Ask a Question forum: How can I replant my cactus?

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Aug 11, 2017 4:13 PM CST
I bought a small cactus a while ago and want to replant it in a bigger pot so it will grow. I know there is special soil or something and I was wondering what it was called and where I could find it in Walmart. Also how to replant it. Can I put rocks at the bottoms of a pot and move the cactus into that with the new soil?
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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Aug 11, 2017 4:21 PM CST
For indoor plants, it is maximum sunlight that is the key to cactus growth, not pot size. If you are inexperienced, there is a lot that can go wrong if you try to repot. I suggest that you keep it on a sunny windowsill and be patient with the slow growth that is inherent to this plant when indoors.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Aug 11, 2017 4:27 PM CST
Yes !
But, no rocks in bottom.
Rot city !!!

For my soil ! I use equal parts of potting soil to reg aquarim gravel.

Cover drain holes, with old window screen, or coffee filter.

Please ! Don't trust cati mix !#!😬

Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Aug 12, 2017 6:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aug 11, 2017 5:42 PM CST

Your new cactus is a Mammillaria. It is extrememly easy to overwater a cactus and Mammillaria are even more picky about water. A larger pot means the soil stays wet longer so don't repot - the pot its in is plenty large.

Never put pebbles at the bottom of pots. It causes a condition where the soil on top of the rocks must be fully saturated before water flows through to the rocks below.

When you do repot (in a couple years) find a pot that is about 1 inch bigger than the current pot. Use potting soil formulated for cactus. You can add some pumice or perlite to make the soil even faster draining.

Right now, your cactus needs the sunniest window you can find but don't just plop it into a window sill without some acclimation to a sunnier position. For now, put it in a less sunny spot and every few days, move it to more sun. Sticking it out in the sun for a couple hours a day is not slow acclimation and may be enough to burn your plant to death. Shade, dappled sun, sun.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Aug 11, 2017 7:28 PM CST
I would say the plant could use a new pot in the near future. Without knowing its final size, there's no way to know for sure, but I like to use a pot that's just a bit wider than the plant (spines and all). You could use the blue pot, just don't fill it all the way up, and make sure it has a hole in the bottom.

Your Mammillaria will enjoy soil that is about half rock (pumice, perlite, or equivalent), which you can make yourself from regular potting soil plus perlite (or whatever you have locally). The rocks at the bottom are not doing anything useful. If you do repot, just go in very small steps and take a look at the roots before you bury them again. Wait a week to water, and provide as much light as possible if the plant will be indoors.

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