How To Grow Cactus From Cuttings (A Complete Guide)


Cacti are an excellent plant for beginners because they’re easy, low maintenance, and can be grown indoors or outdoors!

There are a few ways to propagate cactus plants, but one of the easiest is to grow them from cuttings.

However, growing cactus from cuttings isn’t always as easy as just taking a cutting and sticking it in the soil (but it’s close!).

In this article, I will show you how to grow cactus from cuttings and how to care for your new cactus plant.

Are Cactus Cuttings Suitable For Growing?

While cacti can grow from seeds, cuttings tend to produce healthier plants more quickly.

If you are not sure whether or not your plant is a cactus, it will usually be quite obvious if you look closely at its spines.

Cactuses have round-shaped stems covered with sharp needles made of calcium carbonate that protract on the top and sides of the plant.

Most other succulents have leaves instead of spines which makes them easier to distinguish from true cactus species.

There are some exceptions to this distinction as there are some cacti with leaves, such as the Christmas Cactus, the Mistletoe Cactus, and the Pereskia genus.

What Are the Best Types of Cactus To Grow From Cuttings

Cacti are divided into different categories based on their characteristics and uses. Three main types of cactus can be grown from cuttings:

The first type is the “Opuntia” or Prickly pear cactus, which includes all sorts of easy-to-grow cacti such as Pincushions and Senita.

Prickly pears are among the easiest cacti to grow from cuttings, but they require some special care. As a result, they are not the best choice for beginners.

The second type is “Mammillaria,” which includes all sorts of Pincushion cacti that grow in clumps or spirals and can be propagated easily from cuttings.

These types of cactus do well with average water conditions but require more sunlight than prickly pear cacti.

The last type is “Echinopsis,” which includes all sorts of easy-to-grow cacti such as the Easter lily and Echinopsis pachanoi (San Pedro cactus).

These types of cactus do well in average water conditions but require more sunlight than Mammillaria or Opuntia cuttings.

The best choices for beginners are Prickly pear and Echinopsis. Mammillarias tend to be a little bit harder to care for, but they make up for it with their interesting shapes and colors.

How To Propagate Cactus From Cuttings

When growing cactus plants, one of the most effective ways to propagate them is via cuttings.

To propagate cacti from cuttings, the main steps are:

  1. Take a cutting from the cactus plant
  2. Let the cutting callus for a few days
  3. Root the cutting in a potting mix
  4. Once the cactus starts growing, transplant it into its own container or the garden

1. How To Take Cactus Cuttings

To start growing cactus from cuttings, you first need to take a cutting.

There are several ways to do it: with a sharp knife or shears, breaking off the edges of older pads, or carefully pulling apart two joined stems with your fingers.

The latter method is the easiest, and you will probably use it most often.

You can also take a cutting from a fallen branch, but this may result in an unusual shape of your new plant.

It’s best to leave small pieces for growing cactus indoors; larger ones are better suited for outdoor cultivation as they’re more likely to survive transplanting into potting soil later on.

Cuttings should be several inches long and consist of several joints.

Remember to take a cutting from the top part of the plant only, because it will grow faster than lower branches!

Taking a cutting from top portions of the cacti is the best option for propagating new plants.

What Is The Best Type Of Cutting To Use?

There are three types of cuttings that you can use to grow new cactus plants.

The first type involves simply cutting off a piece of stem from an existing cactus with a sharp knife.

However, removing pieces larger than two inches in diameter may be difficult without damaging or killing your original plant.

Instead, most people prefer to take stem cuttings by removing entire stems along their length at least once during each growing season.

This method is also more practical for propagating large cacti, such as the queen of the night.

Finally, you can propagate new plants by taking leaf cuttings instead of using a stem cutting or removing entire stems at once.

Just like with stem cuttings, many people prefer to remove leaves from their original plant while they are still green and pliable to avoid damaging them.

You shouldn’t take more than three or four leaves per cutting because each leaf only contains enough nutrients for a single growing season before it withers away completely.

When Should You Take Cactus Cuttings?

In general, you should take your cactus cuttings in the spring or early summer. This is when they are most likely to root and grow into healthy plants.

However, you can easily propagate cacti from cuttings at any time of the year.

Just be aware that when you take cuttings in the fall or winter, they will need to spend a little longer time growing roots before sprouting new growth.

It is also best if your cactus cutting has several joints on it, and each joint is at least one inch long. This way, more of its surface area can develop into roots.

It’s also a good idea to take multiple cuttings and leave some in storage for propagating cacti later on if your original plants are healthy enough.

2. How to Callus Cactus Cuttings?

After taking the cactus cuttings, you need to let them heal and callus.

Callus tissue forms on the cut end of a plant cutting as it heals, protecting the inner layers from infection and preventing moisture loss.

First, you will need to trim any rotten parts of the cactus cutting to make sure no rotting areas are left on it.

Then you must place the cuttings in a warm, dry area with good air circulation.

