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Removing Offsets From Cactus: How To Remove Cactus Pups On Plant

Removing Offsets From Cactus: How To Remove Cactus Pups On Plant


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

One of the easiest methods of plant propagation for cacti is by removing cactus pups. These don’t have furry ears and a tail but are the smaller versions of the parent plant at the base. Many species of cactus are known for growing cactus pups, which carry the identical characteristics of the parent without the capriciousness of seeds, which may produce plants with different characteristics.

Removing offsets from cactus, also known as pups, not only produces another complete plant but is useful in containers that are overcrowded. Cactus propagation via offsets is easier than the slow growth of seed, the surgical precision of grafting and the variability of cuttings. The little cacti are small but complete copies of the parent species and simply need to be removed from the adult.

Types of Cacti That Grow Offsets

Not all cacti are capable of growing cactus pups, but many of the barrel and rosette types do. You can also find offsets on succulents such as aloe and yucca. In nature, big barrel cacti will form offsets and provide a nursery for them in the form of shared nutrients and water and by shading the young plant from harsh sun.

Most offsets form at the base of the plant but some also form along the stem or even on the pads. You can remove any of these and root it for a whole new plant. Cactus propagation via offsets is easy as long as you take clean cuts, provide the right medium and allow the offset to callus. Any healthy mature cactus with offsets is suitable for removing cactus pups for propagation.

How to Remove Cactus Pups on Plants

The first step is to learn how to remove cactus pups on a plant. Get a very sharp knife and wipe the blade with some alcohol or a 10 percent bleach solution. This will prevent pathogens from entering the cut areas.

Locate a pup and cut it away at a 45 degree angle. A slanted cut on the parent will deflect water so the area doesn’t rot before it can callus. Some propagators like to dust the cut end of the offset with sulfur powder to prevent fungal issues and rot. This is not necessary in most cases as long as you allow the cut end to callus fully. This may take a couple of weeks or even months. The end should be dry and hardened, slightly shriveled and whitish.

Growing Cactus Pups

After removing offsets from cactus and allowing them to callus, it is time to pot them up. The correct medium is well draining and gritty. You can purchase a cactus mixture or make your own with 50 percent pumice or perlite and 50 percent peat or compost.

Cuttings only need a pot just a little larger than their diameter at the base. Cover one-third to one-half of the base with the medium or enough so the offset doesn’t fall over. Place the pup in indirect, but bright, sunlight and keep the medium lightly moist.

Most cacti root in four to six weeks but some can take months. You can tell when it has rooted by noting any new green growth which indicates the roots have taken off and the plantlet is receiving nutrients and water.

This article was last updated on

Read more about General Cactus Care


How to Root Cactus

Last Updated: August 25, 2020 References

This article was co-authored by Chai Saechao. Chai Saechao is the Founder and Owner of Plant Therapy, an indoor-plant store founded in 2018 based in San Francisco, California. As a self-described plant doctor, he believes in the therapeutic power of plants, hoping to keep sharing his love of plants with anyone willing to listen and learn.

There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 3,507 times.

If you’re looking for a hardy, low-maintenance plant to keep around your home, then a cactus might be a great option. [1] X Expert Source

Chai Saechao
Plant Specialist Expert Interview. 20 February 2019. These plants can be easily grown from cuttings, and you can care for them with some basic gardening supplies. With enough TLC and patience, you might be able to root your own cactus!

u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

Taking Cuttings from Different Cacti

Cut barrel cacti at ground level with a sharp knife. [5] X Trustworthy Source University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension program of the University of California system devoted to educating and improving local communities Go to source

Slice through padded cacti at the joint between each pad. [6] X Research source

Cut columnar cacti at a 45-degree angle, leaving part of the parent plant intact.


Growing Cactus from Pups?

Questions

Ask a Question Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Question: Growing Cactus from Pups?

I am new to this website. I have learning difficulties too, so please be patient with me.

I bought a few cactus online recently. I was told that I wouldn't be able to grow any more from the babies (pups) as they are single stem cactus. I was told by the suppliers themselves.

I'm wondering if I'd be able to grow the cactus from its babies (pups) that's growing from the mum?

Any information will be great. Please bear in mind I've got a learning disability to where big or fancy word's are hard for me to understand and words that most are used to tell thing's are hard to follow.

I thank you now for any information that is said to me.

I'm hoping that I've put a photo of the cactus and pups in if it helps.

Answers

Is yours called a Moon Cactus--or at least that is how I know them?

If so, these can be grown from pups, but it can be challenging. They probably told you no, because they wanted to sell more.

You can carefully cut them off and put them in sand or cactus mix soil and start watering when they get roots. They take a very long time to root--can take up to 6 months!

I guess I am going to be the one "out" here and say - no - you cannot grow the Moon cactus pups on their own.

  • The reason you were told that you could not propagate the pups is because they can only be grafted onto another cactus such as the one you bought.
  • I can hear everyone screaming that I do not know what I am talking about but I do this type grafting a lot and would dearly LOVE to be able to grow one of these little red pups in cactus soil.

Sometimes people read some of the information on websites and do not always fully grasp what the writer is saying and it may seem like they are saying this or that can be done but maybe we missed a single word that changes the complete picture.

You can. You have to remove the babies and let them harden off. Then you have to plant in well drained soil. Instructions are here www.gardeningknowhow.com/ . / removing-cactus-pups.htm

Thank you for getting back quickly.

Thank you for the link. This is the first time I've taken pups from any cactus so very new to this.


Removing the Succulent Offsets

Related Articles

Succulents are available in many different sizes, colors and shapes. These easy-to-grow plants tolerate drought conditions by storing moisture in their stems and leaves. One of the easiest ways to propagate succulents is through removing the offsets, or pups, which are produced by underground stems near the surface. The offsets are clones of the mother plant and develop into new plants. The best time to remove the offsets is in the late spring or early summer.

Water the soil the day before by pouring water in the top of the container until it runs out the bottom. This softens the soil and makes it easier to remove the offsets from the parent plant.

Wash a sharp knife in soapy water. Dip the knife in a 10-percent bleach mixture. Rinse the knife off with clear water and let dry.

Put on a pair of thick gloves to protect your hands and fingers if dealing with spiny succulents. Brush the soil away from around the offset, and look for root development. Offset transplanting is most successful with offsets that have their own root systems.

Cut the stem connecting the mother plant and the offset with a sharp knife. Pull the offset away from the mother plant, and gently work it out of the soil with its roots intact.

Place the offsets on a paper towel-lined tray and set them in a warm area in the shade. Let the offsets dry out for a couple of days to form a callus over the cut stem. The callus forms a barrier, which protects the young plant from invading plant diseases. Once the callus is formed, the offset is ready for planting.


Comments

Samae on July 08, 2020:

I have a lobivia. A baby cactus with roots was removed from the mother plant. Can i proceed to repotting already?

Michele on September 08, 2017:

I have a cactus but dont know the name of it , also it has plenty of babies growing around it , will it be ok to re plant them .

Betty on August 23, 2017:

I have a tiny baby opuntia cactus. its a size of a lint ball Lol how long dose it take to get bigger? I had it since August 4th. and theres no change


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