Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Easy cactus planting

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Name: Bob
North Carolina (Zone 7b)
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DigginDirt
Jul 2, 2016 8:43 AM CST
When I repot cactus I wrap it loosely with bubble wrap (usually the stuff with the BIG bubbles). I'm sure it makes my cacti mad since they don't get to stick me repeatedly. I have done this in a modified form with some of our roses as well, wrapping enough for a hand hold rather than the whole plant.

In spring I hope to make a small raised garden around the lamp post in the front yard that will have small cacti & succulents. Guess I need to order something in the next few months since I'm out of bubble wrap at the moment. ;-)
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Jul 2, 2016 9:35 AM CST
Welcome!

That works! You could also use wadded up paper - depends a bit on the type of spines.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jul 2, 2016 11:35 AM CST
I use a tool I call Baby Bottle Tongs. Like a large pliers meant for removing bottles from hot water. Works great for cactus. Gene
[Last edited by gasrocks - Jul 2, 2016 11:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Bob
North Carolina (Zone 7b)
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DigginDirt
Jul 2, 2016 1:16 PM CST
Great idea Gene! One of our barrels would be way too big to use tongs (it's probably close to 8" in dia.) but I could see them for many of our smaller ones.

Thijs, using wadded paper has worked for me in the past as well although I have managed to lose wads if I had to set it down. It wasn't a problem, just an inconvenience "repacking" it.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jul 2, 2016 2:39 PM CST
They do make special gloves for people who work with sharp knives. Metal mesh that cannot be penetrated. Gene
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Jul 4, 2016 3:23 AM CST
I use old towels.
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Stush2019
Jul 4, 2016 5:59 AM CST
I use 'Welding Gloves' sold at Harbor Freight at about $5 and it's all leather and never had a needle got thru. I also use them to handle my 30 yr. old Snapper turtle.
Forgot to welcome you aboard Bob.
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Jul 4, 2016 9:05 AM CST
Tried those leather welding gloves... works for most but not all cacti, unfortunately. In my experience anything leather eventually becomes a pin cushion. I still use leather gloves a lot, but I try and avoid handling cacti directly with them.

Gene, I like the idea of the mesh gloves, but those that I have seen so far all had space in between the mesh large enough for cactus spines, if know of any that don't, please point me in their direction.

For the really big cacti (the large barrels and pole cacti and such) I use pieces of old carpet that I wrap around and then tie down with a bungie cord or two.

The reason I prefer wadded paper over things like plastic bubble wrap or towels is that paper is way easier to tear and remove when it gets stuck on the spines than plastic or cloth in my experience.
Like Gene, I also have a selection of salad tongs and other grabbers that work really well on the smaller cacti and for grabbing onto Prickly Pear and Cholla sections that have fallen or need pruning.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
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Frenchy21
Jul 25, 2016 1:02 PM CST
I've seen some folk use an empty plastic pot upside down on the cactus to hold it while removing babies - works with 4" to 6" cacti.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 25, 2016 1:04 PM CST
That's a good tip, Frenchy. I never thought of that, but it would definitely help.
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Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
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herrwood
Jul 25, 2016 3:50 PM CST
I use a piece of 1" memory foam from a old mattress topper. Its thin enough to be flexible, soft enough to protect the plant and thick enough to protect me.
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
[Last edited by herrwood - Jul 25, 2016 3:52 PM (+)]
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