How to Propagate a Pencil Cactus Plant

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Propagating a pencil cactus plant always requires you to keep a few key things in mind. Propagate a pencil cactus plant with help from an experienced professional gardener on a mission to make gardening stylish, fun and simple in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening With Flowers & Succulents
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Nell Foster, and today I'm going to show you how to propagate a pencil cactus. This is my pencil cactus here which I actually started from a cutting which was about this size here and you can see how much it's grown. It loves living outdoors here in Santa Barbara. The main thing you have to know about propagating a pencil cactus is that when you take a cutting it's going to secrete a white milky sap. It just bleeds all over the place. So what I do is I take a rag so that it doesn't drip too much because it will eventually heal over and you have to be careful because this sap is really irritating. You don't want to get it in your eye. Don't go anywhere near your eye, don't go near your mouth, on your skin. Some people are a little allergic to it and the other thing is it can stain your clothing. So you just want to be really careful about that and I take my cuttings at an angle. I'm going to recut this one. I always do because there is less of an infection if you take your cuttings at an angle and then I let it heal over for anywhere from a week to four to five months and healing over just basically means letting it harden over. This is sort of like you let a scab heal over and this is a cutting that I took just about a month ago and it's completely healed over. Otherwise there might be too much moisture getting up into the plant and you don't want that. And I have taken this pot and in it I put a cactus and a succulent mix. It's very light, drains very easily and I have worked a hole in there with the chopstick and then I just go and straighten that out and you might have to straighten it out from time to time until it roots. It's not going to show roots out in the air. It doesn't actually start to root until you plant it in the soil. And then I keep it dry for anywhere from three to seven days and then I give it a really good drink of water and then after that I will probably water it about every three to four weeks.

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