How to Replant a Cactus?
Cacti are known to be extremely low maintenance houseplants, and they would not require much or repotting. However, when you repot or replant a cactus, you need to do that correctly and safely. In fact, the right time to replant your cactus would when the roots begin to come out of the drainage holes in the pot. Ideally, you would need to transplant a cactus once every 3 to 4 years. For the faster-growing cacti, you need to transplant it once every 2 to 3 years.
Tools for Cactus Repotting
You will ideally need the following tools for replanting a cactus. Once you realise that you need to replant a cactus, here are the tools you need to arrange:
- Protective gloves.
- Metal tongs.
- Newspaper or towels.
- Pot container.
Those tools apart, you will also need to arrange for the following materials:
- Cactus soil mix.
- Container with drainage holes.
The cactus soil mix can be purchased or made if you can. You can make the mixture of equal parts sand or bird gravel, potting soil and leaf mold. The container or the pot you choose should be unglazed so as to ensure that evaporation of moisture is minimised.
How to Repot a Cactus?
Use the rolls of newspapers to wrap around the cactus when removing it from the existing pot or from the ground. You can even use a tea towel or similar other material. This is most important as the pricky spines on the cactus can make your fingers get irritating.
Lean the pot to one side. Handling the plant with the newspaper roll or tea towel, slide the plant slowly out of the plant. Take care not to damage the plant in any way.
Pick a new pot of a bigger size and fill half of the pot with the special cacti compost. Make sure that your new pot has drainage holes. Also, take care that the new pot is considerably larger enough than the original pot.
Check the cactus you just removed from the old pot. Loosen the root ball and also discard the old soil. This can turn out to be a very delicate process. Take care you are not damaging any roots.
Inspect the roots and trim out any of the roots that have been damaged. You can check for any signs of diseases in the roots and take care to trim off any of the damaged parts.
Repot the cactus into the new pot. Make sure that you have positioned it to the same depth as the original pot. It may be a good idea to mark the level before you put it into the new pot.
Fill the root ball and surrounding areas with the compost. Make sure not to leave any air pockets. Firming the soil efficiently would be a good idea. The top layer should be dressed with grit.
Do not water the cactus right away. It is advisable to wait for a couple of days to help the cactus get used to the surrounding soil. You may be aware that underwatering can be taken care of quickly, and it is always advised to avoid overwatering the cactus.
It is always advisable to be extremely careful in achieving the right degree of repotting or replanting your cactus. The steps and tutorial above should ideally guide you enough on how to repot a cactus.
How to Replant a Broken Cactus?
One of the excellent ways that cactus presents itself to you is the way in which it can grow even in the adverse of conditions. When a cactus or a part of it breaks off, it is always possible to replant or transplant the broken cactus. However, saving such a cactus can be dependent on the severity of the damage caused.
You can use a broken cactus arm and transplant it to grow as a new cactus. But you need to ensure that the cactus is otherwise healthy. Let the arm sit in a shady area at room temperature for a couple of days, or at least overnight. This will help minimise any of the diseases at the point where the plant is cut or broken.
Using a ceramic pot is recommended for achieving the best results when replanting a broken cactus. Fill a pot with 4 to 6-inch diameter with the potting soil formulated specifically for the cactus plants. Make sure that the pot you have chosen has drainage holes at the bottom. It has been known and proved that cactus grows effectively and better when planted in a pot with drainage holes.
Insert the broken segment into the soil such that it can stand on its own. Push the cactus into the soil so that at least ¼ inch to ½ inch of the cactus is inside the soil. Water the soil so that it is barely moist. Do not overwater it in any way.
How to Cut a Cactus and Replant it?
Rooting and planting a piece of your cactus plant is one of the quite commonly used techniques. The technique lies in carefully cutting a cactus, allowing it to dry, and then rooting it by following the correct procedure in the right type of soil. You also need to avoid overwatering it unnecessarily.
So, can you cut a cactus and replant it? Yes, cutting and replanting is an excellent way of propagating the cacti in most of the cactus species. Ideally, hedgehog, prickly pear, and branching columnar cacti are a few species that are cut and replanted. It works great when a piece of cactus breaks down where you can root it and replant the cactus.
Here is how you cut a cactus and root it:
Cutting the Cactus
You should choose a healthy and mature cactus for taking a cutting from. Take a cut of the part that is at least a few inches from the top. You can make use of a sharp knife, or a hand saw for cutting the cactus. Make sure you are wearing protective gloves when handling your cactus cutting.
Make sure that you take a cut at an angle so that the water does not collect on the parent plant and rot it. It is also advisable to disinfect the knife before taking a cutting.
