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