How to remove cactus spines: easy and effective methods

That cacti prick is something that everyone knows. That is why they are plants that, sometimes, do not gain followers, because when you least expect it, you end up pricking yourself. However, Do you know how to remove cactus spines? Can be done?

If you have just wanted to know if you can have a cactus without thorns (and not only those that are without thorns, or almost), then surely this may interest you. Go for it?

Cactus and thorns, are they necessary?

Various potted cacti

Have you ever wondered why cacti have thorns? Surely you will answer that it is to protect themselves from animals, and that this way they cannot attack or eat them. But the truth is that there is not only that reason. Actually, there is another reason why cacti have spines (and why you could remove them without fear of anything happening to them).

It turns out that the thorns are modified leaves, and they have a function: to make the plant withstand temperatures of up to 60ºC. That’s right, according to experts, these thorns fulfill a triple function:

  • They protect the plant from animals.
  • They help the plant withstand extreme heat.
  • They provide moisture. In the sense that they are capable of collecting water, and condensing the dew on them, in such a way that it is so well hydrated that it would not even need irrigation.

In this way, if where you are going to have the cactus it will not exceed a temperature such that you have to leave the thorns on it, you could consider “shaving” it. But, how to do it? We’ll tell you then.

How to remove cactus spines

flowered cacti

As you know, there are cacti with many thorns, and others that either have very few, or do not have them at all. When that cactus has a lot to do, this process can be a bit delicate, and it is almost always better to leave a few to avoid stress or suffering. But when you barely have the thorns can be removedmore if they are of species that hardly have.

Now, how to do it?

Have the necessary items on hand

Specifically, we are referring to scissors, a “shaver”, a blade, a nail clipper and gloves.

The latter is very important to safely handle your cactus. Also, you have to go to an area where there are no pets or children, and where you can keep an eye on where the thorns fall at all times, so as not to stick them in later.

Start by cutting the largest spines

After putting on your gloves, the first thing you should do is check your cactus so you know where to start. If it has very large thorns you can try to remove them with scissors. If they are flimsier, perhaps the shaver will remove them, or a blade. And if they are tougher but small, the nail clipper is your best instrument.

It’s not something you’re going to do in five minutes (unless it has ten spines), but it will take time. In addition, we do not recommend that you rush to avoid injuring him by accident.

do not take all

If your cactus is one of those that has many thorns, we do not advise you to remove them all, but leave a few (perhaps remove the top and make it smoother but keep the bottom). This is so that you get used to it. Also, you have to keep in mind that some cacti have that “special beauty” in their own spines, or because they grow in a certain way. So there we advise you that you better not touch them.

Over time, once it is already well adapted to the climate, you can start considering reducing the thorns, until it remains “bald”.

Special cares

You have already removed the spines from the cactus. And now you may think that you can put it back where it was, but the truth is that you can’t. For a few days it is better to place it in an area somewhat more protected from direct sun until it gets used to not having the thorns.

Remember that these had the function of hydrating it and also protecting it from high temperatures. But lacking them may have problems to withstand the same temperature until it adjusts again.

And if you have stuck the spines of the cactus, how to remove them?

remove thorns from plants

Perhaps you have come here because you have had a small accident with your cactus and you have ended up being “assaulted” by it. The worst thing is that, in that accident, You may have a thorn stuck in your skin.

When this is large, there is usually no problem seeing it and removing it, but when it is small, or has entered the skin too much, things change.

If that happens, there are several ways to remove the spines from the cactus. Which is it? We explain them to you:

  • With tweezers: It is what many used to do. Not just with the spines of the cactus, but with wood chips and the like. However, this has the problem that you have to see the spine well to be able to grab it and also have a good hand. And light, especially if you are in an area where you don’t see much.
  • With zeal: The next thing you can try that might help you get rid of cactus spines on your skin is to use tape. When you stick the tape in the area where you have the thorn, it is normal for that thorn to also stick (be careful not to press too much so as not to stick it more). Afterwards, you only have to pull so that the thorn goes away with the heat.
  • With glue. Well yes, glue. Although we only recommend this solution if there is no hair where you have the thorn or it can bother you because if not, you will have to suffer “depilation by glue”. It consists of applying a layer on top of where you have the thorn and waiting for it to dry. There will be a kind of mass that you can remove. The good thing is that with it the thorn should also go.

So now you know how to remove cactus spines, both from the plant itself and from your skin. Of course, we recommend that if you handle cacti and you do not want to suffer more accidents, it is best that you touch them with gloves. Whether you want to or not, sticking your spines in is not a good thing, especially since some cacti can be toxic.

How to remove cactus spines: easy and effective methods

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