How to Take Cactus Cuttings
Cactus plants require very little maintenance and look great when in bloom on a window sill, adorning a porch railing or as part of a patio decoration.
Growing cactus plants is a fairly easy process. However, getting them started does take a little bit of attention to a few guidelines. Growing cactus from cuttings is the best way to get them started.
Step 1 - Clean Your Knife
You may have to take a cutting from a cactus because there is some rot in the plant. Removing the damaged area will help the plant to grow and thrive. Before you do so, carefully clean your blade.
Step 2 - Make The Cut
If you are removing rot, cut a little above the affected area. Do not cut right at the rot as the green flesh near the infected area will also contain some rot. If you are just doing a regular cutting, cut at a normal joint in the plant.
Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle to the plant and cut evenly. Do not saw the blade back and forth, unless you are cutting a large, mature cactus. Dust the area with some powdered sulfur to help the plant heal after the cut.
Step 3 - Let It Dry
After you have made the cut, do not to let the cutting come in contact with any water. Place the cutting in a dry, cool place that is out of any direct sunlight. For a cactus to grow from a cutting, you must let the cut area callous over. This will happen within a few days to a week. Keep the stems erect during this period and keep turning it so that the roots do not grow on the side that is on the bottom.
Step 4 - Plant The Cutting
When planting your new cutting, use a special cactus soil blend. This is a mixture of regular potting soil, manure and sand. Mix this up and put it in the planter cups. Use only enough soil to keep the cutting upright while the roots get established. The planting cup should also contain a little gravel to ensure proper drainage.
Step 5 - Establish The Plant
Once the cutting is planted in the soil, then place it an area where there is some shade. This will help the plant avoid any sunburn from the direct sunlight. Water the new plant immediately and every time you see that the soil is dry.
Step Six - Check For Rot
The main reason for cactus cutting failure is because of rot. You can avoid this by not overwatering the cactus. Only water the cactus when the soil is dry.