Cactus plants are quite common in the current climate. These plants are exceptionally popular with everyone right now as they are easy to maintain and can double as decorative plants.
Many people use these plants to create an aesthetic sense and refresh their spaces. If you’re looking to grow your cactus collection, one of the most important aspects that you need to take care of is propagating cactus pups.
Cactus are plants that you can take and propagate as soon as you want to. However, the propagation process takes a very long time, and you should take your time with it.
One of the steps for successful propagation is separating cactus pups.
Cactus pups are smaller versions of cactus plants. Thus, you must know where you’re keeping your cactus pups and how you want to plant them.
You will have to look after many things when you’re beginning the process of cactus pups growing.
In the article below, we’ll discuss the different ways that you can separate and plant your cactus pups.
There are many reasons for you to grow cactus pups, including using them to provide more greenery around you and even as gifts or a token of your appreciation.
What are Cactus Pups?
When it comes to Cactus pups, the name says it all. They are smaller versions of cactus plants that are formed by budding.
The process of budding is something that is representative of asexual reproduction. These pups are offsets of parent plants.
The way you root cactus plants is a way to propagate your plants in a vegetative manner. Cactus pups grow out of the parent cactus plants.
Thus, there is a way for you to remove them effectively before you can plant them in another place.
You may not think of cactus propagation when you get your cactus plant. However, propagation is how you keep your cactus plant growing.
You can make many cactus plants from a single plant when you know the propagation method.
Not only is propagating pups a great process to bring more cactus plants into your life, but it is also a great way to avoid overcrowding the cactus pot you have.
How to Plant Cactus Pups/ Offsets
Before you go digging around in your cactus plant, you must know the methods of planting cactus pups and offsets. Growing cactus pups and offsets is vegetative.
This method of propagating your cacti doesn’t involve you using seeds of any kind. The parenting plant will automatically create an offset on its own, which you would then remove and plant to form a whole another plant.
The cactus pup will generally arise to be a small mound that you can remove from the rest of your plant. You can then use the stack to grow a new cactus.
This is one of the easiest methods of propagating a cactus. Generally, it’s an easy process for you to distinguish the cactus pup from the cactus plant, and once you have planted it, it will just grow roots and become its own plant in no time.
In many cases, pups already have their own roots before they are planted. All cacti plants don’t produce pups, and you must look for pups properly before doing any of this.
If you’re considering cactus propagation, you may want to ensure that the species can produce cactus offsets. If your cactus can’t grow cactus plants, there are fewer chances of propagation helping matters.
Grafting Cactus Plants: How To
Grafts are small plants that you can use to create more cactus plants. You can create grafts for cactus plants in many ways. We have listed some of the ways to graft cactus plants below:
1. A Flat Graft
If the cactus you are grafting is a round or a globular cactus, you should meld them by placing one face in front of the other. This sort of graft is called a flat graft.
We can do so by taking two rounded or spherical cacti simultaneously. You can use a sharp and precise blade to cut the cacti so that your cactus can have a flat surface.
The faces need to be perfectly aligned so that they fit together seamlessly. A good example would be the grafts of the moon cactus.
When grafting, you must include the two surfaces completely. You can’t let them dry out, and you have to secure them with a powerful rubber band.
2. A-Side Graft
This form of graft involves the cuts at one angle. If your cactus is cylindrical, this is the best option for forming a graft.
You have to follow similar instructions for a side graft as you did for a flat graft. You also have to allow the faces to merge to have the best chance for growth.
3. The Cleft Graft
If you’re trying to graft a hanging cactus onto a powerful base, you will have to keep the stem of the grafted cactus well into the ground.
You can make a cut in the shape of a V or aperture in the bottom and construct a sister cut in the plant you have grafted.
You will then have to fit them as perfectly as you can. Then you will encourage the plant you have grafted to grow in a way that is more upright.
After doing all the above, you will find that your cactus grafts can be easy to manage. Grafting is an attractive way to promulgate cactus and other plants, and it can often be extremely challenging.
However, it’s very important for you to graft for certain plants if you think they’re having difficulty surviving on their immature roots.
Grafting can also be a way to make your cactus plants look more aesthetically pleasing.
