How To Grow Cacti From Cuttings?

Ethan30

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Hi, I have CactI cuttings from a bush. They are currently in sand and rocks (note: the sand is wet because it rained and I forgot to put them inside). How do I get them to root. Should I switch to fertilizer? Watering?

94979EB3-420D-42E4-ABBD-CECFB079BF69.jpeg
 

Coptapia

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You need to leave them out until the cut/wound has dried and sealed over. A couple of weeks or so maybe. Then plant them. I’d use a sand and compost mix, water slightly then leave alone for a few weeks...
 

stella1979

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HI It is important that the cut wound is kept dry until is dried and sealed over. Otherwise, you risk rotting the base of your cuttings. After the wound is dry, do your best to stabilize the cuttings over well-draining substrate, place them where they'll receive plenty of light and warmth, then keep the substrate lightly moist (not wet!) until roots capable of supporting the plant have developed. Once well rooted, you may back off a little on the water, just watering as you usually would for cacti.

I live in a very hot climate and have had luck rooting tropical plants and growing succulents from cuttings right out on the porch. When looking for roots I use water lightly dosed with seaweed extract. Idk... some say it helps root development and I feel I've seen evidence of good root production on rootless orchids and broken succulents using it. Anyhow... a plant without roots cannot use fertilizer, so no, you don't need that now.

That said, all plants like a little (or a lot) of feed now and then. There are specific cactI ferts on the market but when looking at these products, one can see that they generally just have a low NPK rating. So, instead of something like 20-20-20 on the packaging, you might see 4-4-4, or for an unbalanced fert, something like 4-7-3, indicating that phosphorous is more present in the fert than nitrogen or potassium are. I don't worry too much about particulars, but I can go through lots of fertilizer. CactI and succulents get low doses precisely because they are slow growers. So, I can use my standard 20-20-20 (which I use for a LOT of plants) on the cactI and succulents too... I just have to dilute it more than I would for fast-growing plants. Fertilizer rated at 20-20-20 will achieve those levels if mixed as directed... but if I mix it at a 1/4 strength, it's kinda like I'm using 5-5-5. This way, I can use the same ferts across a lot of different plants.

However, if you're just looking to feed these cacti, (in the future, when they have roots), and you don't have a bunch of plants, so wanna make it nice and simple, then you can use a product like this.


Here's the seaweed stuff, which I give to lots of plants regularly, even after rooting them. I've used all 3 of these and can't swear that seaweed and the hormones it provides is some kind of big deal with plants, but most of mine are happy and I've successfully propagated several succulents AND brought on roots in very unhappy orchids, so...
 
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Ethan30

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stella1979 said:
HI It is important that the cut wound is kept dry until is dried and sealed over. Otherwise, you risk rotting the base of your cuttings. After the wound is dry, do your best to stabilize the cuttings over well-draining substrate, place them where they'll receive plenty of light and warmth, then keep the substrate lightly moist (not wet!) until roots capable of supporting the plant have developed. Once well rooted, you may back off a little on the water, just watering as you usually would for cacti.

I live in a very hot climate and have had luck rooting tropical plants and growing succulents from cuttings right out on the porch. When looking for roots I use water lightly dosed with seaweed extract. Idk... some say it helps root development and I feel I've seen evidence of good root production on rootless orchids and broken succulents using it. Anyhow... a plant without roots cannot use fertilizer, so no, you don't need that now.

That said, all plants like a little (or a lot) of feed now and then. There are specific cactI ferts on the market but when looking at these products, one can see that they generally just have a low NPK rating. So, instead of something like 20-20-20 on the packaging, you might see 4-4-4, or for an unbalanced fert, something like 4-7-3, indicating that phosphorous is more present in the fert than nitrogen or potassium are. I don't worry too much about particulars, but I can go through lots of fertilizer. CactI and succulents get low doses precisely because they are slow growers. So, I can use my standard 20-20-20 (which I use for a LOT of plants) on the cactI and succulents too... I just have to dilute it more than I would for fast-growing plants. Fertilizer rated at 20-20-20 will achieve those levels if mixed as directed... but if I mix it at a 1/4 strength, it's kinda like I'm using 5-5-5. This way, I can use the same ferts across a lot of different plants.

However, if you're just looking to feed these cacti, (in the future, when they have roots), and you don't have a bunch of plants, so wanna make it nice and simple, then you can use a product like this.


