grow cacti from cuttings

Cacti From Cuttings

Do you want to learn to start growing cacti from cuttings? There are small cactus plants that you can buy from most garden center nurseries or home gardening stores. Typically, these cuttings are picked while still small and very tender. The main problem with these cuttings is that they have not had a chance to acclimatize to the outdoors yet. Once acclimated, they are much harder to grow.

Be aware of the temperature

The key to growing your cacti cuttings is to make sure that you keep them warm during the winter. Cuttings should be kept in a dark place, preferably out in the outdoors. Cuttings need to stay warm because they will not have the opportunity to get the nutrients that they need to grow. Over the longer term, if they do not get the right amount of sunlight, their roots will starve. These plants like cool weather so they do well in the summer. The best time for planting is spring. This is when plants are getting just a little more attention and are more likely to thrive. However, in the winter you can place your cuttings into the soil as early as January. This is also true of older plants that are trying to avoid frost.

Think of the soil (desert soil)

If you are a beginner to growing cacti in dry soil then you will need to prepare the soil first. The most ideal soil for cacti is desert soil. This soil has very high moisture content and the plants do well in it. It also holds in the moisture that these plants need to grow. They prefer well drained, sandy soil so make sure you add plenty of sand to your planter or hole. Cacti prefer limestone or dolomite rocks. Limestone is the better choice for a long run garden as the soil holds in water more easily. Dolomite rocks tend to be more porous so they hold in the water less and are usually acidic in nature.

Watering your cacti cuttings

After planting, you will want to water your cacti cuttings well. If the soil is extremely wet then watering is unnecessary. However, when the soil is drier, you will want to water the cactus very slowly and carefully. It is best to have the water spill out of the top of the potting mix rather than seeping in. It is important not to water the plant too much until it is completely grown. This is because if the roots are damaged by too much water, then new plants will not grow and the root system may not develop correctly. Once the plant has finished growing, then you can begin pruning the young plants. You can also pinch off the dead branches to help promote the production of more cacti.

Growing cacti from cuttings tip:

Although many people may want to try growing cacti from cuttings, it is often best to wait until the plant has established itself. If you are able to obtain a pot or container, then you should be fine.

Your choices of pots

There are several choices of pots for growing cacti cuttings. Some of them are the deep rounded type, some have slits at the bottom, and others have holes along their sides. One thing that you will need to keep in mind is how deep you want your pot in the ground. If it is going into a larger terrarium, then you will most likely want a larger pot so that you can accommodate all of your plants. When selecting a pot, make sure that it has drainage holes in it. If your pot sits on the ground directly, you may find that your plant will become rotted due to the coldness of the ground. Another thing that you should look for is a pot with a solid base. Most cacti do not like direct sunlight, but you may want to place the pot on a glass table that will allow them some sunlight. Make sure that it does not have any type of shade at the bottom because your new plant will not be able to acclimatize itself to the temperature.growing cacti from cuttings

Pruning your cacti

The final step in caring for your cactus plant is to prune the branches once they grow too large. If you do not want them to grow too much, then you should cut the branches off completely. The best time for cutting is around the time that you first notice the smell of flowers. This will ensure that the plant has room to grow properly and will avoid over crowding. Pruning your cacti will also help you control the number of stomata. Cacti that are crowded will usually have less spines. You should keep in mind that pruning can help control the number of pests that find a way to get into your plants. If you find that you are having problems controlling pests such as aphids, then you should prune the plants often to keep them from getting much water or sugar. The result will be fewer leaves for aphids to feed on which will prevent them from causing costly damage to your plants.

3 ways to grow cacti in pots

There are several ways on how to grow cacti in pots.  These are the Buy Growing, Professional and DIY ways. The first is the easiest since all you need are simple pot and some soil to start growing your cacti. The second is a bit more difficult in the sense that it requires some hard work, research and good quality seeds. The third and most recommended way to grow your own cacti is the DIY method. This is one of the cheapest methods in the market nowadays and can be done with just a few materials and a little of your time. How To Grow Cacti in Pots Before you begin, you have to know your preferences, so you choose the best growing method that suits your preferences and the size of your garden. In this way, you will not be overwhelmed at the end of your journey.

The DIY method

If you want to start out with your own garden then you might as well go with the DIY or do-it-yourself method . You do not need any special skills in growing plants. You simply need to know how to plant them in the right manner so that they will grow healthily. Plus, you also need to follow the correct guidelines on how to grow cacti in pots. With the help of professional grower or an expert gardener, you will definitely be guided through the whole process.

Choosing the right pot for your cacti

The most important thing in choosing the right pot for your cacti is to make sure that it is big enough. It should be able to provide the adequate amount of space to the cactus as well as the amount of light that it needs. Cacti need adequate sunlight as well as space to grow. If the pot is too small for your plant then it would have less space to grow. But if the pot is too large and the plants get crowded, then it would be more difficult for them to grow.