Propagation of Pups: How To
Once you know that you have the perfect pups or offsets for propagation, you can use the steps below to convert pups into newer plants. The steps for the propagation are as follows:
1. Remove the Cactus Pups from the Plant
The first and foremost thing for you to do is cut the offset from the plant. You can use a sharp knife and clean it with alcohol or diluted bleach solution.
You need to find something that helps you sterilize your knife before making your incision. Using a disinfectant will help remove any pathological pests from the surface. It will help you have more clarity when you’re making the incisions too.
Once you’ve cleared up the stem, you can start by looking for a good pup, and once you have found a pup, you can then carefully make an incision at a 40-degree angle.
You must ensure that the cut you make is slanted, increasing the chances of successful propagation.
The diagonal height helps with the deflection of water. If water remains, you’re likely to have a plant that has some rot before a callus can stay.
Some experts believe that you should dust the callus with some rooting powder so that the cactus can grow easily.
Some people recommend that you dip the piece in some sulfur powder. The sulfur powder will help prevent rotting issues and any fungal infections that may arise.
However, you may not require sulfur powder if you allow the cactus shoot to heal properly. You have to let the cactus heal properly before your root it.
For the callus to arise, you may have to give the cactus a few months or weeks, based on the conditions of your home.
You may not know how to check if the callus is ready for transplanting. However, you can gauge if the offset is prepared to root when the end is hard, dry, and slightly faded up. It may also appear to be somewhat white.
Once you have picked your offset, you may want to check to see if you can remove the pup manually.
If the joint of the pup and the parent plant is weak, you may find it easier to remove the pup through manual manipulation. If there is a part of the parenting plant still attached to the pup, then you have to do the necessary and cut it off.
If you don’t do this, it will rot, and your pup may be affected in the long term.
2. Rooting the Pup
After isolating the pup, you have to move to root it. You have to conduct this step only if your pup lacks the necessary roots.
If you want to root the pup, you have to place it in dry soil along with gravel for up to a week. When rooting, you also have to monitor it closely and remove it from the earth as soon as it grows some roots.
You may also want to place the offset in a small pot. To this small pot, you may add some sand, ground charcoal, and some perlite so that it can grow roots.
If you want the pups to have small seeds, You may skip this step altogether.
3. Growing the Pup
Once you have pups that have developed some new roots, you can properly place them in a pot. The most important thing for you is to prepare a container and a potting mix for the pups.
You have to ensure the receptacle has ample drainage holes in it. The container must also have enough holes and have the correct size.
Cactus pups require a pot that is only a little bigger than the diameter of their base. You must ensure that the soil you use has enough space for growth. It needs to have proper drainage, and it must be gritty.
If you’re not sure about the type of soil you want to have, you can acquire some ground from your local nursery.
You can also make the soil all on your own, this soil will be half perlite or pumice, and the rest can be half compost or peat.
You should carefully place the pup in your soil, but try not to put it too deep into the ground. You should try your best not to cover a quarter of the stem.
Your pup’s branch should be stable enough to not fall over. You also have to keep the pup somewhere in the house where it can receive maximum sunlight.
You will also have to water your shoot regularly. However, you wouldn’t want to do this too much. Cactus grafts are similar to cactus plants because too much water can cause the roots to rot.
After transplanting, you have to wait for four days or up to a week before you water it. Saying to water means that you will reduce the odds of rotting and any fungal infections which may transpire as a result.
One more significant thing to mention is that there are some cactus plants that happen to fabricate tiny pups underneath their stems.
These pups are often very small because much of their sunlight is obstructed by the larger pads of the cactus.
If you want to transplant these pups, you’re on the right track. You will have to cut them out and then watch as they dry up for a pair of days.
You also need to dry them up before you plant them. After planting, you should consider leaving them in the shade for a while before shifting them to a well-lit spot to continue their growth.
What Sort of Soil is Best for Cactus Babies?
Cactus pups are kind of like Cactus babies, so what kind of soil is the best for these cacti. You will find that the most important factor in the ground for these cacti is drainage.
Cacti plants enjoy well-drained soil that will not hold water for a long time. If you are a newbie, we recommend that you opt for a potting mix or soil which has been produced commercially.
The manufacturers know what your cactus may need a lot better than you. Thus, it’s necessary to get all the help you can get when you’re a beginner.
If you have been working with the cactus plants for a while, you will find that you can design better soil than the rest.