Rooting the Cactus
Set up your cutting in a cool and dry place. Keep it away from the sunlight. It is advisable to keep it in a vertical position to avoid it from forming roots. Let the cutting form a callous at the cut end. Callousing the end ensure that the end is sealed and protected from bacterial and fungal growth.
Once the cutting has dried enough, it is time to root it. It will now begin growing into a new plant. You can decide rooting the cutting in a pot or on the ground. Make sure that you pick the right size of the pot when potting the cactus. Using the right type of potting mix is yet another practical option. Your soil should be porous and well-draining. If the soil holds water, you will end up getting your cactus rotting.
The cutting should ideally penetrate at least two inches into the soil for better results. The newly planted cutting should be kept away from the direct sunlight, but at the same time, the area should be well lit.
Remember that overwatering can kill a cactus when compared to underwatering. Watering is a critical factor as you may end up damaging the plant. You should be extremely careful about watering your cactus plant.
How often should your water your new cactus plant? Wet the soil thoroughly at the time of rooting your cactus. After that, you should not water it for a few days. The cactus plant will be alright for a few days and will not need much watering. The right option would be to water the plant once every week. The aim should be to keep the soil damp, but not wet.
How long does it take for the cactus to root? It should ideally take not more than four to six weeks for the roots to form. If the cutting is smaller, it may take lesser time for the roots to form.
How to Transplant a Large Cactus?
Transplanting a large cactus will need a little more preparation than transplanting a smaller cactus. You would need a few people to assist you in this endeavour. You may also need to hire a professional assistance if you are not confident of handling the tasks with ease.
The steps involved in how to transplant a large cactus can include the following steps:
Dig a large trench
To begin with, you will need to dig a trench around the cactus. You need to take care not to damage the roots. This is where you would perhaps need professional assistance. Cactus can have fragile and fleshy roots. You need to extremely gentle when handling the roots.
Ideally, around 18 inches of deep trenches should be enough. Cactus roots are relatively close to the soil, and thus it should not be a massive issue as such to dig a trench.
Remove the plant
Use a shovel to pry up the cactus plant. Make sure you loosen up the roots without damaging it. It may be a good idea to use a hose such as a garden hose may be a good idea. Make sure that you are using enough number of hoses to get the cactus out of the ground.
Once the cactus has been taken off the ground, use a dolly or cart to transport it to the desired location where you want to transplant it to. Make sure that the roots are not damaged during this process.
Dry the roots
Check the roots before planting it at the new location. You need to ensure that the roots are free from any pests or pathogens. It is always advisable to remove any of the damaged roots. Allow the roots to dry over the next two to three days. This will be helpful in avoiding the rot in the roots in the later stages.
Plant your Cactus at the New Location
While the roots are drying, prepare the new location. Digging a shallow and wide hole should be the first step in that direction. The soil around the hole should have a good drainage option.
Lift the cactus gently and place it into the hole. Backfill the soil around the roots with the healthy and loose soil. You may need to consider staking if your cactus is taller enough.
When to Repot a Cactus Plant?
The roots coming out of the container or pot should be a clear indication to prove that it is the time to repot your cactus. Most of the cacti can stay in the small pots for years and may not need repotting. However, ideally, a larger cactus can need a repotting exercise every 4 to 5 years.
The roots moving out of the drainage holes in the pot will clearly indicate that the cactus has heavily root bound. You will need to opt for the next larger size for the container to begin repotting your cactus. The best time for repotting would be at January to February.
The Closing Thoughts
Replanting a cactus needs to be handled carefully. The cactus plant may appear to be quite stronger, a slight issue in handling it can make it rot or even die. Understanding how to handle the cactus repotting and replanting can prove to be extremely important, and the tips here should help you arrive at the best results. Check out those steps and get the best possible experience in how to replant a cactus easily.
FAQs On How to Replant a Cactus
What is the Difference Between Replanting vs Repotting of Cactus?
Repotting is actually a specific type of replanting. Both of them refer to the procedure of changing the location of the plant from one position to another. Replanting can be an option planting or rooting a new cactus. Repotting simply refers to changing the container as soon as the original pot is no longer able to handle the plant and its roots.
How Do You Cut and Replant a Cactus?
You should use a sharp knife or hand saw to cut a cactus for replanting. Make sure you disinfect the knife before cutting it. It is also advisable to cut at an angle to avoid water getting stored on the plant.
Can I Cut the Top Off My Cactus?
You can cut the top of a cactus and plant it elsewhere as a new plant.