Propogating a cactus

This huge cactus is 18 or more years old.
It has big heavy ball like branches, knobs.
I would like to take off one or more of the knobs and replant. This is to big to move must weigh 40 pounds. Is this even possible?
q propogating a cactus, gardening
q propogating a cactus, gardening
  25 answers
  • Marvin R Marvin R on Jan 24, 2012
    Love this cactus George ive never seen blooms like tha before!!

  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Jan 24, 2012
    The answer is maybe! I've actually taken prickly pear cactus and removed ears at the very base of where it naturally attaches to another ear. I let it sit in the shade for a few days to dry off, then set the base of the ear in moist (not wet) and course sand. It will take a long time for it to root, but root it does. I can't help but think that putting on a pair of heavy leather gloves (welding gloves work best) and manually pulling off a few cactus domes and doing the same thing may just give you bragging rights later, George.

  • My experience with Arizona cactus transplants has been the same. I had a client that lost a giant saguaro cactus and successfully transplanted one of its arms.

  • George K George K on Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. I may have to do research! LOL

  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 24, 2012
    If you take your cutting carefully, I don't see how you can go wrong. If it doesn't take, you still have your pretty cactus. The Arizona cooperative extension people (where they really know their cacti) have this guide to propagating cacti: Also, even if you can't carry this across the yard, can you maybe get some help lifting it onto some type of dolly or maybe even a neighborhood kid's skateboard?

  • George K George K on Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks Steve!!

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 25, 2012
    My experience with prickly pear suggests cacti transplant pretty easily. When I had an "ear" break off of one I just stuck it in our sandy soil and it rooted. Good luck with yours.

  • George K George K on Jan 25, 2012
    Thanks,Douglas! Sounds good!

  • Ellen A Ellen A on Jan 25, 2012
    Yes!!! Each one of those 'arms' as you called them, is actually a 'baby' cactus. Thats how it reproduces...each one of those arms may be removed. After removal, simply place the removed arm on top of soil, either in the ground or in a pot...have the soil slightly moist, not wet, and sit back and wait. It should form it's new roots within a month. Of course u shouldnt do this during the winter months unless u put it indoors or you're in a very warm climate. Need any more help? Feel free to email me!

  • George K George K on Jan 25, 2012
    I feel newly empowered to propagate! I will wait till spring, even though the climate is considered mild here in NC.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 26, 2012
    Good luck, George. It would be great to have some babies of such a handsome cactus.

  • George K George K on Apr 18, 2012
    Good news!! I have 2 baby cacti now, and the bulbs seem ok, they have bloomed!!!

  • 3po3 3po3 on Apr 18, 2012
    That is good news. Congratulations on your new babies.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 19, 2012
    Awesome news, George.

  • Ellen A Ellen A on Jun 05, 2012
    So glad for your success. You can do this with any type of cactus. they root easily and readily. I have one simular to yours only it puts off HUGE white blooms. interested in a trade? Let me know...

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jun 14, 2012
    George K, that is one beautiful cactus. The only place I have ever seen one that nice was Arizona.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on Jul 01, 2012
    Can it be left outside during the winter? It is very pretty.

  • George K George K on Jul 16, 2012
    In reply to Peace Painting, we pull the big cacti ( both) into the garage for the winter. They get sun, but less extremes of temp.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on Jul 16, 2012
    That sounds most typical. I would like to plant more desert/cactus like plants around our house but need to do more research before. Thanks!

  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Jul 17, 2012
    Note to Cacti Lovers: Do NOT baby them, fuss over them, feed them nor provide abundant water. The care and maintenance book should be only two words, for the most part... "Ignore Them". If they like where they have been placed, they'll thrive. I'm now living in the great Far West again after having lived in Georgia for over 20 years and just bought two small agave for two bucks. So far, they're enjoying me following this advice.

  • George K George K on Jul 17, 2012
    @ Ricardo..But a potted Cactus needs some care and attention. They are not outside. Mine are in huge pots. Of course we don't over-water.. But we do fertilize.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jul 17, 2012
    Ricardo B, I agree with you when cactus are outside, leave them alone. Inside I would kill everyone in error. George K I am impressed with your cactus.

  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Jul 18, 2012
    Point taken regarding inside vs outside. One thing I've learned out here... ouch, don't walk outside bearfoot! Cactus, Yucca, goat head and thistle thorns are everywhere!

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Aug 10, 2012
    This is so gorgeous, thanks everyone for posting, I have learned a lot!

  • Marilyn Zaruba Marilyn Zaruba on Jun 17, 2016
    They are so pretty, but I fell into a large one as a child and will never have them in my yard. That was a very painful and long process getting them out.