Propagating a Cactus from cuttings

Succulents and Cacti are such amazing plants!  Not only are they beautifully varied in colors, textures and shapes, but they’re so easy to take care of.  One of the more remarkable things I discovered about cacti is how easy they are to propagate (to produce a new plant from the parent plant).  

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I’ve had this San Pedro Cactus for about 3 months.  It originally was given to my mother as a cutting from it’s parent plant by a friend of hers.  When I moved into my apartment I repotted into a more spacious pot and realized that at 42″ tall, I would need to make my own cuttings soon.  

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I used a sharp and clean kitchen knife to cut two 18″ pieces off.  Take your time in doing this because cacti have a very strong spine in the center.  

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The center piece has two open cuttings, so to help me remember which side is up I cut a small notch on the bottom portion.  This won’t hurt the cutting at all.  Let the pieces callous over for at least one week by placing them in a cool, dry place.

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

After a week, check the cutting by pressing with your finger on the cut area.  It should be hard to the touch.  If it feels soft or mushy, let it stay for another few days.  When you’re ready to pot, use cactus soil that is very free draining.  

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I placed mine in some grower’s pots that I had handy.  I filled them about 3/4 of the way and dug a small hole in the center.  I placed the cutting in the center and added more soil to the sides.  It’s okay to pot the cutting 2″ – 3″ deep.

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Press the soil firmly around the cutting.  Make sure the cutting is standing up straight on it’s own.  I won’t water these for another week to give them time to acclimate to the soil and new home.  The first watering should be thorough and let it drain out the bottom.  In the future let the soil dry completely on the top 2″ and then water thoroughly again.  

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The cacti that was the top piece will grow tall like the parent plant.  The other two cacti will grow arms or branches on the sides, near where the cutting was made.  I made my cuttings rather long, but if the parent plant is tall like mine you can make several smaller cuttings.

You can use this same technique on succulents also.  I had this very Kalanchoe Pink Butterflies succulent (Mother of Thousands) that was getting rather tall and leggy.  So I cut 2 of the taller pieces, removed the bottom leaves from those pieces and let them callous over for about 2 days.  I then replanted them into the same pot.  

The existing stems will produce leaves right at the cut area.  This one only took a few days to produce new leaves.

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The top cuttings will take root in a few weeks and continue producing little plantlets on the leaves.  These fall off and take root in the pot, producing a whole new plant.  You can see one below…

Cactus propagation from cuttings by Carmen Whitehead Designs

This is such and easy and fun way to multiply your succulents and cacti collection.  I plan on gifting the two new San Pedro Cacti to family once they’ve taken root.  

Have you tried propagating some of your succulent or cacti?  Let me know how it turned out, I would love to know.

You can also take a look at some more succulents and cacti on my Pinterest board

Sassy Succulents Pinterest board by Carmen Whitehead Desgisn

Thanks so much for visiting today friends!  

Blessings,

 

Leave a Reply