The Q&A Archives: Cactus Propagation

Question: What is the proper method for starting cactus? I have agave pups and prickley pear leaves that I would like to start in my yard. Can cactus blooms be planted in a growing medium to start a new plant? I have access to some very colorful cactus and would like to have the same plant in my yard.

Answer: Prickly pear will root readily from pads. Bury the pad halfway deep in soil and water well. Your agave pups can be propagated by removing them from the base of the mother plant with a sharp knife, getting as much of the stem on the pup as possible. Remove a few of the bottom leaves on the pup and set it in a spot out of direct sun for a few days to allow the wounded spots to dry. Then stick the basal stem of the pups in the soil and water well. No rooting hormone treatments are needed by either prickly pear or agave.

Regarding the cactus blooms, I cannot find any reference in the literature indicating their suitability for propagation purposes.

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