Cactus propogation via cuttings, offsets and division

The method of cutting described below is relatively simple and can be done at home. It is not only useful for propogation but also in case of rotting in the roots and/or the stem. This is often the only technique to try and save the plant. It is also usefulwhen you want to give more vitality to a plant that has lost the leaves at it's base.

The technique consists in making a fragment, separated of the original or mother plant, take root. Any new plant obtained by this mode will have the same botanical characters that the plant of origin.

Proceed as follows: with a sharp knife and very clean cut the part or fragment that you want to propogate. Then place the cuttings in the shade in a dry environment. Leave it until the latex that it emits is practically solidified and forms a kind of thin film over the wound. It is advisable to sprinkle or paint the wound with a fungicide or using cinnamon powder like you have at home.

Let the wound heal for at least 10 days, leaving the cuttings in a well-dry place and upright. The cutting should not be planted until this healing has occurred, even if the top has begun to already be slightly withered. Otherwise, the tissues, put into contact with the soil too soon, without any protection, will rot quickly. Therefore, after one or two weeks plant the cutting in slightly wet sand until the roots appear. Be careful not to bury it too much into the ground when planting.

When the roots are at least 1 cm long, the cutting can be transplanted into a small pot.

During the first days, care should be taken to keep the soil slightly moist in order to favor the development of the roots. Only after one or two weeks will it be possible to irrigate more abundantly.

When removing the cuttings from the sand, be very careful not to hurt the new roots (they are very fragile) as this would cause the rotting of the cutting itself.

To avoid this, the cutting's roots can be started without having to bury it. This can be done by suspending it in its natural, vertical, position. If the section of the cutting is wide, it can be placed on the edge of a small, empty and perfectly clean pot so that it does not touch the bottom. In this way, the emergence and development of roots can be controlled more easily.

In summary: cut a leaf of the plant you want to propogate. Proceed as indicated above, first letting it heal, then plant it in slightly humid sand, without burying it too much. After a few weeks you will notice the first roots, and then the appearance of a sprouting that will develop into a new plant.

Another method of reproduction is provided by some plants such as aloe, gasteria and stapelia. These plants gradually develop shoots that emit roots even before being separated from the mother plant. It is possible to remove them, cutting them carefully, and let them dry for a few days, before planting them in the standard soil compound.