On how to properly plant a newly acquired cactus or transplant a succulent into a new pot, all cacti growers have their own opinion, and anyone is sure that it is the only correct one. Of course, each collector is based on personal experience, but in carrying out these most important agricultural practices one should follow the generally accepted basic rules.
With competent planting cacti any mediocre plant will look noticeably better, and with an illiterate, even the most beautiful and well-grown collection item can look ridiculous and sloppy.
How to properly transplant cactus at home and this article is dedicated.
When is it best to replant cacti at home
There are two opposing points of view as to when it is best to replant cacti. Some amateurs believe that the best time is the period of active vegetation of plants, i.e. the height of spring and the beginning of summer.
The best time for a cacti transplant is the winter dormancy period from November to March.
Supporters of spring-summer transplants believe that during this period cacti are the most viable and adaptive - the root system develops quickly, the plant actively photosynthesizes and grows.
Therefore, while observing some caution during the subsequent watering (due to possible damage to the roots when replacing the substrate and the pot), the procedure should be completely painless.
And although, in general, life experience does not strongly contradict these theses, some lovers when asked about when to replant cacti at home, still answer with certainty that this needs to be done in the autumn-winter period.
It is worthwhile to dwell briefly on the advantages of transplanting a cactus from a pot to a pot in the fall or in the winter.
- First: cacti are in a state of deep physiological dormancy, so the inevitable loss of a part of the root system does not affect the condition of the plants either at the time of transplantation or later. All processes are slowed down as much as possible, therefore even the entry of infectious agents into possible wounds on the roots will not lead to their immediate spread through the tissues of a wintering plant.
- The second: before a cactus is transplanted into another pot, an amateur should not calculate anything, because he is in no way limited in terms of planting, starting from the moment of shaking the plant out of the old container and before moving it to a new one. If it turns out that some component of the soil mix has ended, the owner of the collection can calmly postpone the planting for a time sufficient for the purchase or preparation of the necessary. Time to new planting cactus in a pot can be calculated in a few days or even weeks without appreciable harm to the transplanted plant. The only thing that should have been done before transplanting a cactus during a delayed procedure is to fix the succulent in an upright position in order to avoid root caking, especially if water or fungicide solutions were used to wash them. To do this, simply put the plant on a small pot vertically with its roots down (straighten the roots after washing with a wooden toothpick).
- The thirdin the case of autumn-winter transplantation of cacti at home there is no need to resort to complex calculations - when planted, when you can water for the first time.
- Fourth, there is an opportunity to actively work with the root system. Remove particularly long roots, make deep pruning for stronger subsequent branching. If necessary, you can wash the entire root system and the root neck to trim and treat all problem areas with necessary preparations.
These photos show how to transfer the cactus to another pot:
In the case of autumn-winter transplantation of indoor cacti, you identify and treat sick and “problem” plants long before the onset of spring. Therefore, by the beginning of the growing season, cacti have time to fully heal the wounds and form waiting roots, so that after the first watering they can actively grow.
In case of late transplantation of such plants, you can lose at least a third of the warm season of the year!
Here you can watch a video of how to plant a cactus at home:
In autumn and winter, the root system of plants does not suffer from overheating at all. Therefore, in cold weather it is simpler to transplant cacti in domestic efforts, since during this period no problems and external factors affecting the potential development or inhibition of the root system appear.
And in early summer, such a problem may become relevant in some regions, and certain efforts will have to be made (individual shading or a separate cool parking) so that the adaptation period of the transplanted plant will pass smoothly.
In the next section of the article you will find out which pot is best to plant a cactus.
How to transplant a cactus at home: what kind of pot is needed for planting (with video)
Choosing a pot in which you can transplant a cactus, for all the seeming triviality of the task, is a matter of exceptional importance. And the reasons for this, at least two. First, you choose a container for placing the root - an extremely important organ of the plant, through which the cactus absorbs water with dissolved mineral compounds and transports them to the stem.
Also here, excess amounts of water are often stored and chemical compounds important for the life of the plant are synthesized. The second compelling reason is the need to improve the root system not for 1-2 of the day, but for several years!
Based on this, it is necessary to provide not only the correspondence of the pot to the current state of the root system, but also a certain dynamics of its development during the time allotted to the next transplant.
The key parameters, how to choose a pot to plant a cactus, are the upper diameter (cross section), height and, as a consequence of the first two, useful internal volume.
The color of plastic, the ability to transmit sunlight (for white and translucent), the presence of a retractable bottom and slightly conical shape are sometimes less significant, but also noteworthy.
