Step by Step Guides

How to propagate a cactus
Written by Sean Watson photographs by Philip Hawkins.
Adapted from Wildflower Magazine Spring 2009 VOL. 25, NO. 3.

Step 1

Find a sterile seed starting mix and cut it with 25% limestone sand to increase drainage. Fill your container two-thirds full with your mix and water in thoroughly.


Step 2

Use a flat tool to tamp down the surface so that it is smooth.


Step 3

Sow cactus seed evenly on the surface. Do not cover the seed (unless planting Opuntia spp). Sow during late spring and early summer for best results.


Step 4

Place tray in partial shade and protect from afternoon sun. Use a misting nozzle to water in the cactus seeds after they are sown.


Step 5

Keep soil moist by hand misting or with a misting system. After germination begins, feed once a week with fertilizer. Keep seedlings moist until winter.


Step 6

Keep mostly dry during winter. Do not fertilize during cold weather. In the spring, you can transplant your cactus seedlings into individual pots.

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