Bonus: Sharp corners and drainage of the pots

You should also ensure that the pots are free from sharp corners. Cacti tend to dig in the corners so this is something that you will have to take note of when choosing the pots. You should also look into the drainage of the pots. It is very important that the soil of the pots drains well because if it does not then the roots of the cactus will likely to get stuck in between the soil. Aside from drainage, the soil should also drain naturally so that it won’t be too wet. When choosing the size of the pots that you will use, you will also have to take into consideration the actual dimensions of the stand or platform where you will place the cacti. Make sure that it is sturdy enough so that it can support the weight of the cactus when it grows. It also has to have a hole on one side so that the soil can drain out. With these things in mind, you will now be able to grow cacti in pots.

Preparing the soil

Once you are done reading through the information that was provided, the next step on how to grow cacti in pots is grow cacti in potsfor you to dig your very own pit or hole in your backyard. Once you are done with digging, then you can start preparing the soil. This is also where you will add your soil mix and other fertilizers so that your soil will be perfect for your cactus. Then you can start planting. How to grow cacti in pots has been made very easy for you. Now you do not need to do anything else except for putting your pots in the hole. Just make sure that you water your plants regularly because they are not that easy to do especially if it is your first time to grow them in pots. Cacti are really lovely plants that can help to beautify your home if it is planted in pots.

How to Grow Cacti in 3 Easy Steps

Cacti are succulents, a kind of flowering plant that grows best in the desert. There are many different kinds of cacti, but they are all from the same family, Lamiaceae orakeriana.

Instead of leaves, cacti have spines for protection and thick, fleshy parts that allow them to store water. This allows them to fend off animal predators and to survive extremely dry climates. More so, there is also its considerable but shallow root system for instantly absorbing groundwater.

Cacti are also characterized by its long dormancy period and short growing season. This will be discussed more in detail, along with the materials, species, and climate that are ideal in learning how to grow cacti.

Cultivating cacti from cuttings can sometimes be a little time-consuming. But understanding how to grow cacti using them is a real buzz, especially when your succulents and cactus cuttings become fully grown.

There is just something quite rewarding when you get to witness your beautiful, new plants sprout from tiny seedlings into full mature plants over time.

How to grow cacti

Step 1: Choose the right soil and pot

Cacti are usually planted in soil that is somewhat loamy, especially if it has had plenty of water. It is best to have a sunny location and not too much clay soil so they will have their own root drainage system. If you grow cacti in soil that is too dry, they will wilt and die.

The best way to do this is to make sure you have a container that has good drainage—not overly deep so the cuttings don’t rot or the base doesn’t go moldy inside the container. Your cuttings should also have lots of sun. If you plan on putting them in pots, then you may want to use plastic pots as they retain more moisture than clay ones, and are also easier to keep clean.

For additional cactus potting information, watch this Youtube video by Az Flora Eng on the Top 5 Common Mistakes on Cactus Care.

Step 2: Select the cacti that’s best for you

For some reason, people seem to think that it is fine to grow cacti up to the height of the exterior walls of their home without any support. While this may be delightful in the area of increasing plant growth, it will certainly slow things down if you try to transfer them into the pots or places that you want.

To grow cacti, you may find it useful to choose species with leaves that do well in pots, rather than those that have big and bushy leaves, which needed to be held tightly in with the roots. This way, your plants will have a higher chance to grow into lovely and healthy specimens.

Varieties like Golden Ball Cactus and Peanut Cactus are highly attractive and easy to take care of for beginner cactus growers. Old Man Cactus, is said to be easily grown from seeds and cuttings, and is distinctive for its columnar growth and white, wool-like hair.

To learn more about cactus species, check out this useful guide by The Spruce about the best cacti to plant in your garden.

Step 3: Keep in mind the cactus growing season

It is vital to know how to grow cacti the right way, especially if you are growing them indoors, where they only get a little bit of natural sunlight. These succulents like to get a lot of sunlight, so it is a good idea to put them out in the garden or along fences so they get all the sunshine they need.

You should never leave them out in the backyard all year long. The winter months bring cold temperatures, and they can only survive this by holding onto the leaves of the plants they are growing.

Cacti are much more likely to flourish in the late spring. If you don’t want them to start growing too early, you should wait until the after the winter months before starting to loosen up a little and planting them.

Additional pointers

Some seeds can stay dormant for long periods of time and then germinate during the warmer months. For this reason, you will have to take a look at how to grow cacti that are not seasonally dormant.

If you cannot wait until after the summer heat starts to push them back into the soil, it might be best to plant them so they can set seeds in the early summer. When they do come out, the cacti will probably have many new shoots and roots to help spread around. This will increase the chances of them growing into a fully grown specimen.

You should know how to grow cacti in pots so they have a good chance of not freezing. They should have a thin lid on them so they will remain warm while the inside of the pot freezes.

A good idea is to put a little bit of wood or cardboard on top of the lid so the soil won’t stick to it. Once you transplant the seeds and keep the lid closed, leave it alone for a few days. This will help the soil to thaw out and your specimen will begin to grow.

