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Propagate Your Succulents and Cacti

Rada Botanical was started with the propagation of one crown of thorns cactus! The process is very simple and actually works for most succulents and cacti. Just follow the steps below and you'll have a clone of your favorite cactus in no time!


Step 1: Select a Portion to Propagate

If you are working with a cactus that has multiple stems or branches like the crown of thorns, you will want to cut the stem about 4 to 6 inches from the flowering end. With certain succulents, they start producing separate plants on their own. An example of this type of succulent is the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera will start producing "pups", and it is very common to see a large aloe vera plant surrounded by smaller pups. With these types of succulents, there's no cutting to take. Simply grab the base of one of the pups and gently pull until you feel it start to separate from the main plant. Once you have separated the pup from the main plant, you will have a mini aloe plant that is ready to be planted in a pot of its own!


Step 2: Let Cutting Callous

I don't always follow this step, but many people will let a cutting sit for 2 to 3 days, even up to a week. When the cut end of a cactus branch is left exposed to the air, the cutting will form a callous over the "wound". At first, I was afraid my cutting would die if I waited to long to plant it. I was shocked when I found out that certain cuttings can be left unplanted for weeks. Once, I was given a 3-week-old cutting. I went home and planted it, and sure enough, it took root and my little plant is now thriving. The amazing thing about propagating cacti and succulents is that they are extremely durable. You almost have to try to kill them. So if you have a cutting or a pup that you are wanting to plant, don't be afraid to let it sit, exposed to the air, for a couple of days. Chances are, it'll be good to go as soon as you're ready to plant it!


Step 3: Plant Your Cutting in Well-Draining Dirt

You will want to plant your succulents or cacti in well-draining dirt. I have planted some in more clay-like soil, and they have actually done fine; but to protect against root-rot, it is best to make sure the dirt you use doesn't retain too much water. Before planting your pup or cutting, it is a good idea to moisten the dirt so you don't have to worry about watering later. Once your cutting or pup is planted, water it every 5-6 days. If you live in a pretty dry area, it may also be good to wrap a plastic bag around the cutting to create a humid environment. If you already live in a humid area, then you have even less to worry about! Set your cutting outside, water it occasionally, and be patient as it takes root and grows into a whole new plant!


Author: Brandon Diaz

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