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