Can you grow a cactus from a cutting?

May, 2022
Darren Spalding

In the process, a piece of the stem is cut off and replanted. Cuttings only need a pot that is only slightly larger than their diameter at the bottom. This type of propagation is very useful when a cactus becomes too big and unattractive, or when it starts to rot, for example. First, put on gloves and prepare your tongs.

For plants without stems, remove entire leaves by hand (do not cut them off). For most opuntia, this is easy and you get a clean break.

How do you root a broken piece of cactus?

It also matters if it needs full sun versus partial shade — you'll want appropriate setup, if not both, depending on where each individual cutting wants to be planted if it's successfully rooted. Cut a candle, side stem, or pad from the cactus, dip the cut base in root hormone, and nestle it in a pot of perlite that drains faster and is better suited for cactus starts. How often should you water your cutting after rooting? At the time of planting, consider wetting the soil thoroughly. Do this until they are rooted well enough for their roots to transition to moisture on their own without being watered by hand (or with an automated system) every day.

The cut or grafted part is called a “shoot,” and the base or root part is called the “rootstock.”

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