Cactus Care and Grafting – 11 Things You Should Know About

Cactus is one of the most unique kinds of plant. Its looks, colors, and varieties further add up to its uniqueness. There are more than 1000 types of cactus known to humans and there can be a lot more found in the unexplored corners of the earth. The meaning of the word cactus is literally ‘spiky plant’, derived from a Greek word. Nonetheless, cactus is an ideal plant for those who love to keep plants but are not good or too busy at taking care of them.

I personally admire the cactus plant the most. They may seem like spiky, thorny plants but once you see beyond that, cacti can be really beautiful ornamental plants. Moreover, they add a different aura to the place of decoration. 

After having researched a lot about cactus and its characteristics, I am all excited to share it with you. Although this topic is really vast, I hope the article answers all the popular questions related to cactus and you love reading it!

So, let’s start.

#1. How to kill a cactus/how to get rid of cactus?

A very weird question to begin with but an important one. If you really want to know how to kill a cactus or how to get rid of cactus, just water it too much. Cacti do not need much water and too much water can kill them. Cacti can also die if there is no proper drainage system

So, if you want to kill a cactus, put it in a pot with no drainage and then add ample water every day. The plant will die eventually. However, using low-quality soil with more water will equally help them die faster. I personally hope you wouldn’t kill your cactus!

#2. How to graft cactus?

The grafting of the cactus is basically done on top of another cactus. This is known as the rooftop grafting technique. The stronger cactus is used as a base and the top portion is slightly cut with the help of a sharp knife. 

However, to graft cactus effectively, be careful to cut it properly and make a place for a new cactus to be placed on the top. Once that is done, cut the base of the other cactus and place it on the bare part of the cactus. Take care of the plant and eventually, they will combine and grow as one.

#3. How to plant cactus in the ground?

If you want to plant a cactus in the ground, start with wearing thorn-proof gloves, as you do not want to get hurt. Then dig a hole in the ground that is bigger than the volume of the cactus. Also, the depth of the hole should be almost the same as that of the pot where the cactus was placed initially. 

Else dig a hole so deep that it has ample space for the roots to go inconveniently. Then, place the cactus exactly in the center of the pit. Then spread the soil, fill in the pit and make sure that the cactus is set firmly.

#4. How to remove cactus from the yard?

Learning to remove cactus from the yard can be a tedious task, especially if it is a nice grown one. But, let’s understand the easy way. Cut the visible and branching parts of the plant with an ax or chainsaw, if essential. Once the upper portion is taken care of, get out the roots as much as possible. 

Remember to wear thorn-proof gloves when doing any work with the cacti. The roots should be cleaned as much as possible because if any of them is left, the cactus can grow again in the minimum situations. Moreover, if you have a full-grown cactus, it might take some days before you completely clean it from your yard.

#5. How to repot a cactus without hurting yourself?

The best way to repot a cactus without hurting yourself is by wearing nitrile-coated gloves. You can wear two pairs if required. The thornier the cactus, the more precautions you will need to take. However, if you are repotting a small cactus you can even use multiple newspapers instead of gloves. 

Also, you can use tongs. But while handling the plant,  use silicone tongs and not metal ones as they may spoil the plant. Nonetheless, before repotting the cactus, be sure to keep the new pot all dug and ready. 

#6. How to get rid of cactus bugs?

As said earlier too, the cactus is a low maintenance plant, but it has chances of getting infested with bugs. 

So, how to get rid of cactus bugs? 

As cactus is a strong plant, as soon as you see a bug, remove it manually or use a strong jet stream of water to make it go away. You can also spray or wipe it with 75% alcohol sprays to drive the bugs away.

#7. How to grow cactus faster?

Cacti is a slow-growing plant. But there are ways to grow cactus faster. For that, you need to water the cactus in a pre-defined schedule. Make sure the water is in ample quantity; too little is fine but not too much. Also, place the cactus in ample sunlight. Cacti grow in the desert so sunlight is never ‘more’ for the cactus. 

It also requires it to be kept in cool places in winter. Apart from placement and water, you can use fertile cactus soil or composite to provide the necessary nutrition to make it grow faster.

#8. Why is my cactus falling over?

Well, if you are wondering why is my cactus falling over?  Then there can be multiple reasons for it. Falling over is not a good sign of cactus. It means that the cactus is stressed or getting too much or too little water. Basically falling over of cactus means that the cactus is unhealthy. 

You need to take proper care of it. Check if the roots are planted properly and also if the plant is receiving ample sunlight and water. Check your cactus for infestations or weak roots. A falling cactus can be healthy again if taken good care of.

#9. How long can a cactus live without water?

Well, a typical answer is up to 2 years. A cactus has the best life among plants to live without water. But how long can a cactus live without water if planted indoors or in the garden for ornamental purposes? 

Well, it completely depends on the species of the plant. 

But if you are looking for a generalized answer then a typical cactus may last up to a week or two that is 10 to 14 days without water. The best method is to check the soil and texture of the plant to know if it needs water or not.

#10. How to transplant a large cactus?

In order to transplant a large cactus, first, keep an area ready to plant the cactus i.e. keep the hole of the exact dimension ready for the plant to be planted. Then dig carefully around the cactus that needs to be transplanted. Now to transplant a large cactus, you need to be very careful while digging the roots. 

You need to uproot the plant with as many roots as possible. For this, you can use a pointed shovel to dig around. Once you uproot the cactus, carefully place the cactus in the new place. The roots should have ample space. Once all this is done, then firmly settle the soil around the cactus.

#11. How to separate cactus babies?

Cactus babies are small cacti that grow on the main plant. You may want to cut them off. So here’s an easy way on how to separate cactus babies. 

Bleach a knife with a bleaching solution or alcohol. Then carefully cut down the baby cactus at a 45-degree angle. The bleaching agent will help the cacti to close the cut portion effectively and it will not rot. You can also replant the cactus babies and let them grow into individual plants. 

Baby cactus are seldom harmful to the parent plant, but if your cactus is used for decorative purposes, you might do this to make it look beautiful.

To conclude,

Growing up a cactus is an easy thing and it requires the least care. But it does require attention. Moreover, if you love cactuses you will be surprised by the types that they offer. Every cactus has its unique feature and shape. Nonetheless, a cactus seldom dies, and it may be harder for you to believe it, but cactuses are trending to be the best gifts these days. 

I love this plant. Moreover, it’s always fun answering the inquisitive and exciting questions about cactuses, as these are important points to keep in mind when you plan on keeping a cactus. I believe a cactus garden is one of the most beautiful gardens you can grow in the world. 

Hope you loved my article. Do let me know your views and feedback about the same, and in case you need more information on any variety of cactus, I am always here to answer your doubts.

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