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How to take cuttings from cacti and succulents

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is at its best in January

Plant is at its best in February

Plant is at its best in March

Plant is at its best in April

Plant is at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is at its best in October

Plant is at its best in November

Plant is at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Cacti and succulents are the perfect choice if you’re looking for indoor plants that almost look after themselves.

Most cacti and succulents can be easily propagated from stem or leaf cuttings, as explained below. For those cacti whose stems are formed of segments (e.g. prickly pears, Christmas cacti), always remove whole segments as cuttings – don’t split segments in half.

Succulents that form clumps, such as aloes, haworthias and agaves, should be divided by simply taking the plant out of its pot and splitting the rootball. Cacti that form numerous heads, such as many Mammillaria and Echinopsis can be divided, or cut off individual heads and use them as cuttings.

You will need

Cactus compost

Plastic pots

Snips or scissors

Tongs

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Total time:

Step 1

Choose a healthy piece of stem at least 10cm long and cut it off cleanly with snips. Use tongs when handling spiny cacti. For plants without stems, remove whole leaves by hand (don’t cut them off). Sit cuttings on a window sill and leave them until the cut surfaces have healed over.

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Step 2

Fill a 7cm or 9cm pot with cactus compost, then insert the base of each cutting to a depth of about 2cm, or deep enough that it stands upwards.

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Step 3

Water liberally, then place the pot on a warm windowsill, preferably not in direct sunlight. Do not place cactus or succulent cuttings in a propagator or cover them with a plastic bag.

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Step 4

Keep an eye on the cutting and water when the compost feels dry. Most cactus and succulent cuttings will root within a month, but it may take longer for new growth to appear.

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