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How to Grow a Cactus From Its Leaf

By Judith Willson
Most cacti are easy to propagate.

Most varieties of cacti respond well to vegetable propagation. In fact, if you break off part of the parent cactus and push it into potting compost, a new plant will grow within a few weeks. However, problems with rot may occur. Ensure success with your cactus through careful measures, especially if you don't have a large parent plant to experiment with.

Put on gardening or work gloves, especially if the cactus is very spiny.

Cut a section off the parent cactus. The longer this section is, the better. Try to take a cutting at least 3 inches long, and cut where you see a natural joint.

Dip the end of the cutting in garden sulfur to help prevent rot. This is a natural substance suitable for organic gardeners.

Leave the cutting to dry for up to two weeks in a warm, dry place. When the cut end hardens, the cutting is ready to plant.

Fill a plant pot with a mixture of 50 percent potting compost and 50 percent sand. Press lightly down to firm. Don’t water this mixture; it should be relatively dry.

Push the cutting a couple of inches into the compost, and place the pot somewhere warm, such as on a windowsill.

Dampen the soil after four to seven days. Thereafter, water when the soil dries out nearly completely.


Things You Will Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Knife
  • Garden sulfur
  • Potting compost
  • Sand
  • Plant pot

About the Author


Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.