Transplanting Cacti: Picking Up The Soil, A Pot, Examining The Roots. How To Plant A Cactus

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Transplanting Cacti: Picking Up The Soil, A Pot, Examining The Roots. How To Plant A Cactus
Transplanting Cacti: Picking Up The Soil, A Pot, Examining The Roots. How To Plant A Cactus
Video: Transplanting Cacti: Picking Up The Soil, A Pot, Examining The Roots. How To Plant A Cactus
Video: Cactus Transplanting - UK 2023, February
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Soil for cacti

First, once again about the soil for cacti. It should be loose, water and air permeable. One of the main loosening components of any substrates is sand. But we often omit the postscript, taking it for granted that the sand should be river sand, well washed, and sifted from dust. If this is not done, then the sand will add not loosening, but cementing properties to the entire soil. Take a look, there are two types of sand in the photo, one is taken in a sandbox near the house (it got there from a construction site), the second is river sand, washed and larger (sifted), they even differ in color. After wetting, the first sticks together in lumps, the second, on the contrary, does not keep its shape - it crumbles, and, naturally, only this is suitable for us.

sand for cactus
sand for cactus
zeolite granules
zeolite granules
soil for cacti
soil for cacti

Another component is zeolite granules made from cat litter ("Barsik-standard" or any other, only non-clumping filler). They are also added for loosening, but for this they are prepared: they are thoroughly washed and then sieved. A coarse fraction is added to the soil. The remaining components of the substrate, traditionally: garden soil or universal soil from the store and small expanded clay. The soil can be replaced with a coconut substrate, which has the main advantage - looseness, it does not stick together into a monolithic piece, allows the roots to breathe, and its acidity is close to neutral. When adding coconut substrate from briquettes, it should be borne in mind that it swells when it first gets wet, increasing in volume three times. In order not to be mistaken with the quantity, and after the first watering the cacti did not "come out"from a pot, it is better to wet the coconut substrate in advance and dry it again, and then mix it into the soil.

zeolite for cacti
zeolite for cacti

Suitable fillers made of ziolite (clay) for cacti.

Drainage in a pot

For cacti, drainage is essential, especially if you don't know how to choose the right pot size, if you are planting in a pot with small holes in the bottom, or if you are planting a composition of several cacti in one pot. Even drainage holes will not exclude stagnation of water in the roots, because excess water remains in the sump, from where it is not always possible to drain it. The dimensions of the drain are relative - at least 1/6 of the volume of the pot, maximum - 1/3.

As drainage, you can use expanded clay, small pieces of red broken bricks, fine gravel, as well as pieces of foam plastic, or a wine cork cut into small pieces. The cork is the easiest - it is easily cut into pieces of about 5 mm. But when transplanting, the old drainage must be thrown away - it accumulates salts. To drain well from the roots, thoroughly water the cactus before transplanting. But after you shake off the old soil, leave the succulent to lie in the shade with an open root system for two hours. It is also a good idea to add broken egg shells to the drainage for cacti.

Preparation for transplanting cacti

The best time for transplanting cacti is late March, April, early May, i.e. when plants are just starting to grow. But if necessary, you can transplant cacti throughout the growing season. When transplanting healthy cacti with a noticeably grown root system, the new pot should be slightly larger than the old one. The old pot should be free to fit into the new one. If rotten or dead roots are found during transplantation, they must be carefully removed with nail scissors. In this case, the pot is taken a little less than the old one, and more sand and pieces of charcoal are added to the soil. Slow growing cacti, which have grown little root system since the last transplant, can be planted in the same pot, just replace the soil with fresh one.

It is best to disinfect both the pots and the soil before replanting. Pots can be doused with boiling water, and the potting mix can be kept in the oven for about half an hour. Before transplanting, cacti are not watered for 2-3 days, because part of the moist earth will inevitably remain on the roots, and with injuries, cracks and breaks of roots, moisture quickly leads to decay. The soil mixture for planting should not be cold, dry, but may be slightly damp, but in no case, not soggy. Let me explain what a slightly moist soil means - this is exactly the moisture that the soil bought in the store when opening the package has. It is not dry into dust, but when clenched in a fist, it slightly lumps, but quickly disintegrates.

transplanting cacti
transplanting cacti

The stem of a cactus can be held with tweezers

transplanting cacti
transplanting cacti

If there are no tweezers, use a strip of paper

transplanting cacti
transplanting cacti

A healthy cactus has a root system so powerful that it is not so easy to remove it from the pot

How to plant a cactus

It is very convenient to use plastic tweezers to remove the cactus from the old pot without hurting your hands on the thorns. But there is another way - the plant is wrapped in a strip of paper folded in several layers, then the pot with the plant is turned over, and lightly tapping on the bottom, it is taken out. As the famous Zaletaeva I.A. wrote, a healthy cactus must have a very strong root system, and it is determined as follows: if a cactus is taken by the trunk and lifted, then it must either rise with the pot, or be removed from the pot with all the earthy clod, braided by roots. If the roots break, some of them will remain in the pot, and the rest will remain with the plant - this is a sign that your cactus did not feel well, was sick. Most likely, some conditions of detention were violated, possibly waterlogging,which led to poor growth of the root system, or its decay and partial death.

