Repotting potting on cactus Espostoa melanostele

How to repot cacti

Prickly cacti can be tricky to repot. Follow our step-by-step guide to repotting them with ease.

Cacti make the perfect, low-maintenance house plants and are perfect for a sunny windowsill. However they need repotting every few years, especially if they’re growing happily, or if they’ve become lop-sided and need straightening up. That said, their prickly nature can make this a tricky job, so you need to take care.

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You Will Need

  • Free-draining compost or cactus compost
  • Small plastic and terracotta pots
  • Horticultural grit
  • Newspaper

Step 1

Repotting cactus Espostoa melanostele
Repotting cactus Espostoa melanostele

Fold up a piece of newspaper into a thick strip and wrap it around the barrel of the cactus, gripping the two ends together so they can be used to hold the plant steady.

Step 2

Repotting potting on cactus Espostoa melanostele
Repotting cactus Espostoa melanostele

Tap the cactus out of its pot and gently scrape away most of the old compost from around the rootball, but try not to disturb the roots too much.

Step 3

Repotting potting on cactus Espostoa melanostele
Filling compost around repotted cactus

Repot the plant in cactus compost, which is a gritty loam-based compost that won’t shrink when it dries out. Make sure the plant is central in the new pot and standing vertically.

Step 4

Repotting potting on cactus Espostoa melanostele
Topping off repotted cactus with grit

Top-dress the surface of the compost with sharp grit to set off the plant and prevent it from being splashed with compost when you water it.

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