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