The final step in how to grow cacti is to dig a hole for the cactus and fill with dirt. Place the lid and gently rock it in place, adding compost as you go along. As the soil freezes you can remove the compost and plant your seeds and roots into the holes.

When the soil gets warm, add some Aloe vera. It will keep the plant healthy and ensure it produces healthy leaves and stems. Make sure to dig a hole that is a couple of inches larger than the cactus.

Keep in mind our pointers on how to grow cacti correctly, and you will end up with a beautiful specimen. If you are looking for the perfect succulent specimen for a room setting, then you will have to visit your local garden store.

You can also check out our online bookstore for a selection of books about cactus species and ideal climates to learn more. Browse also through our Stocktake sale for a series of discounted books all about cacti!

Take a look at Cactus Caffeine’s beginner guide on cactus growing below or in this link:

They are juicy, meaty, tasty, low in calories and at the same time, an important source of fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. The prickly pear—or nopal cactus—is an extremely versatile plant that can be eaten many ways: roasted, boiled, pickled, scrambled, tacos, stews, soups, juices or salads.

In 2018, we experienced a boom in plant-based diets, and of course, cactus-based foods could not be missing.

Can you eat prickly pears?

Sure! Eating prickly pear is something that has long been practiced by the oldest civilizations. In fact, the nopal has been a very important source of nutrition for the peoples of Mesoamerica for more than 12,000 years.

Of course, not just any cactus is edible, so you do not have to stick your fork in the small cactus you have next to the computer.

Surprisingly, this prickly plant is one of the healthiest foods that can be included in our daily diet, as it is rich in vitamins and nutrients and provides many additional benefits. Nopales, the shovel-shaped part of the cactus leaf is mainly served with eggs and salads, a food staple in Latin America.

As more people discover its great qualities, cactus-based foods and drinks make their appearance in grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets around the world.

What are prickly pears?

The Opuntia cactus (its scientific name) or prickly pear, or nopal in Mexico, is part of the family of cacti with more than 200 species native to the American continent.

They can be found from the southern United States to Patagonia, where they grow wild. It is also common to find them in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and North Africa, where they were introduced by the Spanish, five hundred years ago.

Benefits of edible cacti

Edible cacti contains phenolics and flavonoids, two compounds with antioxidant properties that help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer. In the June 2009 issue of “Plant Food for Human Nutrition,” it was said that phytochemicals in prickly pear slowed the growth of colon, liver, breast and prostate cancer cells without negatively impacting healthy cells.

Eating nopal cactus

Prickly pears have three different edible sections: the cladiolos, palas or stalks of the cactus (nopal), which would constitute the leaves; flower petals, which can be added to salads; and the prickly pear or the fruit.

When cooked, they have a flavour comparable to green beans and a texture similar to that of okra. Others say they have a nice lemon taste and are slightly crunchy like bell peppers.

Of the rest of cacti, only the fruits are usually consumed, as in the case of dragon fruit, pitaya of night cereus or Hylocereus undatus. Other succulent plants can also be edible such as the blue agave (with which tequila is made) or the maguey with which pulque or mezcal is made.

Preparing cactus-based foods

There are different ways to prepare cacti so that they don’t taste bland. It may seem intimidating at first, but it’s simpler than it sounds.

Before you eat prickly pear, its shovels or stalks should be washed well and cut before being cooked. They can be added to quesadillas, sauces, fajitas, salads or served as a garnish.

You can boil or grill them. Nopal can also be eaten raw, although the bitter taste may not excite everyone.

On a general note, nopal shovels pair well with the flavours of cheese, chilli peppers, cilantro, corn, eggs, lemon, lime, onions, oregano, salsa, chives, sweet peppers, tomato, tortillas and tropical fruits.

Here are some nopales recipes to get you started such as a slow cooker cactus chili from Allrecipes and nopales a la mexicana from Mexico In My Kitchen.


Cut the cactus into cubes and boil it in a copper pot with a little water and onion. The copper keeps the cactus green after cooking; otherwise, it turns a dull grey colour.

Let it simmer for about 40 minutes. Then drain it and let cool. One idea is to turn it into a salad, seasoned with salt and oregano for taste.

To do this, add the chopped onion, the sliced ​​tomatoes, pieces of fresh cheese and slices of avocado, before drizzling it with a little olive oil.

The best way to remove the stickiness is to grill it for a crisp, tender texture with a dash of olive oil and a hint of lemon.

Where to buy prickly pears

Perhaps the most important thing to know before you eat nopal cactus is to buy the prickly pears without thorns since removing them can be a real nightmare.

The small shovels of the nopal are the most succulent, delicately-flavoured and with the least thorns.

It is better to choose thin, firm shovels. If they are soft, cracked, or wilted, they are too old. Shovels are often sold whole or cut into strips or cubes and packaged for convenience.

Fresh edible cacti can be refrigerated for a week if they are tightly wrapped in plastic. The cactus is available in specialized and organic stores in the form of slices and cubes or juices, jam and canned to consume as needed.

Should you want to know more about cacti and succulents, make sure to check out our online bookstore. Feel free to take a look also at our Stocktake Sale!

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