Cacti cuttings. How do I do this?

Taking cacti cuttings is quite easy and a fun way to get several of these spiky friends. Now, I can hear you thinking, but how do you do that? In this blog, we take you through the entire process of cutting. But also when it is the best time to do this, how to root the cactus afterwards, and some useful and practical cactus cutting tips. So after reading the blog, you can get started with your own cactus in no time.



Why should I cut my cactus?

A cactus does not need to be cut suddenly if everything is going well. But if the plant starts to rot after a while, you can save the healthy parts of the cactus by cutting them. But also if you have a cactus that has grown too big or because you don't like the shape. Some cacti also produce many new side shoots. Then cuttings are a fun way to expand your cactus.



What do you need?

To take cuttings from the cactus, it is useful to have a few things ready. A sharp knife. Sometimes a cactus can be very sturdy on the inside. It is also important that your knife is clean. Otherwise, dirt and possible bacteria from the knife will end up on the cut wound of the cactus. In addition to a knife, you require something protective to handle the cactus. Consider: Thick gloves, Styrofoam, newspaper or grill/BBQ tongs. These are all useful things that allow you to hold the cactus while taking cuttings without getting spines in your hands.


Where do I plant the cactus?

This varies depending on the reason you are cutting the cactus. Below is a description of where to cut the cactus for each reason. There are also examples in the images so that you get a good example.

  1. Your cactus is rotten. Cut off the healthy part, a few centimetres above the rotten spot. After that, it is important that you only see green plant tissue. Do you still see rot? Then cut off a 2 cm slice each time, until you only see healthy green plant tissue.
  2. Your cactus is too big or out of context. In this case, cut off the part that you still like or find the right size.
  3. You want to cut side shoots from your cactus. You get this from the base of the mother plant. With some cactus species, you can also twist them off. Then you don't have to make a cut.


I have a cutting of the cactus, now what?

If you have a wide cutting of, for example, a bulb or columnar cactus, you can cut the bottom edges at an angle (see image). This gives you more surface area where roots are produced and your cutting stays in the soil better. The wound on the cutting must first dry before you place the cactus in the soil. Therefore, place the cutting in a dry environment for about 1 week. This does not have to be in the sun, because then this will cause the moisture in the cactus cutting to evaporate, and you don't want that. As a tip, you can sprinkle cutting powder or cinnamon powder on the wound. Both have a fungal repellent effect and promote root production.

After a week, you can pot the cactus cutting in dry cactus soil. Place a ball cactus and column cactus on the soil (you can use sticks to prevent the plant from falling over). You place a disc/leaf cactus a few centimetres deep in the soil. With this cactus shape, the roots do not grow from the bottom of the cutting, but from the side of the leaf. You may also mist the cactus with water occasionally. As soon as you feel that your cactus cutting is starting to become more firmly planted in the soil, or you see small root tips at the bottom of your cutting, you can start watering it. You can water the plant from below as well as above.

Now you too can take cuttings from a cactus! You will see that it becomes easier after a few times. Good luck!

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