How to Repot a cactus

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Cacti are hardy, slow-growing plants that thrive in arid conditions and can shake off owner neglect for weeks on end. But there comes a time when a well-growing cactus needs to be repotted, a challenging task than that many collectors put off as long as possible. Those needles and spines on cacti can deliver painful, splinter-like cuts when handled without proper preparation. When the cactus roots become tightly packed with little soil in them, its time to repot.

Things You'll Need

  • Pair of old leather gloves
  • Long-sleeve shirt or sweat-shirt
  • Towel, blanket or carpet remnant
  • Pot 1/4 larger than original pot
  • Shake pot upside down or horizontally until the plant slides out. This can be done carefully using leather gloves. If it is a large cactus, a long-sleeve sweatshirt can protect arms from sharp needles.

  • Pick out a new pot for your cactus. Choose something that will stand out and allow the cactus to be admired, even from afar. Fill the new pot, which should be about 2 inches wider in diameter than the old pot, 1/3 of the way up with soil.

  • Wrap the cactus in the towel or remnant. Position it in the new pot with one hand and use the other hand to fill in the rest of the soil.

  • Pack the soil around the base of the cactus so that it is secured and won't topple over.

  • Wait one day after repotting, then water your cactus.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an old pair of leather gloves that you have dedicated to this purpose. By the time you get through doing several plants, the gloves may be full of spines and ready for the trash.
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