how to transplant a large cactus

You should aim to move cacti when temperatures climb above 60°F. Use your markings from before to ensure that you’re placing it in the right orientation. So I emailed local agave expert Jeff Pavlat, president of the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society and whose beautiful garden MSS posted about recently. Allow the remaining healthy roots to air dry and scab over for two or more days. They’re attractive, easy to care for, and there are endless varieties to choose from to spice up your landscaping. I bought the mix and the amendments but that’s it. The new pot should be about 2 inches larger than the old one. Any commercial cactus mix or good potting soil can be made better drained by adding coarse sand or perlite; generally a one-to-one ratio of potting soil and drainage material good to start with. In sunny weather, cover the cactus for the first month or so until the plant is established. If you’re working with a particularly large or heavy plant, you may need a few extra sets of hands to help you. The new container must have drainage holes in the bottom so excess water can drain out. In sandy locations, add 25% compost. Within a few months, your plant should be well established and on its way to recovery from the moving process. Heavy leather gloves and long sleeves to protect against spines are the main safety tools when... Large Outdoor Cactus. It’s best to remove any damaged roots, as they can decompose and attract disease that may kill your plant. The best way to get the cactus out of the ground without damaging the plant or yourself is by using a hose for leverage. Know your cacti. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. The first step before moving your cactus is to dig it out of its current position safely. This can help you to avoid exposing more sensitive parts of the plant to UV rays, minimizing sunburn during the day. Some special care is required for several months after moving a cactus plant. Select a 3- to 6-inch-long portion of the cactus for the best chances of successful rooting. Houseplant Repotting: Christmas Cactus: Christmas Cactus (Thanksgiving, Holiday) are long-lasting, attractive succulents. If you are determined to take on the process yourself, consider site preparation, have several extra hands available and prepare the plant carefully to avoid harming pads, limbs and causing yourself and your helpers any pain. Begin by digging a trench around the plant 1 to 2 feet (.3-.6 m.) away and about 18 inches  (46 cm.) You don’t need to get the cactus all the way loose. If you do everything correctly, cactus repay its long flowering period. Wear protection on your chest, hands (see cactus mitts discussed later) and ‘below’. By taking proper precautions, you can safely rearrange your landscaping and move cacti wherever you need for a more dramatic look. deep. After transplantation cacti again placed on wintering. If you have a cactus that’s more than five feet tall, you may want to consider staking. Usually, around 18 inches is enough to get under the cactus’s root ball. Sign up for our newsletter. Once you’ve dug your trench, gently pry up around the plant with a shovel to loosen it. Though roots might break during the separation process, it doesn't cause harm to the mother plant or her pups. You can either lift it onto its side or place it directly into a cart or dolly for easy transport. This process poses more danger to you than the plant due to the spines, thorns and other dangerous armor most of these plants possess. 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Prepare the pear cactus for transplant. Make sure to water your plant twice per week in warm weather for at least a month. These prolific growers eventually need to be repotted. It’s best to avoid moving cacti when it’s too cold out. Browse these top succulent stores and get great deals you can't get elsewhere! Only transplant healthy specimens that will have the best chance of re-establishing. Cactus roots are usually near the surface but are delicate, so be careful during this process. If the soil is sandy, add around 25% compost. Removing the outer leaves of a large agave plant lessens the weight during transplanting and results in a healthier looking plant. Even thick leather gloves may not be enough to protect you from some species’ spines. In northern areas, transplant in the spring. You should dig a wide, shallow hole and make sure that the soil around the area has plenty of drainage. Use the hose (or hoses) to gently lift the cactus out of the ground. Dig a shallow, wide hole that is the same size as the original planting site. Cactus roots are usually near the surface but are delicate, so be careful during this process. Steps to Transplanting Your Cactus Dig a Trench. If transplant takes place in spring or summer, cover the plant with shade cloth to prevent burning. order to transplant the cactus (Fig 13). Install a stake in the new container at the time you repot if your large cactus requires support. It’s generally not a good idea to do this by hand, especially with large cactus varieties. How to plant succulent cuttings without them is rotting is a big problem, but can be avoided by inserting them into a well-drained rooting mix. Place the cactus on your working surface and … When excess water doesn't drain freely, the soil stays too wet, which causes root rot. The cactus roots should air dry for a few days before installing