In the event that the cactus "stuck" to the ground and the pot, you need to squeeze the plastic pot with your hands from the sides, or separate the ground with a knife along the side of the pot.

If, on the contrary, the cactus easily fell out of the old pot, having found scraps of roots, it is necessary to remove all rotten areas, and sprinkle the cuts with crushed charcoal. If the root system has suffered significantly and many roots have been removed, then the new soil mixture should contain more sand, and the pot should be selected less than the previous one.

Transplanting cacti
Transplanting cacti

Correct planting of a cactus - a small pot, upper and lower drainage

Transplanting cacti
Transplanting cacti

Incorrect planting of a cactus - a small drainage at the bottom, burying the root collar in the ground

Transplanting cacti
Transplanting cacti

Rot of the stem from constant contact with wet soil

Drainage is poured into a new pot at the bottom, then a little of the substrate mixed in a bowl, and then the plant is planted, carefully spreading the roots and evenly pouring the earth between them. Tamping, pressing the earth strongly is unnecessary, you can only knock on the wall of the pot so that the earth falls asleep between the roots. It is important when transplanting a cactus that the stem (trunk, body) is not covered with earth, the soil is covered only up to the root collar. If the stem is in the ground, then when watering the cactus, its decay will begin, which will lead to the death of the plant, or upon contact with moist soil, corking begins on the stem of the cactus - the formation of a dry brown crust. Schematically, the correct transplant is shown in the figure above, which shows the pot in section (the size and ratio of the pot-cactus is almost life-size).We have already mentioned how to water cacti correctly, do not forget that the frequency of watering depends on the temperature.

Since the root collar is narrow, and the stem expands further, the plant will sit in the soil rather unstable. Therefore, you need to strengthen the cactus in the pot by overlaying it with pebbles or decorative stones (from an aquarium store). This is called top drainage. The stones should not be too small, as they create a too dense layer, and the soil breathes worse, dries more slowly. It is very difficult to hold long large cacti with pebbles, then they have to be tied to a support. A pot for large specimens of cacti cannot be taken too large, otherwise the earth will turn sour. And so that the pot is stable and does not overturn the thorny giant, a large stone is placed on the bottom of the pot among the usual drainage.

When transplanting, it is recommended to shake off the old soil from the roots of the cactus, doing this as carefully as possible. But if the roots are densely entwined with an earthen ball and formed, as it were, a root felt, then in no case should you pick out the old soil. Transfer to a new larger pot with fresh soil added. But for cacti bought in a store, it is advisable to shake off all the ground, since they are planted in clean peat, which is in no way suitable for growing cacti. From my own experience, I can say that in some cases it is easier to get rid of the store soil if it is dry (in large cacti), and sometimes you have to soak the root ball in warm (almost hot water), and then carefully remove the peat fibers from the roots.

After transplantation, healthy cacti are not watered for at least 3 days, if the plant had a lot of damaged roots, then it is not watered for 5-7 days. If, at the same time, the temperature in the room or outdoors is not lower than 20 ° C, then the cactus can be sprayed with a very fine spray, preventing the formation of drops and their flowing onto the ground. In addition, the newly transplanted cactus should not be placed in direct sun, it is usually shaded for 4-6 days.

Young cacti are transplanted, up to the age of three to five years annually, older plants are transplanted in a year. Epiphytic cacti are replanted annually after flowering. Also, after flowering, all cacti that bloom in early spring or late winter are transplanted.

Root bath for cactus

A special healing method (or root bath) for cacti with a damaged root system, used during transplantation. I once read about this method in an old book about cacti, applied it myself and had positive results (with the exception of epiphyllums and Decembrists). It so happens that the cactus is apparently healthy, but grows very poorly, and the roots when transplanted are poorly developed and weak. Then you can try the following procedure. The cactus, after being removed from the pot, is shaken off the old soil, you can even rinse the roots in warm water, but carefully so that there are no breaks. Then hot water is poured into a cup or glass, with a temperature of about 50-55 ° C. You will need a thermometer for this.

A dense matter is taken, which is fixed on a glass above the water. A hole is made in the middle and a cactus is placed there, while the roots up to the root collar should be in hot water, but neither the stem nor the root collar should touch the water. The cactus is kept in this hot water for up to 15 minutes. It is important that the water does not cool down, but remains at the same temperature all the time, you can wrap the glass with a woolen shawl, or add hot water, monitoring the temperature by a thermometer, but in no case cover the glass with the cactus. This procedure stimulates root formation in cacti. After that, the roots of the cactus must be dried for 12-24 hours, and then planted according to all the rules.

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