See photos, how to choose the right pot to plant a cactus:
Key parameters are extremely important in order to assess whether the current state of the root system corresponds to the selected pot. The size of the pot should not significantly exceed the root system at the time of transplantation.
Nevertheless, the solution usually represents a kind of compromise given the fact that very soon the developing root system can significantly and relatively quickly master a new volume.
Before transplanting a cactus with a rudimentary root system into a new pot, keep in mind that such plants are likely to have problems with the development of a large volume, in which, after watering with insufficient drainage of the substrate, excessive moisture will long remain.
At the same time, it is impossible to choose a small pot for a cactus with a weak root system, but with a large and heavy stem. Such a plant in a small pot can overturn elementary.
For species with a powerful turnip and radish root, you need high narrow pots with significant potential for linear growth of the root, and you do not need a large amount of soil that can bind and retain significant amounts of water for a long time.
The color of the pots in some cases can also be an important parameter. Planting plants in black pots can be considered unsuccessful due to possible overheating of the root system, if direct sunlight falls on them.
However, this problem disappears if you put the pots tightly in the pallets. Slightly conical containers (round or square in the upper section) are unambiguously more convenient for transplanting, as well as pots with a sliding bottom.
With a rare transplant or strong root development, shaking out cacti from such pots is always accompanied by less injury to the roots than with cubic or cylindrical pots.
How to transplant a cactus into another pot is shown in this video:
In what other pot can you plant a cactus: plastic containers for transplanting
The era of ceramic pots, one way or another, comes to an end, and they are replaced by plastic - cheaper, practical to use and convenient in size and shape.
Penetration of light through the walls of the pot can lead to the growth of algae on the inner surface of the plastic. However, in some cases, the negative effect of this is not obvious.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, when testing a new soil composition, transparent plastic (disposable) cups can be used to observe the behavior of the substrate after watering and the development of the root system of experimental plants in it.
A certain convenience of plastic pots with thin walls is their ability to easily deform (stretch). Such deformation-swelling, on the one hand, partly prevents strong caking of the soil and the growing root system due to the increase in pressure inside the pot, and on the other hand, it indicates that it is time to replant the cactus.
On these photos - the best pots for transplanting cacti:
Of course, the pot itself is not always the determining factor. As a rule, it "works" in conjunction with the substrate. Both the structure and the water retaining features of the latter can partly compensate for possible errors or irrational choice of the pot.
So, to reduce the absorption capacity of a pot with a substrate (large volume), we can well reduce the absorption capacity of the substrate itself by including large elements that are inert to water absorption - for example, coarse gravel or balls of packaging foam.
The correctness of the choice of the pot and the accompanying cactus planting substrate at home, you can always evaluate with a planned or emergency cactus transplant and in case of an unsuccessful result, correct the errors.
With the normal growth of the cactus and its root system through 2-4, it is usually necessary to transplant the plant into the pot of the next size class.
Next, you will find out what land is best to replant cacti.
How to plant a cactus at home: the right substrate
There are two basic views on how to prepare the substrate to plant a cactus. Amateurs and beginners usually believe that there is a certain “magic” composition of the mixture, known to professionals and people with experience, which allows you to successfully grow beautiful and harmoniously developed plants.
They are ready to experiment endlessly, listen to advice and often almost every year transfer their small collection from one substrate to another.
Professionals and amateurs - owners of large collections usually profess a completely different approach. The large volumes of mixture required for current activities do not allow them to flip lightly from side to side.
They are interested in the ease of acquiring individual components of the soil for planting cacti, their stable and repetitive quality from year to year, which allows them to build the entire agricultural technology taking into account the characteristics of a particular substrate in specific conditions.
We can also distinguish the intermediate category of cacti growers, who have already been able to fully determine the substrate that is optimal for their conditions, but due to relatively small amounts of its use, they continue to experiment with individual components without fundamental changes in their views on the composition as a whole.
Details on transplanting cacti are described in this video:
When preparing the land for transplanting cacti, it is necessary to understand that this is one of the determining factors for water production by plants. In real life, water during irrigation is always divided into that which is absorbed by the roots of the cactus, and that that is lost due to either evaporation through the capillary system, or leakage through the drainage holes of the pot.
This balance is, in fact, a subtle instrument of adjustment to the conditions of our culture. If the balance shifts towards accumulation and retention of water, the substrate is aerated worse, “swamps” for a long time, its thermo-insulating properties deteriorate.