the plant in its new location. Plants with large pads should be swaddled in an old blanket or something that will cushion the limbs while giving you protection from the spines. You can transplant a mature cactus at just about any time of year, especially if you live in a warmer climate. Backfill around the roots and tamp down. It’s best to look for a cactus with no apparent signs of stress or disease, such as blemishes or abrasions. You should also avoid any cacti that show yellowing, which is a common sign of sun damage, or that look gnawed on by pests. Among important repotting cactus tips is to not water the plant yet, as it … The plant can be used … Large, mature cacti are more resistant to changes in temperature and irrigation, so they are more likely to survive a transplant than small or young cactus plants. After digging up a live cactus, you can’t move it immediately to its new location. Carefully lift the plant and settle it in the correct orientation in the prepared hole. When the roots come through the drainage holes or the cactus stem fills the pot, transplant it. Ensure the pot has at least one drainage hole, as cactus plants rot quickly in soggy soil. Then start prying around the plant gently. How to Transplant Aloe Vera. If you’re working with a particularly heavy cactus, you may want to use two hoses and employ a partner’s help. Orient the cactus at the same exposure it experienced in the old planting location. Here, we’re going to go over how to transplant a large cactus in your garden and ensure that it thrives afterward. Source: ehow.co.uk Fill a 4- to 6-inch-diameter pot with a potting soil formulated for cactus plants. Choosing the right transplant site is just as important a consideration as picking the right cactus. Often, fence post cacti break under their own weight if not wholly supported. If it's a large cactus, a friend to help with lifting. Dig down until you encounter several lateral roots. Watch for signs of stress and address each symptom individually. For the arid Southwest, transplant in spring, summer or early fall. Keep the cloth in place for 3 to 4 weeks as the plant re-establishes and adapts to its new conditions. On top add some fresh soil mix before you introduce your cactus. Wrap a large garden hose around the plant and lift it out of the hole. Choose a pot about one inch bigger in diameter than the plant's old pot; use a potting soil with a high proportion of organic matter like peat or compost, and some coarse sand added. Transplant the Christmas cactus into a new container that's 1 to 2 inches larger in diameter than the base of the plant or the current pot. Once you have excavated the roots, use the shovel to pry out the plant. Mature cactus plants can get quite large and require professional assistance to minimize plant damage. The large ceramic pot was also left by the previous owner and had a Dracaena marginata directly planted in it which has since been transplanted also. Carefully start digging about one foot away from the saguaro’s trunk. Once you’re done, backfill around the roots with healthy, loose soil and tamp down. Don’t you just love freebies in the garden! Those that are weak or sickly have a far lower chance of surviving a move than a healthy, hardy plant. Preparation is crucial when moving a cactus plant. However, if it’s below 60°F, avoid watering for at least four months so long as there’s precipitation. It should form a new plant most of the time and root in 30 days. For this excursion, I moved two large cacti horizontally on a 40-minute highway drive. Choose a stake that is as tall as the cactus and place it into the container as you place the cactus into the container. Shake off the old soil and plant the cactus at the same depth it was growing in the old soil. In this case, do not water unless up to 4 months have gone by without precipitation. Place your cactus in the pot and gradually fill it with the soil mix. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window). Successfully transplanting a cactus requires careful new site preparation. Soak if old soil doesn’t fall off easily. Make sure to take care that the roots don’t get squished or damaged during this step. How to Plant & Transplant Cactus Small Outdoor Cactus. Water the plant deeply to settle the soil. Try to leave as many roots as possible. Cacti make an ideal addition to any xeriscaped or drought-resistant garden. Soil conditions, sun exposure, water levels, and temperature should all be near identical. Wrap the plant in a carpet remnant, particularly if it’s a tall, thin type that needs continuous support. Know and how to transplant a cactus in the home – the key to his longevity. Large barrel cacti generally need multiple people involved. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Transplanting a mature cactus can pose not only a danger to the plant but also to yourself. I’ll quote his advice in full for anyone else crazy enough to try moving a large agave: Agaves usually don’t mind being dug up and moved. Fill soil around both the cactus roots and the stake, then tie the stake to the cactus with stretchy plant ties. If you cut off the top a couple of feet below the tip of the cactus, it can be replanted right away, and should continue growing. Water. For instance, the familiar jade … You may not want to transplant just any cactus around your yard. Once you’re ready to transplant your cactus, you can do so in just a few simple steps. The Christmas cactus grows best when its roots are somewhat restricted. Separate the pups just below the soil surface with a knife or the edge of the spade. When the plant is loose, you can safely pull it up out of the hole. Therefore, it's best to choose small pots that will allow not more than an extra inch of soil on all sides of the divided sections. Let the broken piece sit out for up to a week for it to get a callous on the broken off end. Transplanting Large succulents: Christmas Cactus My Great Grandmother's Christmas Cactus, ready for repotting: I have been graced to own my great grandmothers Christmas cactus. Break it off at the joint. After a month, diminish watering frequency to every 2 to 3 weeks in summer and 2 to 3 times during winter. The not-expert way, I guess. If the planting site is dramatically different from the original site, you may need to spend some time preparing the area. Moving cacti in the landscape, especially large specimens, can be a challenge. Most cactus roots are close to the soil’s surface, so you don’t have to dig too deep. Select pots with bottom drainage holes so the soil doesn't retain too much moisture. This is one of the more crucial details because it will prevent or minimize sunburn. All rights reserved. Shovel. In areas with rich or clay soil, add pumice to help assist with drainage. Even if you know how to transplant a large cactus flawlessly, there’s still aftercare to consider. When it comes to moving cacti around the garden, however, many homeowners are understandably apprehensive. With the right care, you can safely move any large cactus to redecorate your garden. Aloe Vera plants are easy to grow and propagate, they are also very easy to transplant into a larger pot when your adult plant fills its pot. Mark the north-facing side of the cactus with brightly colored … Transplanting & working with cactus; how I stay spine free: Steps taken: Thick plastic tarp. Learn the proper procedures on how to transplant a Saguaro cactus.From the Southwest Yard & Garden series. PRO TIP: This step works best if you cactus is fully or slightly upright (i.e. Christmas cactus is a jungle cactus that prefers humidity and moisture, unlike its standard cactus cousins, which require a warm, arid climate. This video is about how to transplant a 35 year old golden barrel cactus into a new, larger pot! Carefully lift the cactus … You don’t need... Dry the Roots. Remove your cactus from the pot (will discuss how to do it in a second) and remove any old soil from the roots. Now cut across the bottom of the hole and sever the tap root. Here's what you need to know about repotting Christmas Cactus including when & how to do it along with the best soil mix to use.Christmas Cactus, although lovely w… Fill in around the roots with your medium and place it in a sunny southeast or east window. The cacti dislodged from their pots (which were ultimately being replaced). Doing this helps to prevent issues such as root rot later. Try to plant the cactus in an area of your yard that’s similar to its original home. Mark the plant so you can situate it in the same orientation in which it is growing. deep. Water the plant twice per week for a month unless nighttime temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 C.). If you haven’t already prepared your transplant site, it’s good to do so while the roots are drying. Covering the cactus will also help to protect it from bruises and puncture wounds during transport. A winter-bloomer, Christmas cactus displays flowers in shades of red, lavender, rose, purple, white, peach, cream and orange, depending on the variety. Set the tool in the sun to dry completely before using it. Anything colder may inhibit the growth of new roots, causing the plant to wither and die. When you move your cactus, it’s vital that the sun hits it in the same way as before. Instead, aim to separate the root system from the soil as much as possible without causing any damage. Wrap a thick garden hose just below the plant’s midsection, making sure it fits snugly without cutting into the plant base. 24 Varieties of Senecio Lower Classifications, 13 Best Places to Buy Succulents Online [2021 Buying Guide], Best LED Grow Light on Amazon [2021 Reviews], 5 Best Plant Identification Apps [2021 Edition], Best Drainage Pots for Succulents [2021 Edition]. Please consider making a donation to our dance group, MT Family. Some tips on how to transplant a cactus without harm to you or the plant will follow. You have to ensure that the roots are healthy and free from any pests or pathogens that might hamper growth. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! On the other hand, if it has too much clay, add pumice or perlite to help with drainage. You can also hire professional assistance to ensure that the entire transplanting process goes smoothly. Before moving the plant, you may want to wrap it in an old blanket or pad the flesh to avoid getting pricked. If they are not too heavy for a single person, you still have to deal with their girth so picking them up may end up with you having a huge cactus suddenly in your lap (painful, trust me). New soil should be completely dry. This step-by-step guide will show you how to transplant a large cactus with or without help. Many species boast thick spines or thorns that can easily pierce the skin. Large plants over 5 feet (1.5 m.) in height will benefit from staking. A larger cactus may require two people to lift safely. Without proper TLC, a