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How To Grow A New Cactus From Babies Or Offsets

My dad has had the most awesome pincushion cactus growing in the middle of his lawn for years. Every year it produces brilliant pink flowers that only last for a day or 2, so you have to be careful or you will miss the flowers.

This year was a particularly vigorous one for his cactus. It produced numerous babies and I decided to take a couple and start a cactus of my own. 

Here's what I did:

For this project you will need: 
- a sterile knife
- a small pot with good drainage
- a few small stones for the bottom of your pot
- cactus potting soil
- rooting hormone*

*Rooting hormone: Using rooting hormone is not 100% necessary for success with this project, but I highly recommend it. It will exponentially increase the likelihood that your rooting experiments are successful. It is widely available at garden centers and even hardware stores. It will pay for itself after the first use and one bottle will last for years. I use it numerous times every month. If you can't find rooting hormone to purchase locally, you can buy it on Amazon by clicking HERE (Amazon Affiliate Link).

Here's what to do:

1. Select the babies that you want. It's best to choose a couple babies that are small and on the very edge of the cluster. I chose 2 loosely attached babies. Using a sterile, sharp knife I then sliced through the root that attached the baby to the mother. Make sure you have some of the root attached on your baby.

2. This next step is quite important. Take your babies and place them on a dry surface out of direct sunlight for 24 hours. This will allow the root to dry out and prevent rotting when you go to plant it.

3. While you wait for the 24 hours to pass, you can prepare your pot. Cover the bottom of your pot with stones for drainage and then fill your pot with cactus soil. I just used some soil from outside where the cactus was growing. Our soil is very sandy here. If you don't have sandy soil in your area, then I would strongly suggest using cactus soil from the nursery.

3. After the 24 hours have passed, it is time to plant. Dip the roots of your cacti in rooting hormone and let the excess drip off.

4. Gently wiggle each cactus down into the soil. 

5. After another 24 hours, give your cactus a good drink of distilled or rain water. 

6. Enjoy your new cactus!

Do you enjoy propagating plants? Or will this be your first attempt? Let me know in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you. 

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