If you like cacti and you have several, Surely more than once you have wondered how to reproduce a cactus. Perhaps you have even done it without knowing it and it has worked out for you. But, what if we help you to know that information to get the most out of it?
Below we give you the keys that you should know about how a cactus propagates, from the ways you have to do it, how to delve into each one of them. Go for it?
Ways to reproduce a cactus
The first thing to know about reproducing a cactus is that there is not just one way to do it. Actually, there are several. Also, you have to keep in mind that you will not always have all the forms available in all types of cacti. There are some that will only allow you one method, and others several.
In general, these are the ones there are:
- Seeds: This is the most common way to reproduce cacti. Seeds can be purchased at specialty stores, or you can collect them from a mature cactus. To sow the seeds, you must first prepare a well-drained soil mix and plant the seeds in a shallow pot. After planting, be sure to keep the soil moist and place the pot in a spot with good indirect sunlight.
- Cuttings: They are pieces of cactus that are cut from the mother plant and left to dry for a few days to heal. Once the cuttings are ready, they can be planted in a well-draining soil mix and watered sparingly for the first few weeks. Over time, the cuttings will form roots and begin to grow until they have a plant similar to the mother plant from which it came.
- Hijuelos: The suckers are small plants that grow around the base of the mother cactus. To reproduce a cactus through suckers, you simply have to carefully separate them from the mother plant and plant them in their own pot with well-drained soil. Of course, it is recommended that, when you do it, they are mature enough for it, since sometimes if you do it too soon the only thing you are going to achieve is that they do not survive you.
- Grafts: They are an advanced cactus propagation technique in which a piece of a desired cactus is taken and attached to the top of another cactus. This method is often used to produce hybrid varieties of cacti.
How to reproduce a cactus by seeds
Next We are going to delve a little more into each of the reproduction methods of a cactus. And the first one we have is through seeds.
As we have told you before, the seeds can be obtained from cacti that you have and that have flowered for you, since the seeds will be there. But if you don’t have any you can always buy in specialized stores.
Now, you will need a pot and well-drained soil to sow the seeds. A good mix can include coarse sand, perlite, and cactus soil in equal parts.. Fill a shallow pot with the soil mix, leaving a few inches at the top so you can water without spillage.
Next, sprinkle the seeds over the surface of the soil, making sure not to pack them too close together. Keep in mind that if you germinate many, you may have to sacrifice some seedlings, or transplant them (and so young they may not survive). Then, cover them lightly with a thin layer of sand or soil.
Water the seeds carefully. It is best that you spray the water because this way the earth will not move but will remain wet. That is just the point you want to have in the soil so that they begin to germinate.
Finally, place the pot in a location with good indirect sunlight and a constant temperature. Most cactus seeds germinate best at temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius.
After a few weeks, or months, depending on the species of cactus, seedlings will begin to appear. Once these are large enough, you can transplant them into individual pots with the same soil mix and care for them as you would any other young cacti.
Of course, cacti tend to grow slowly, which means that having it from seed is quite slow. You will have to arm yourself with patience to see results. But it is also true that these specimens are very fond of the fact that you have seen them grow since they were no more than a seed.
How to reproduce a cactus by cuttings
Propagating a cactus by cuttings is an effective way to create a new plant from one section of another. But to do so you have to follow a series of steps that will help you succeed. These are:
- Choose a healthy section of cactus to cut. The most mature and resistant sections tend to be the best options. Of course, make sure it has at least a couple of nodes, which are the round bumps that indicate where the roots will grow.
- Use a sharp, sterilized knife to cut. The cut should be clean and straight, leaving no frayed or torn pieces. Leave the cutting outdoors for a few days so that a hard, dry layer forms on the surface. This way you will prevent it from rotting or not getting ahead.
- Finally you will only have to plant it and wait for it to show signs of growth. At first the cutting will be limited to creating roots and only when it is well established then you will see “movement” in the body of the cactus.
Reproduction by suckers
In the case of wanting to multiply the cactus by shoots, the first thing you need is for your cactus to generate them. It is a natural procedure and only if you provide adequate care will you get this to go ahead.
By the time you see small plants growing at the base of the cactus, you already have pups. We recommend that you let them grow until they are of a suitable size to separate them with a knife and plant them in a pot with well-drained soil (coarse sand, perlite and cactus soil).
If all goes well, after a few weeks or months new leaves and roots will begin to grow on the pup. And you will have a plant just like where you got it from.
Cactus Grafts: A Way of Cactus Multiplication
Propagating a cactus by grafting is an advanced technique that can be a bit more difficult than other forms of propagation, but can be very effective. It is not recommended for newbies or beginners. Nor to those who have average knowledge, because it is a system that if it is not done well, it will not succeed.
Even so, if you want to try the steps are the following:
- Choose a cactus that is a different type than the one you want to graft. This is called the “pattern” or “rootstock” and will be the base of your grafted plant.
- Now you will have to choose a section of the plant that you want to graft. This section is called “the variety” or “the graft.” If possible, try to make them both the same (or similar) diameter.
- With a sharp knife you have to cut both cacti and then join the graft to the pattern section. Use plant tape to fix them so they won’t move.
- Afterward, leave the plant in a warm, dry place for a few weeks until the graft and rootstock have fused together. During this time, the plant should be in a place where it does not receive direct sunlight and you should not water it. After a few weeks, remove the tape and make sure the graft and pattern have fused properly. If everything went well, the grafted plant will begin to grow and you can transplant it into a larger pot with the correct soil mixture for cacti.
Do you dare now to multiply a cactus?