How to Plant Cacti Cuttings


Cacti come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and when in bloom, display some of nature's most beautiful flowers. They are easy to keep, requiring little care or handling. Most varieties of cacti can easily propagate from cuttings, which is the fastest way to produce new plants. Allow the wound on the cut to dry completely on the cutting before planting to prevent the cutting from rotting when planted. If you keep that tip in mind, you'll find propagating cacti cuttings is a very simple process.

Step 1

Remove the cutting from the parent cactus, using a sharp knife. Cut at a stem joint for a pad-type cactus or slantwise through a stem for a column-shaped cactus.

Step 2

Square the end of the cutting off and dust the cut with rooting compound.

Step 3

Allow the cut to air-dry until it has formed a callus. This step may take up to several months to ensure the cut is completely callused, but could take only a few days, depending on the size of the cut and type of cactus. Keep the cutting in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight while the callus forms.

Step 4

Prepare a planting mixture by combining 20 percent top soil, 10 percent peat moss and 70 percent pumice. Fill a flower pot with the planting mixture.

Step 5

Place the cutting into the soil deep enough to prevent it from falling over.

Step 6

Water the soil until it is damp but not not wet. Place the cutting in a warm, bright area, but not in direct sun.

Step 7

Watch for signs of growth within 4 to 6 weeks. The cutting will plump up and form new growth tips.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting compound
  • Peat moss
  • Top soil
  • Pumice
  • Flower pot


  • Desert Botanical Garden
  • The Succulent Plant Page
  • Arizona Cooperative Extension
Keywords: cacti propagation, cactus cuttings, planting cacti, cacti cuttings

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In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.