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How to Take Cuttings from Cacti and Succulents


Cacti and succulents are the perfect choices if you look for indoor plants that almost look after themselves. Most cacti and succulents can be easily propagated from stem or leaf cuttings. For those cacti that have stems formed of segments (e.g., Prickly Pears, Christmas Cacti), always remove whole segments as cuttings and do not split segments in half.

Succulents that form clumps, such as Aloes, Haworthias, and Agaves, should be divided by simply taking the plant out of its pot and splitting the rootball. Cacti that form numerous heads, such as Mammillarias and Echinopsis, can be separated or cut off and used as cuttings.

How to Do It

1. Choose a healthy piece of stem at least 4 inches (10 cm) long and cut it off cleanly with snips. Use tongs when handling spiny cacti. For plants without stems, remove whole leaves by hand (do not cut them off). Sit cuttings on a windowsill and leave them until the cut surfaces have healed over.

Cuttings from Cacti and Succulents

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2. Fill a 2.8 or 3.6 inches (7 or 9 cm) pot with cactus and succulent potting mix, then insert each cutting base to a depth of about 0.8 inches (2 cm), or deep enough that it stands upwards.

3. Water liberally, then place the pot on a warm windowsill, preferably not in direct sunlight. Do not place cactus or succulent cuttings in a propagator or cover them with a plastic bag.

4. Keep an eye on the cutting and water when the compost feels dry. Most cactus and succulent cuttings will root within a month, but it may take longer for new growth to appear.



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