How to grow cactus from cuttings?

by Elb15383294

How can I start a cactus (house plant) from a cutting?

  13 answers
  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Aug 10, 2016

    To start a rose cactus from cuttings, let the blooms fall off the plant before trying to prune it. It has to have time to readjust it's bloom cycle first or you could injure it or kill it. It's the perfect size to replant in your yard. That's what I'd do. Give it about 2 weeks, then either replant or prune. If you're pruning, look for the joints about 2-3 joints in from the stem's ends. Cut them square in the middle of the joint leaving half the joint on the mother plant & half the joint on the clipping. Lay the clippings out to dry (if this is indeed a cactus) to scab over. Once the scab is hard & dried out, plant the clipping half way into the soil in a new pot 2ce it's size leaving it plenty of room to root & start growing. It should take about 3 weeks to a month to see new growth. Once potted, water it just enough to get the ground wet but not saturate it. You don't wanna drown it. Only water it when you stick your finger into the soil & it feels VERY dry. Hope this helps. ;)

  • Dayna Gibson Dayna Gibson on Aug 11, 2016

    For my rose cactus, I just cut mine off whenever. Stick the limb in some dirt (after you leave it lay out to dry for a couple of days) & set it outside in shade & it will root & have a new plant in just a couple of months. I do usually do all of my starting, transplanting in the spring or early year when everything is stimulated to grow. Good luck! PS I usually have two or three new plants to give away or sell at our church rummage sale every year!!

    You probably have at least 10 new starts on that plant, I cut mine all the way down to the big bulb stem, leaving just maybe 3-4 " on each limb. That keeps it full , the base gets big & gnarly, very interesting specimen of a plant. It takes awhile for the starts to start getting a large bulb base, but the will.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Dec 13, 2018

    For a pear cactus: Just take one of the pads and put the end that was on main cactus in dirt(from where you got it is best) water in then let it dry out. If you need to put it in pot/container use a clay pot with out a saucer,best for dirt to dry out, as long as it has good drainage you can mist with sprayer around base of pad every 10 days. Roots will form faster. Where do you live? they need full sun if you get any ground freeze at all it/roots need protection I actually water mine regularly so they produce more blooms & then fruit. Many people think Cacti don't need water but they do just not much. I live in low desert AZ. The one in my backyard is like a tree 12ft high and about 2ft in diameter at base some of the pads are 1 1/2ft by 3ft. & extremely heavy. If you want to put it in pot/container make sure it's heavy enough to hold prickly pear pad & won't tip nice short thick heavy clay pot. keep it in same pot as long as you can it'll grow better. Watch for scale they get it easily INFO Prickly pear info.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Nov 02, 2019

    Hi Elb,

    I started several plants by sticking a "joint" in pot and keeping it watered. Sorry I don't remember the exact soil that I bought, but I'd suggest soil for cactus. My plant originally came from my great, great, great grandmother so I wanted to give a plant to each of my children. This worked like a charm. Wishing you the best.

  • Bitsy426 Bitsy426 on Aug 22, 2018

    Just break off a piece that has three or so parts and stick in water. Roots will appear at the division nodes. Voila.

  • Libby Libby on Nov 02, 2019

    Would this be a Christmas cactus? I started mine in water. It takes a couple weeks to root.When it has roots plant in damp soil. Good luck! Mine is flowering right now

    • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Nov 02, 2019

      I agree with Linda, if this is a Christmas cactus cut it off before the joint and put in water in a clear glass container. If the container is opague it won't root at least that has been my experience. And I just planted in regular potting soil in an East window. It's growing very quickly.

  • Sue Sue on Dec 13, 2018

    I just put the root end in dirt it takes right off

  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Aug 09, 2019

    Break off a stem. Place in a glass with water 1/3 filled and let root. Plant in a planter.

  • Krafty Mrs.K Krafty Mrs.K on Dec 14, 2018

    The hardest part is not getting stuck while breaking off the pads. Canning tongs helped with planting them.

    I brought back some heart shaped pads from a hiking trip to use as banquet table decorations. When i researched rooting them, several sites recommended letting them dry out a couple days to form a callus on the end cut from plant. I used bamboo skewers on either side of them to help support them in cactus and succulent potting soil. it was hot summer so i watered them a lot like the other plants on the patio to speed up the rooting. I mulched the clay pots with pea gravel to keep soil in place, conserve water and look nice.

    They have sprouted new pads but I don't know what the need to bloom.

  • Just cut a few segments off the main plant and let it sit in a cool place for a few days. Plant in a sand/peat mixture about one inch deep and water lightly until it takes root.

  • Em Em on Aug 18, 2019

    chose ocotillo cactus stems that produced growth last growing season, which are considered green softwood. The branches are still bendable, which tells you that the branches are still living. If the cane is stiff, cracks when bent and shows brown inside, then it is a dead stem. Check for insect infestation before singling out your branch.2

    Cut the top 6 to 8 inches of the branch off with a clean sharp knife. It is possible to take a larger cutting, but it must be supported in an upright position while rooting. Remove the leaves off the bottom 3 to 4 inches of the branch and set the cutting in a shady location until the plant pot is ready.

    Fill a heavy plant pot with drainage holes in the bottom with equal parts of commercial cacti soil mixture and perlite. Leave an inch of space between the rim and the top of the soil.

    Pour a few inches of rooting hormone in a small container and coat the cut end of the ocotillo branch with the powder. Tap off the excess powder. Rotting hormone will speed up the rooting process for the ocotillo. Stick the branch into soil mixture and firm the soil around the cutting. If the cutting does not stand upright, place large stones around the stem to prop it up until roots have formed.

    Soak the plant pot in room temperature water. Drain the pot well and set it on a water-collecting dish. Place the cutting in a warm sunny area. Provide water every two weeks during the summer and early fall. Cut the water supply back to once a month in the winter and start again in the spring. When the ocotillo cutting begins to grow leaves, it indicates that new roots have grown.

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 02, 2019

    Hello, this is a fabulous link with information on cuttings! Hope it helps

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 21, 2023

    Break off a piece and let it calcify for a few days then plant up in free draining soil.