The Beginner’s Guide To Growing Cactus From Cuttings

One of the cheapest and most rewarding ways to grow a cactus is from a cutting. Plus, they make awesome gifts for people, especially if you’re on a tight budget. All you need is a little knowledge and you can have a beautiful plant at a fraction of the cost of a nursery variety.

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Getting cactus to grow isn’t as hard as some people anticipate and it’s quite therapeutic. Also, many varieties are almost indestructible. The best place to get cuttings is from relatives, friends, or even walking down the street. This is great if you aren’t sure what will grow in your area as an established plant is living proof it can be done.

Now, growing plants from cuttings can be an art, so it’s best to start simple – hearty cactus are great for beginners. Even if you don’t have green fingers follow these guidelines and you should be successful!

  1. The key to successful growth is in the selection of the cutting. Choose a small piece that is growing off one of the main stems, rather than trying to establish something bigger – a small piece will root and grow much faster. Ideally, choose a piece that is no longer that 10-15cm in length.
  2. Now that you’ve identified an ideal piece, gently pry the cutting away from the main stem. It will have a notch like attachment, so doing it gently with your hands is much better than using snips or scissors.
  3. When you have your precious cutting, place it in a clear glass with enough water to keep it wet and to promote roots. Cactus’ can’t be drowned – which is just as unusual as the fact that they can grow without much water. Choosing a clear glass will allow you to see the roots form and continue to grow.
  4. Place the glass on a window sill or somewhere well lit. Change the water regularly and remember to keep it wet. The cactus will begin to get roots and predominately grow downward, not upward, so don’t expect much height change.
  5. How long you leave the plant to produce roots depends on many variables like climate and light. Some people have cactus plants in vases around their home, as many varieties thrive in water alone. The root system gets very intricate and it can be quite a stunning display – a great alternative to a bunch of flowers because it lasts for years, not days or weeks.
  6. If you’d prefer to grow a larger specimen in soil, select an appropriate pot size and potting mix. Take a picture of the plant and ask your local nursery to advise you of the best pot and soil type. Growing a thriving plant is heavily dependent upon the soil. So, if you’re a beginner, spend a bit more on some decent soil rather than creating your own mix, or earth directly from the garden.

That’s it! Your cactus will need a little water initially after planting, but usually within 2-4 weeks the cactus will generally look after itself.

Tip: With cactus your biggest threat of killing your plant is giving it too much attention after it’s established. If they need water the leaves will droop, and if they are receiving too much water, the leaves may begin to shed.

Good luck and happy planting!

Image via ehow.com

Are you interesting?

We all know the golden rule of having a relationship. Don’t ditch your friends because you’ll need them when the honeymoon is over. But friends aren’t the only things that can fall by the wayside when we fall in love. Hobbies and interests, the things that define who we are, can also be sacrificed. Unfortunately, you probably won’t even notice they’re gone until you suddenly find yourself with too much time on your hands and nothing to occupy your mind but what’s happening on Charmed.So why did you stop doing the things that you used to get a kick out of? Maybe you had to drop your yoga classes to fit in around his cricket roster? Perhaps the lure of watching The Bachelor snuggled up on the sofa together was stronger than your desire to improve your backhand? It wasn’t as if you were going to be a professional tennis player, so there was no point in continuing, right? Wrong! Maintaining your own life whether you’re in or out of a relationship is very important. And here’s a tip. Watching him play football does not count as a hobby.

He fell in love with you

Why? Because you were interesting; because you had some mystery about you; because of your personality. The two of you were compatible back when you were your own woman. So there’s no benefit to ditching your own life to spend every waking moment with him. And switching your hobbies for his isn’t a good idea either. Quitting pottery for fly-fishing will only make you resentful in the end, unless of course you like gutting fish.

Open your mind

Back in your school days you might have studied German, woodwork, art and drama all in the one day. After school there was netball or swimming or flute lessons. Every week, both your body and mind had a full workout. In the real world, a typical work day provides you with far less variety. And if all of your personal time is spent just hanging out with your guy, there’s a whole lot of your body and mind that’s not receiving any stimulation. There’s a lot of potential bottled up inside you that’s going to waste. When you do have a variety of interests, you’ll feel much more balanced as a person. And when you’re happy, your relationship can only benefit.

Killing Time

When your beloved disappears for a few days with work or the boys, it’s not too hard to pass the time. Drinks with the girls on Friday night and Saturday afternoon on the sofa watching Grease are great ways to while away the day or even a weekend. But what happens if he disappears for a lot longer, say forever? Once you’ve memorised all the words to Hopelessly Devoted To You you’re going to have a lot of empty time on your hands. While you’ve given up your life, your friends have all got on with theirs. Having your own hobbies and interests at times like these can really help pull you through. If you can maintain a full life, it won’t collapse when he’s no longer in it.

By Louise Pattie

*Louise Pattie is a freelance writer who likes motivating others and enjoys a range

of unfashionable hobbies.