Here's the seaweed stuff, which I give to lots of plants regularly, even after rooting them. I've used all 3 of these and can't swear that seaweed and the hormones it provides is some kind of big deal with plants, but most of mine are happy and I've successfully propagated several succulents AND brought on roots in very unhappy orchids, so...
Ok. Thanks for the advice. I will keep the wound dry and see what else I can do.

Coptapia said:
You need to leave them out until the cut/wound has dried and sealed over. A couple of weeks or so maybe. Then plant them. I’d use a sand and compost mix, water slightly then leave alone for a few weeks...
Direct Sunlight? I hear that’s bad for them now.
 

stella1979

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Ethan30 said:
Ok. Thanks for the advice. I will keep the wound dry and see what else I can do.

Direct Sunlight? I hear that’s bad for them now.
Well... some plants like direct sun. I'm no cactI queen and don't have a clue exactly what you have there but you can certainly take lessons from where you got it. I imagine the cuttings came from a happily growing plant, so, what kind of light do you think the mother plant receives? After all, some cactI grow in the desert. I have a few succulents, a pineapple, papyrus, petunias, sansevieria, and hibiscus, not to mention a seriously overgrown ixora hedge that all face east and get direct Florida sun from early in the morning until late afternoon... and they like it! I also have a fern, begonia, more succulents, exactly one carnivorous plant (a little sundew), and LOTS of orchids. Some like it bright but none want full on sun, so they live in varying degrees of shade on the porch.

I'm afraid I was a little unclear before. I agree with Coptapia in that, you should 'leave them out.' Leave the cuttings on a table or bench, somewhere they won't get rain, and wait for the wounds to dry over. It might take about a week. Then, position them over slightly damp substrate. The humidity below the wounds will encourage new roots to grow down into the potting mix. Once you have a decent root system going, you may then consider where their 'final' place will be... maybe in the yard, maybe placed together for a fuller look in a nice pot. Because I live in rocky Florida, I like potted plants, though there are lots of plants that like our rocky ground, including plenty of cactI and succulents.
 
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Ethan30

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They are Prickley Pears I think but am not sure. Mother plant gets direct sunlight but don’t know what it got before. How is Florida? Do you feel like no snow is worth the trade for hot summers for you? Also I will post mother plant.

0C582CE4-F19E-489E-BFF5-CB45D2E2DB93.jpeg


Can I cut effected are so I don’t have to wait a week
 

Coptapia

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Yes I meant leave them out of the compost, not out in the sun or rain.
They look like Prickly Pears (Opuntia) to me too.
 

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Hmmm, how's Florida? Well, an hour spent sitting on a shaded porch with the plants at this time of year leads to a shower because I get so hot and sweaty! Seriously, I often get a little gross just in the time it takes to water plants, and this is before 8am! When a hurricane's coming, I think I'd trade it for snow any day of the week... but snow comes to a lot of places every year and the same can't be said for hurricanes.

It's so darn not, I often wish I lived further north, yet have a great fear of driving when it's snowy or icy, (went slip-sliding down an icy mountain road once and had a very real fear that we'd tumble off that mountain.) I very much enjoyed gardening when I lived in North Carolina, and still do, but I cannot grow my beloved early-blooming bulb plants like daffodils and tulips or any of the lovelies that can't stand the heat and/or need a dormant season. Yet, in NC, I couldn't easily keep my beloved orchids on the porch as I do now. So, it's a trade off I suppose.
 

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stella1979 said:
Hmmm, how's Florida? Well, an hour spent sitting on a shaded porch with the plants at this time of year leads to a shower because I get so hot and sweaty! Seriously, I often get a little gross just in the time it takes to water plants, and this is before 8am! When a hurricane's coming, I think I'd trade it for snow any day of the week... but snow comes to a lot of places every year and the same can't be said for hurricanes.

It's so darn not, I often wish I lived further north, yet have a great fear of driving when it's snowy or icy, (went slip-sliding down an icy mountain road once and had a very real fear that we'd tumble off that mountain.) I very much enjoyed gardening when I lived in North Carolina, and still do, but I cannot grow my beloved early-blooming bulb plants like daffodils and tulips or any of the lovelies that can't stand the heat and/or need a dormant season. Yet, in NC, I couldn't easily keep my beloved orchids on the porch as I do now. So, it's a trade off I suppose.
IM with you!!! I will take the snow & cold over this heat!!!
 
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Ethan30

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I hear you but after January, it’s just becomes so annoying living in the weather up here and the Holidays are over so you don’t have that for a while. Anyway, thanks for the help!
 