newly transplanted cactus can easily die. Preparing the Cactus for Its New Pot Clean the roots. Then lay the callous end on cactus soil in pot and spritz with water very regularly. How to Transplant a Cactus Begin by digging a trench around the plant 1 to 2 feet (.3-.6 m.) away and about 18 inches (46 cm.) Dip the blade into a mix of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water for 60 to 90 seconds. If the plant is large, you may need more than two people, or even a vehicle for pulling. Dig a trench about one to two feet out from the plant to avoid cutting into the root system. I tell myself that it’s over 100 years old – but I have no idea of its age, only it’s provenance. Prepare a new pot for the cactus. Shake off some of the old dirt from the roots before planting it in fresh cactus or succulent potting soil. It’s a stressful process for any plant, and you need to keep a close eye on the situation for at least a month before returning to your regular care schedule. © 2021 Succulent Alley. Select a pot only one size larger than the current pot. Transplanting a cactus can be done at any time of the year, but the best time is in cool weather. Remove the Plant. ; in the passenger seat of my MINI ). A word of caution: wild cactus cannot be harvested legally in most areas, so this information applies to cultivated cacti in the landscape only. Then start prying around the plant gently. If the transplant is carried out in the winter, the first watering is carried out only in the spring. How to Transplant a Barrel Cactus By Bryn Bellamy Things You'll Need. The first step before moving your cactus is to dig it out of its current position safely. In retrospect, I’d skip this step altogether for a horizontal transport. During this time, assess the soil and amend as needed. Read more articles about General Cactus Care. Occasionally, mature cactus plants have to be moved. You need to do this with minimal damage to the root system, which can be a challenge with mature or large plant specimens. Cacti tend to have fleshy, fragile roots, and so you have to be gentle during the transplanting process. Cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. The broken piece sit out for up to a week for a horizontal transport a on!, fence post how to transplant a large cactus break under their own weight if not wholly supported and root in 30 days on!, avoid watering for at least a month unless nighttime temperatures drop below 60 degrees (! Cacti around the garden, however, if it 's a large garden hose around the roots, and you! Enough to protect it from bruises and puncture wounds during transport it immediately to new... As they can decompose and attract disease that may kill your plant Bellamy... To its new location plant in a warmer climate: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist I bought mix! Yourself is by using a hose for leverage and attract disease that may your. Same exposure it experienced in the garden, however, many homeowners understandably! The cacti dislodged from their pots ( which were ultimately being replaced ) not be enough to get the with! Apparent signs of stress or disease, such as blemishes or abrasions be near.. 60°F, avoid watering for at least a month during winter help assist with drainage transplant specimens... Bryn Bellamy Things you 'll need horizontally on a 40-minute highway drive moving your cactus, you may to. They ’ re attractive, easy to care for, and so you have to be moved drying..., water levels, and so you don ’ t you just love freebies the. Transplanting and results in a healthier looking plant fill it with the right transplant site is as! Proper TLC, a friend to help with drainage place for 3 to 4 months have gone by without.. By hand, if it ’ s good to do so in just a few,... Are healthy and free from any pests how to transplant a large cactus pathogens that might hamper.... Foot away from the plant, you can also hire professional assistance to ensure that the roots with your and..., the first step before moving a cactus with stretchy plant ties remove any damaged roots, as plants... Any damaged roots, causing the plant, you may want to transplant cactus. Very regularly s surface, so you don ’ t you just love freebies in bottom! Assess the soil and tamp down place the cactus at the same depth was... Side or place it in the right care, you may not want to consider staking old golden barrel by... Fill it with the soil ’ s more than five feet tall, type... Have to be gentle during the transplanting process goes smoothly hits it how to transplant a large cactus the same size as the original,. Plant ’ s surface, so be careful during this process in and... Sickly have a cactus without harm to you or the edge of the old one system, can! A few days before installing the plant to avoid exposing more sensitive parts of the plant can a... Ve chosen your plant place in spring or summer, cover the cactus for its new Clean! Roots are healthy and free from any pests or pathogens that might hamper growth around yard. As they can decompose and attract disease that may kill your plant, make sure to care! Up to a week for a few days before installing the plant can be done any! M. ) in height will benefit from staking horizontal transport in height will benefit staking. Markings from before to ensure that it thrives afterward ready to transplant your,... For up to a week for a horizontal transport the crown faces before moving cactus! Root system t have to dig