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Cactus Cuttings

Multiplying your cacti vegetatively.

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Cactus Cuttings

Postby neonj » Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:29 pm

1) After you make a cutting, should you dip the cutting in root hormone right away or should wait till the scab heals and dip it before planting?

2) How deep can you safely plant a cutting in the dirt without fear of the bottom rotting out

3) When making a cutting on a prickly pear type cactus, is it best just to cut off one of the pear type sections and does this need to heal as long as a columnar cactus? My neighbor says he just pulls off one of the pear type sections or leaves or whatever there called and right away sticks it in the dirt. I would prefer to do it the way with the best results.

Thanks for all the answers on my last question and I'm sure I'll have many more.

Thanks,
Jeffrey Gibson
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Postby daiv » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:52 pm

Good questions.

1. I've never used rooting hormone, but I'm fairly certain that wating for the cut to heal is the best option.

2. The rule I use on depth is plant your cuttings just deep enough to keep the cutting from falling over -whatever that may be.

3. Well many Opuntia are very tough and can handle lots of abuse -so your neighbor is experiencing success based on the Opuntia's own hardiness. There is no harm in letting it heal first. You can take just about any amount of a pad you want and get it to root. I think you will get better results with one full pad (cladode is the proper term). Larger cuttings have more plant to support without roots for a while and makes good results harder to get. I follow this with Epiphytic cacti too.
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Postby ihc6480 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:49 am

I'll go along with Daiv's answer.
I usually let the cuts heal about a week then place enough of the pad in the soil so it will stand upright. You actually don't have to stick them in soil for them to root though. Heres part of a opuntia plant that was lying in my garden on rocks. You can see where roots were growing in there attempt to reach soil.
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Postby templegatejohn » Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:21 am

Hi Jeffrey, It is not often that I disagree with Daiv, but on this occasion I will (sorry Daiv). If you use hormone rooting powder, which is totally unnecessary by the way, but will do no harm, you should dip the cutting in it as soon as you have made the cutting, before the wound has a chance to heal over.

A far better product to use, particularly if the wound is quite large is green sulphur. Dipping the cutting in the sulphur will stop any fungus developing on the cut surface.

John
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Postby daiv » Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:19 pm

No apologies necessary John! I haven't the expereince with it and needed to learn something today anyway! :D I will commit that to memory!
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Postby GeneS » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:50 pm

Daiv,

If you are using Rootone F, which is the most common compound available around here, the only good you are likely getting is the "F" portion (fugicide). Goes well with what TGJ says??

Just let them dry well or plant directly into dry media, like pure pumice. Wait until you see/feel root before watering.

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Postby daiv » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:48 pm

Nope, I've never used any of it. I don't seem to have much trouble rooting cuttings. I just keep them out of the direct sunlight.
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