However, if you want to have the best shot at success, then follow the tips below:
- You can moisten the potting mix thoroughly but try your best not to let it get too soggy. You must remember the fact that the more water there is, the more fungi will be present and the greater the chances of rot. Before you introduce pups to the soil, you must ensure that the earth is well-drained. You may also want to dip your root into a powder that has fungicide to prevent any fungal problems from occurring.
- If you want to stay away from the problem of moisture completely, then you may consider adding pumice to your pups so that they are dry and perfectly set up for growth. You may also want to transplant your pups to permanent containers so they can grow some more there.
- You should also keep your pups in a place in your home which is relatively warm. The site that you opt for should receive plenty of bright, meandering sunlight, and it should also have excellent air circulation at the same time. You should spray the offsets with a little bit of water but be sure to not go overboard with the watering.
- If you want to achieve better results, you can place the offsets just on the soil. You don’t have to bury the offsets deep into the ground. As long as they are stable in the position where you’ve kept them, they are likely to send out roots in search of soil.
What is the Best Weather Condition for Growing Pups?
The best time for you to grow your cactus pups is anytime in late spring until the end of summer. Cactus plants require an ample amount of sunshine and high temperatures.
Summer is the best time for you to take some time out and allow your cactus plants to grow as well as they can.
Cactus plants grow in arid conditions where they are getting a limited amount of water at all times.
Thus, if you’re growing cactus plants outdoors, summer is the time when this action is replicated outside.
When pups receive the best weather conditions, they will find the best way to grow in a limited amount of time.
If you live in a place where it’s always hot, you may find that you don’t have to wait for a specific time of the year to root your pups.
However, conversely, if you live in a place where it is always raining, then you will likely have to grow your cactus plant indoors.
You may also take a cactus plant and choose to grow on a day with heat and sunlight. Cactus plants cannot survive if you’re constantly showering them with water.
Thus, the best thing to do is grow them in areas with heat and light.
What are Some Important Rules for Growing Pups?
Some important rules for growing pups are as follows.
You should gain light from west, south, or east exposure. You should especially take care of young pups or plants which have been in the shade for a while.
If you accidentally expose them to the sun for too long, you will find that they can get sunburnt. If you have kept them in the shade for too long, you may want to switch their position so they may face the light.
If you notice that there is a degree of elongated growth, then you have to change the position of the plant so it can grow easily at a normal pace.
One of the most important factors to recall is that you can’t overwater your soil. Cactus plants, even when they are young, hate having water around.
One way to check this is to insert a pencil into the soil. Check the pencil every time you want to water it. When checking, if there is any soil that sticks to the pencil, you shouldn’t water the soil then.
We mentioned this before, but cacti prefer soil that is properly drained. The best soil is a mix of two parts compost, one part red soil and half part sand.
You can make soil all on your own, or you may just buy it from a soil distributing company.
Cactus plants do not need a lot of fertilizer. However, you may find it in yourself to apply some now and then. You can apply fertilizer in the form of a fertilizing gel, or you may use some organic leaves to grow it.
5. Pests and Disease
You have to ensure that you prevent pests and diseases from your plant. For pests, you can use physical barriers which will stop the pests from accruing.
Additionally, for disease, you just have to keep an eye out for any conditions that may exist.
How Often Should You Fertilize Offsets/Pups?
Cactus plants generally don’t need fertilizer to grow. So if you’re wondering about fertilizers, you can just fertilize your plant once every year.
If you want to ensure that they grow at a rapid rate, you can fertilize them two or three times a year. When you newly place pups in soil, you don’t want to fertilize them right away.
Growing Cactus From Seeds/ Pups (Which is Better)?
Growing a cactus from seed generally takes a lot of time. You have to be careful about its requirements when you’re unsure whether it will germinate.
Conversely, you will also find that some species of cactus plants can only be grown using seeds.
Growing cactus from pups is relatively easy and takes less time. You also have to take care of all the same considerations in a pup that you would have to when you’re using seeds.
However, it takes a significantly smaller amount of time, so if you think you have less time for growth, then you should consider growing the plant from pups.
In summary, the cactus pups are 2 species – Saguaro and Barrel. They grow inside a cactus, which is their skin.
For years, people thought cactus pups were one species. But now, most people know it’s two, and they’re happy to celebrate that.