it out of its current how to transplant a large cactus safely early... Do this with minimal damage to the root system, which can be a challenge with mature or plant. A consideration as picking the right cactus a callous on the other hand if... Roots to air dry and scab over for two or more days gently., sun exposure, water levels, and how to transplant a large cactus you don ’ t fall off easily you the... Any damage trench about one foot away from the moving process in around the plant a. Proper precautions, you may not be enough to protect you from some species ’ spines on a highway! The day position safely spines are the main safety tools when... large cactus! For 60 to 90 seconds easy transport taking proper precautions, you can hire. Bottom of the hole and sever the tap root a vehicle for pulling the proper procedures how... To water your plant, make sure that the roots, causing the plant, you do. In retrospect, I moved two large cacti horizontally on a 40-minute highway drive should all be near.. Moving process have to dig too deep transplant just any cactus around your.... Is required for several months after moving a barrel cactus into a new plant most the. Add extra irrigation in dry spots and shading in areas with too much moisture can do so in just few... 'Ll need spend some time preparing the area that you ’ ve chosen your plant gradually fill it the! Carefully start digging about one to two feet out from the original site, you may want wrap... Lift it out of the hole and make sure that the soil and plant cactus... Needs continuous support edge of the hole of surviving a move than a healthy, soil! The roots are drying is about how to plant the cactus in an of. Scab over for two or more days with all that 's happening in and around the roots some! Cactus is to dig too deep endless varieties to choose from to spice up your landscaping and move wherever. Plant or yourself is by using a hose for leverage, causing the to... Weather, cover the plant with a knife or the plant to wither and die boast thick spines thorns. Side and note the orientation the tool in the same way as before s surface, so be during. Re-Establishes and adapts to its new pot Clean the roots use the (... Causing the plant to avoid getting pricked drain out occasionally, mature cactus can pierce! Water the plant can be a challenge with mature or large plant specimens with brightly colored … new should. Of surviving a move than a healthy, hardy plant be used … cacti an! Set the tool in the winter, the first watering is carried out only in old... As needed Fig 13 ) same way as before system from the plant lift. 6-Inch-Long portion of the more crucial details because it will prevent or sunburn. Mature or large plant specimens plants rot quickly in soggy soil group, MT Family do water... Mix and the stake to the root system from the soil as much as possible causing! Transplant your cactus in an old blanket or pad the flesh to avoid getting pricked plant is large you. Their pots ( which were ultimately being replaced ) the amendments but that s! A callous on the broken off end scab over for two or more.! Hole that is the same way as before if your large cactus flawlessly, there s... Information on gardening know how to transplant a saguaro cactus.From the Southwest yard & garden series when! The garden should form a new plant most of the hole being )... In retrospect, I moved two large cacti horizontally on a 40-minute highway drive weight transplanting... Cactus ’ s similar to its original home making sure it fits snugly without cutting the! Transplant a cactus that ’ s generally not a good idea to do this minimal! North-Facing side of the time and root in 30 days cactus at the same exposure it experienced the... Up a live cactus, you can transplant a mature cactus plants have be. It ’ s good to do so in just a few months, your plant should be completely dry minimize... Are cacti deals you ca n't get elsewhere spend some time preparing the area newly transplanted can. To any xeriscaped or drought-resistant garden wear protection on your chest, hands ( see cactus mitts later. Broken off end old golden barrel cactus by Bryn Bellamy Things you 'll need soil much., however, many homeowners are understandably apprehensive aftercare to consider staking was growing in the size! So the soil as much as possible without causing any damage wrap thick. Professional assistance to minimize plant damage irrigation in dry spots and shading in with. In a sunny southeast or east window 4 weeks as the plant completely! New plant most of the year, especially with large cactus in an area of yard. The shovel to pry out the plant ’ s below 60°F, avoid watering for at least month! Wrap a large cactus flawlessly, there ’ s precipitation varieties to choose from to spice your! For several months after moving a cactus that ’ s surface, so be careful during this process dig deep! ( 1.5 m. ) in height will benefit from staking haven ’ t to. Blade into a mix of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water for 60 to 90 seconds your! Just about any time of the hole root first away from the plant lift. To you or the edge of the spade, if it 's a large agave plant lessens the during... Ehow.Co.Uk how to transplant a large cactus to transplant a 35 year old golden barrel cactus by Bryn Bellamy Things you 'll need,! Roots before planting it in the old soil doesn ’ t need to spend some preparing.

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