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stella1979 said:
Well... some plants like direct sun. I'm no cactI queen and don't have a clue exactly what you have there but you can certainly take lessons from where you got it. I imagine the cuttings came from a happily growing plant, so, what kind of light do you think the mother plant receives? After all, some cactI grow in the desert. I have a few succulents, a pineapple, papyrus, petunias, sansevieria, and hibiscus, not to mention a seriously overgrown ixora hedge that all face east and get direct Florida sun from early in the morning until late afternoon... and they like it! I also have a fern, begonia, more succulents, exactly one carnivorous plant (a little sundew), and LOTS of orchids. Some like it bright but none want full on sun, so they live in varying degrees of shade on the porch.

I'm afraid I was a little unclear before. I agree with Coptapia in that, you should 'leave them out.' Leave the cuttings on a table or bench, somewhere they won't get rain, and wait for the wounds to dry over. It might take about a week. Then, position them over slightly damp substrate. The humidity below the wounds will encourage new roots to grow down into the potting mix. Once you have a decent root system going, you may then consider where their 'final' place will be... maybe in the yard, maybe placed together for a fuller look in a nice pot. Because I live in rocky Florida, I like potted plants, though there are lots of plants that like our rocky ground, including plenty of cactI and succulents.
Petunias are succulents?

I live in Illinois, those are considered annuals here because they don't overwinter. I have never seen them listed as succulents and I've seen people have them in direct sun and shade. Partial sun seems the best though I have the most adorable small petunias I've ever seen and they get direct sun with no shade and on the hot porch and they are thriving! We have a hardy hibiscus, my husband has somehow managed to keep the thing alive despite chopping it down to the just below ground level every fall. It grows back late May, this year it was almost June and I was wondering if the extreme cold this year was too much. Nope! It's growing again and should be getting blooms in a few weeks. It doesn't get any larger than 3'x3' though since it needs to regrow every year. I personally like having 4 seasons. The cold was exceptionally bad this year but I really don't like the heat. My favorite weather is a sunny spring day about 70-75 with big, fluffy clouds and a warm breeze, but I'm not being too picky.
 

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Lynn78too said:
Petunias are succulents?

I live in Illinois, those are considered annuals here because they don't overwinter. I have never seen them listed as succulents and I've seen people have them in direct sun and shade. Partial sun seems the best though I have the most adorable small petunias I've ever seen and they get direct sun with no shade and on the hot porch and they are thriving! We have a hardy hibiscus, my husband has somehow managed to keep the thing alive despite chopping it down to the just below ground level every fall. It grows back late May, this year it was almost June and I was wondering if the extreme cold this year was too much. Nope! It's growing again and should be getting blooms in a few weeks. It doesn't get any larger than 3'x3' though since it needs to regrow every year. I personally like having 4 seasons. The cold was exceptionally bad this year but I really don't like the heat. My favorite weather is a sunny spring day about 70-75 with big, fluffy clouds and a warm breeze, but I'm not being too picky.
Ooh yeah... I like 4 seasons too, and really know I do because of my nearly 40 years, a whopping 5 of them were spent outside of South Florida when I seriously enjoyed the hills, trees, and fertile ground in western North Carolina. It's been about 14 years since I lived there and I still seriously miss the plants I could grow there, which I cannot in this subtropical environment... like Japanese Maples, Lilies, Tulips, Foxglove, Daffodils, Crocus... oh my, I could go on but won't.

I can see my wording caused some confusion... oops! Nope, none of the named plants in my previous post are succulents, I just used the word to encompass the few succulents that I do love, mainly Haworthia. I grouped them because I haven't delved as deep into these plants as some others... so don't even know the names of a few that I have. I am partial to Haworthia as well as the rosette types... I may have Echeveria, but I'm not sure!

My petunias aren't doing so hot, which is quite disappointing because they absolutely thrived in a full sun location with daily watering... until I went on a week-long vacation and they went through a drought while I was gone. No amount of pampering since has brought them back to their former glory... and due to having leftover fertilized water from a semi-large orchid collection, most of my plants are definitely pampered. Monthly ferts? No way! Weekly... nope. Orchids get fed at a very low dose for 3 out of every 4 waterings and due to their chunky well-draining potting medium, there's plenty of leftovers that the 'dirt' plants love. I may need to replace the petunias though.

I'd love to see your petunias, hibiscus, or anything else you care to share.

So, my fellow plant lovers, you might enjoy checking out these threads as well.
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/excited-about-house-plants.399448/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/stellas-orchid-hobby.353882/
 

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