my DIY high
There's nothing quite like stepping back and saying, "Yes, I made that."
My attempt to propagate prickly pear cactus pads
I acquired these cacti cuttings while on a trip to Austin, Texas a few weekends ago. If you follow my instastories you know how much fun we had! If not, here’s a recap:
Anyway, back to why we're here-propagating cactus pads! (Cacti pads? grammar is not my thing). While on my trip I did a lot of research on how to do this. Everything I read made it seem pretty simple. Here's what I did:
1. Acquire a cutting:
I was able to find a couple of healthy looking, wild prickly pear cacti. I used a knife to cut the pads off at the natural seam of the plant.
I let the "wounds" heal for about a week.
2. Gather materials:
3. Fill pots with potting mix and a handful of perlite for drainage:
I used just a handful of perlite. I blended mine well in the bottom of the pot, then filled another layer of just potting mix on top. Again, my potting mix is fast draining and specific for cacti.
4. Plant cactus pads:
BE CAREFUL! My gloves clearly were not the best. I read that you can plant your cacti vertically, or lay it horizontally over the soil. Roots will grow from the cacti's thorns. I chose to do both. For the ones I planted vertically, I dug a hole about 1 inch deep into the soil, then carefully placed my cacti "root" (or dried wound) in the hole and filled with surrounding soil. I made sure the plant was secure before moving. They toppled easily--found out the hard way.
I planted my larger cactus pads vertically, and my smaller-less straight pads horizontally. I'll be sure to update this post with their progress!
5. Water and grow:
As you can assume...Cacti need a lot of sunlight. I have mine in a windowsill facing the west side of my house. We'll see how they turn out.
When watering-soak the soil of your new plant all the way through. Try not to let water stand directly on top of your cactus pads--particularly the horizontal ones. Supposedly you can let the soil stay moist for a week to encourage roots to grow more quickly. Once you have a good root system going, don't water it as much! I check mine every week to see how dry the soil feels and water accordingly. Cacti will rot with too much water, so it's better to underwater than over-water.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Hi, I'm Rachel.
I pick up other people's garbage and take it home.
Whatcha lookin for?