at which point they begin to think about potting it. Ensure that you turn your cactus now and again so that it doesn't grow roots only on the side you have lying down, as well as to avoid curvature of longer cuttings.
Using the soil and sand/gravel mixture as mentioned before, once your cactus cutting or baby has roots, it can be planted up. Ensure that it has enough drainage holes and keep your cutting away from direct sunlight for a while—if kept in the sun, your plant will need more water and may sunburn.
As soon as your cutting has been planted, you must water it and continue to do so each time the water becomes dry, doing so sparingly. Once your cactus feels steady, and signs of growth are evident, you can begin looking after it as usual.
Cacti Propagation Video Tutorial
Samae on July 08, 2020:
I have a lobivia. A baby cactus with roots was removed from the mother plant. Can i proceed to repotting already?
Michele on September 08, 2017:
I have a cactus but dont know the name of it , also it has plenty of babies growing around it , will it be ok to re plant them .
Betty on August 23, 2017:
I have a tiny baby opuntia cactus....its a size of a lint ball Lol how long dose it take to get bigger? I had it since August 4th....and theres no change
Rachael Russell on March 01, 2017:
I have a column cacti which has pups how big do the pups have to be before removing them from the mother plant
hi friend from India on May 16, 2012:
Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on May 16, 2012:
Cacti are one of the few plants I can actually grow - I don't do well with plants, I tend to overwater or forget to water them. Nice information here - thanks!