This may be an open box or tray that can allow some airflow but prevents water from reaching them and keeps out insects and other pests.

The cactus cuttings should be left in the box or tray to dry out and callus for a few days. You should see some callus tissue beginning to form after a few days.

Once the cactus cutting has been callused, it is ready to be placed in soil and propagated.

3. How to Root Cactus Cuttings?

Rooting cactus cuttings is a great way to propagate new plants.

Many people stick their cacti in soil, hoping that they will root and expand, but this does not always work well because the roots do not grow deep enough, which leads them to uproot with ease.

However, if you take your cutting and give it some time to establish itself before transplanting it into soil, then there are chances that the plant ends up becoming stronger than ever before!

There are two main ways to root cactus cuttings.

  • Water rooting
  • Soil rooting

How to Root Cactus Cuttings in Water

To root cactus cuttings in water, you will need to get a container, either plastic or glass.

Next, fill the container with water so that it covers all but about an inch of the cactus stem cuttings.

Leave your cuttings in this solution for several weeks until they begin to root and grow new leaves on their own.

Once you notice some roots have begun growing from where you made your initial cuts, carefully remove them from the water and pot them up into soil!

If you are not planning on transplanting these little guys into soil any time soon, then be sure to keep dampening their rooting medium occasionally, as well as giving them enough sunlight.

How to Root Cactus Cuttings in Soil

You will need to get a small pot or container filled with soil for rooting cacti using soil. The best soil to use is a well-draining cactus mix or succulent soil mix.

Place your cutting in the container and press down gently on top of the soil, but make sure that you do not bury the base where you made your cut!

Water your cactus cutting and place it in a bright, sunny spot.

Place the container somewhere that it can receive indirect sunlight.

You can keep the soil moist by watering it whenever it is dry.

One of the most important things to remember when rooting cactus in the soil is that they do not like to be overwatered or watered too often!

So make sure that your plant only gets enough water so that the top layer of soil dries out before you water it again.

How Long Does It Take For Cacti To Root

In general, it takes about two weeks to a month for cactus cuttings to root.

However, the amount of time it takes your plant to begin rooting depends on many different factors, including which type of cutting you are taking and what kind of environment you keep them in while growing new roots!

You can tell when your cactus is ready to be transplanted into the soil when the roots have grown several inches in length and are an off-white or brown color.

4. How to Transplant Cactus Cuttings

As the roots grow, you should begin to see some new growth on your cutting, which will indicate that they are ready for repotting!

When this happens, carefully remove your cactus cutting from its pot and begin to loosen up the roots around the edges.

Fill a new pot with cactus or succulent soil and make sure that the hole is deep enough so that your cacti can sit comfortably without having their bases buried in the dirt.

Place your cactus cutting in the pot and press down on top of the soil gently but firmly.

Once they have been transplanted, wait about one weeks before watering again.

This waiting period allows the soil time to settle around the roots, which helps reduce shock when you begin watering after this period.

You should only water these plants when they are dry and never let them sit in water.

Caring for Cactus Cuttings After Transplanting: Watering & Sunlight Requirements

After transplanting cacti cuttings into the soil, it is essential to provide them with enough sunlight and water to grow.

Cacti that have just been transplanted will need a few weeks of care before they can be left alone again!

How Much Sunlight Does a Cactus Need?

For the first few weeks after transplanting, you should place your cactus in a sunny location that is not exposed to direct sunlight.

They do best in bright, indirect sunlight or partial shade. The cactus should not be exposed to direct sunlight for the first few weeks after transplanting.

After this phase, once your cacti have begun growing new leaves and roots, they can slowly start being moved into brighter lighting conditions.

The amount of time that you leave these plants in full sun will depend on their size! Typically small cactus plants need less light than larger ones.

You should never leave your cacti in direct sunlight for long periods, and you should always make sure that they are not exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit!

How Often Should You Water Cacti?

Cacti need very little water while growing new roots, but after their root systems have been established, they need to be watered when the soil has dried out.

Cacti typically only need to be watered once every week or two, but you should never leave them sitting in water.

In general, you should only water your cactus whenever its top inch of soil is dry and never let it sit in water!

How often you will need to water a cactus depends on how hot and sunny the environment is where you place your plant, so make sure to check up on these factors when determining whether or not your cacti need a drink.

This is also determined by the size of your plant and where you keep them. Small cactus plants do not require as much watering, while larger ones will need to be watered more often.

While caring for your new plants, you should remember: not to underwater or overwater them but only water when the top layer of soil has dried up.

When watering your cactus, be sure to give it enough water that the top layer of soil feels moist but not wet!

Final Thoughts

Growing cactus from cuttings is a simple process. It requires patience, but the process is easy to complete.

Cuttings are a great way for you to grow cacti of your own choosing, and they can be easily turned into new plants with ease.

If you are looking at ways to get more out of growing succulents or if you want an exciting type of plant that will bloom for you, then growing cactus from cuttings is an easy task that will provide excellent results when completed.

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