How to plant a rootless cactus

Rootless cacti are delicate

Do you have any rootless cacti or have you taken cuttings? Then you would like to know how you should plant and care for it from now on, right? So let me tell you that you have a very delicate and vulnerable plantSince it does not yet have a root system that provides it with water and nutrients, it will use the reserves it has accumulated in its stem.

For everything to go smoothly, it is extremely important to do things right. So that I'm going to explain how to plant a rootless cactus, and how to maintain it.

How do you plant cacti that don't have roots?

Before talking about it, it is important to find out why that cactus does not have roots. And it is that a cutting from a healthy cactus is not the same as a plant that has suffered excess water and has been pruned to try to save it. The steps to follow are a little different:

Steps to plant a healthy cutting

Cactus cuttings, such as those of the monkey's tail, taken in spring, or at the latest in early/mid summer, since they need heat to sprout. We must use a previously disinfected and clean knife, and gloves to protect our hands even if the plant in question is small.

After having cut it, we will have to follow these steps:

  1. We will leave it in a dry place protected from direct sunlight for a week; in this way, the wound will heal.
  2. After that time, we will take a pot with drainage holes that is wide and tall enough so that the cutting can be planted well.
  3. Then, we will fill it with a mixture of peat and perlite in equal parts, or with cactus substrate that you can buy here!up to more or less half.
  4. Finally, we will take the cutting, we will put it in the center of the pot, and we will finish filling it.

Now, we leave it in an area protected from direct sun, but where there is a lot of light, and we water it.

Steps to plant a cutting from a diseased cactus

Cacti do not tolerate excess water in their roots, therefore, when planted in pots without holes, and/or kept in very compacted soil, they soon soften or even rot if action is not taken in time.

In cases where plants have suffered a lot and are really in bad shape, often cutting to the chase is the only thing that can be done to save them. But, When do you know if you have to make cuttings? They will only be done if it is rotting and looks bad. This must be taken into account, because cacti can become soft when they are a little thirsty, but that does not mean they are sick. Another thing would be to see that it is dying, that is, that when touched it feels soft and that its body is losing its natural color.

Cacti are sensitive to overwatering
Related article:
How to recover a soft cactus?

How to proceed? The first thing is to take a sharp knife and wash it with soap and water; later we will use it to do exactly that: cut through the healthy part of the cactus. We will leave the rest, soft / rotten and bad looking, in the pot until we throw it away.

As soon as we have the cutting, we will follow these steps:

  1. The first thing is to apply multi-purpose fungicide spray to protect it (such as this of Flower for example), as far as possible, of fungi.
  2. Then you have to let the wound dry. Therefore, we will put it in a dry place protected from the sun and rain for 7 to 10 days.
  3. After that time, we will moisten the base of the cutting with powdered rooting hormones (you can buy here!).
  4. Finally, we will plant it in a pot large enough for the cutting to fit well, in a vertical position. We will use cactus soil or a mixture of peat and perlite in equal parts.

Then, we water it and leave it in an area where there is a lot of light but not direct sun.

How long do cactus cuttings take to root?

Rootless cacti are delicate plants

Much depends on the climate and the state of health of the rootless cactus itself, but if everything goes well and the temperatures remain high (between 18 and 35ºC), they usually do not take more than two weeks. Even so, and as we are going to see now, we must provide them with a series of special care to guarantee success and get them ahead.

And since they don't have roots, they are very, very delicate plants.

How are rootless cacti cared for?

If there is something that rootless cacti fear, it is excess moisture in the soil. Therefore, planting them in pots with drainage holes and light soil is vital. But all this will be useless if we do not take care of it correctly. So let's go how to make them emit their roots as soon as possible:

  • Irrigation: We will water only when the soil is dry. We will pour water until it comes out through the drainage holes, since it is necessary that it is completely moistened. We will NOT water from above, that is, we will not wet the cutting, since otherwise it would rot.
  • Humidity: has to be high. If you live on an island or near the coast, you don't have to do anything, but if you don't, you'll need to place containers of water around it.
  • Fungicide: if the cutting is from a sick cactus, we will continue to apply fungicide once a week.
  • Location: until you see that they grow, leave them where they are, protected from direct sun but in an area where there is plenty of natural light.
  • Transplant- You will be able to plant it in a larger pot when you see roots peeking out of the pot's drainage holes.

We hope it has been useful to you.

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