Propagating Cactus - Knowledgebase Question

Bridgewater, NJ
Question by Zippyclavs
March 2, 2000
My cactus had been broken many years ago but the break healed over & two shoots came off the top. The shoots have produced roots that are about 1-2 inches in length. The original part of the cactus is now getting some black spots on it. Should I break off the shoots and re-pot them? If so, what size pot & what type of soil should I use? Unfortunaly, I do not know what type of cactus I have. It is very tall, 3-4 feet with 4 "columns" of pins.
Thank you for your help.

Answer from NGA
March 2, 2000


Sounds as though it's time to remove the little offshoots and pot them up, then discard the old, sick cactus. Just grasp each carefully and twist gently to remove the offshoot and all of its attached roots. Pot size will depend upon on how large the new little cacti are. Find one that will accommodate the roots without crowding.

Cactus do not like to sit in wet soil so buy a soil mix especially for cactus or mix your own by combining 1 part potting soil to 2 parts sharp sand, and 2 parts perlite or pumice. Put tiny pebbles on top of the soil after planting to help aid drainage.

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