How to Transplant Cactus Pieces

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Transplanting cactus pieces can be used to grow an entirely new plant in a different section of your yard. Transplant cactus pieces with help from a professional garden designer and landscape contractor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Landscaping Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Jane Gates, and we're here to talk about how to transplant cactus pieces. Cactus comes in all different forms. There are round barrel cactus and the most common cactus that we like to transplant in pieces is the, sometimes they call them Cola Cactus, Bunny Rabbit Cactus. It's the Opuntia and the Opuntia has these little pads on it that easily break off and when they fall off they can be dried and then planted or transplanted. You can start new plants. Now here I have a variety that is kind of rare. You don't see these very often and they don't have spines on them and it doesn't have anything really nasty at all on it so I can touch them. On the other hand most Opuntias are like this one and although you don't see the spines on it this has little things called glockids. They're like little hair-like tiny tiny little spiny little things that grow around those circles. This is what makes a cactus a cactus is having those aerials and the glockids grow around the aerials. They detach very easily. They'll get caught in your fingers and they are really pretty nasty. They'll sting and they're hard to get out. Now if you're going to use one of these pads I strongly recommend you use a piece of newspaper to handle them. Any broken pad you want to let sit for a day or two until it forms a little callus. This end will dry out and then you take that perfectly dried out plant and you put it in a pot and let it root. The best thing to do, the best thing for a cactus, use clay pots. I use broken little pieces of clay pot for the bottom. It's a good thing to use either stones or sometimes folded up newspaper, something to keep the sand from coming straight out, then you want to mix up soil that is, has a lot of sand in it because it's going to drain real well. The last thing you want to have when you're potting up a cactus is sand that stays wet. So I'm going to fill up this pot with a soil that I mixed up and I'm spilling all over the table. So it's all ready to receive its cactus piece. Just to show you it's simply regular soil mixed with Perlite, this is Perlite and this is regular builder's sand. Never use beach sand because it has a lot of salt in it. So you want to get builder's sand, mix that in with some regular soil in your clay pot, see how it's not leaking out the bottom because I put some crocking in there and as I say I like to kind of reuse these pots, these broken pot shards and then all you have to do, I have a glove on. If you don't have gloves, use paper and set your little cutting right in there. Now the thing that's a little different about transplanting cactus pieces than most plants is that you do not want to water it. It will send out little roots searching for water if you leave it dry so for another week or two, don't water it, let it just sit there and grow out its own roots. Now I'm just going to show you this was the cactus that I showed you that doesn't have any spines on it. Here's a piece that was planted, just stuck in here, see how it's rooted. It's pretty solid and if I dig these out here are some little tiny pieces that fell off. They're going to naturally start to root, sometimes you can almost even leave them right on the surface of the soil but if I just stick them in here, just like that, it's already the premixed soil. Those will now root just like this little guy who isn't going anywhere right now and slowly it will start putting out lots of pads and I'll have more Opuntias and that's how you root cactus pieces.

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