Shifting the balance in the direction of rapid water loss, we reduce the periods of its comfortable consumption and growth of the root system, create a general lack of moisture for the planted plant with a corresponding slowdown.
Before you plant a cactus at home, you need to understand what the ground should consist of. Potential components of the substrate can be divided into three main groups.
- The first group of - conditionally neutral elements, practically inert with respect to water (in small quantities). For example, large river sand, small and large gravel. Usually, these elements are chemically neutral and are designed to maintain the heterogeneity of the soil structure, hinder its caking, and also maximize the drainage properties.
- The second group - water-absorbing components. For example, zeolite, some types of baked clay, perlite, various types of volcanic lava. These components also perform the functions of drainage and loosening of the substrate, prevent caking and increase its aeration. In addition, they can provide individual elements of mineral nutrition. But the most important thing is the absorption of water and its gradual, delayed return later, which helps the soil to maintain a high relative humidity for a long time without directly flooding the roots of plants with water.
- The third groupwhich can be used in various proportions, it is actually nutritious elements. These include various types of peat, peat mixtures, as well as natural soils and clay collected in a forest, park or meadow. Usually, these elements are capable of providing plants with minerals as well as, to a certain extent, accumulate water during irrigation. However, the binding of water occurs in a form that is less useful for the substrate — excessive saturation with water with the loss of such useful aeration.
These photos show how to make a mixture to plant a cactus:
A clear understanding of the physicochemical nature and functions of the main components of the substrate, as well as how they behave separately and in combination, allows for quite a fine adjustment of the soil collection system to the conditions of cacti culture (pot features, temperature dynamics, minimum and maximum temperatures, the frequency of irrigation and mineral fertilizing).
In order to plant a cactus, every amateur must choose for himself the optimal composition of the substrate - according to his means, whenever possible regular replenishment and storage of stocks, according to his own (unique) conditions for growing cacti!
Here you can watch a video of soil preparation for transplanting cacti at home:
Which land to replant the cactus: mineral soil for planting
Land for planting cacti is not only the ground (as we commonly call various types of natural soils, harvested for further sowing), but other components, in the strict sense of the word, are not soil.
And once the earth ceases to be a key component of the mixes, as was observed in the practice of amateur cacti farming 10-20 years ago, it is quite possible to imagine those who want to bring the experiment to its logical end, namely, to cultivate cacti in substrates where the earth is completely excluded from the mixture.
Such substrates are usually called mineral, and their use is the spirit of recent years. Theoretically, excluding the land with all the organic matter accompanying it from the planting substrate, we get rid of a large number of problems associated with the potentially possible development of pathogenic microflora (whether bacteria or fungi), especially relevant against the background of possible miscalculations with irrigation and weather forecasts.
At the same time, in the depths of the soul, there remains the suspicion that when using exclusively mineral components, cacti may to some extent suffer from the impossibility of obtaining available mineral nutrition or its lack.
The latter supporters of mineral substrates are compensated by more regular supplements with weak solutions of mineral fertilizers. To some extent, the mineral substrate and the culture based on it can be considered a transitional stage between traditional culture and classical hydroponics.
What are the prerequisites for the use of mineral substrates?
You can spend a simple experience. We have in our hands two imports brought from nature. It is necessary to root them, since the entire peripheral root system when harvesting plants was removed, leaving only a “turnip” or a powerful taproot, which by themselves cannot absorb water with dissolved mineral compounds.
We plant one plant in a traditional mixture with a high proportion of land, and the second in a purely mineral (mixture of river sand, gravel, perlite, etc., or simply in beam). After a while we will see noticeably different results. The first plant has difficulty rooting. The roots then appear, then stop growing and rot.
At best, an extremely underdeveloped root system awaits us, which can hardly be assessed higher than “satisfactory”. The second plant, as a rule, is not even always necessary to shake out of the pot to see how much the root system has recovered.
Her restoration and work are visible both from the plastic pot that was pretty much distributed from the abundance of roots, and from the way the wrinkled cactus was poured and enlarged in size during the rooting.
These photos illustrate how to make a substrate to replant cacti:
In fairness it is necessary to note the following. Some colleagues tried to grow plants on monomineral substrates (for example, in pure beams or lava). If we take their experience as a whole, and not for individual species or plants, the result (not to mention the high cost of this material in Russia!) Is rather negative.
Many species of cacti obviously do not like such planting, although, perhaps, the matter is somewhat different - under the monomineral substrates, it is also necessary to adjust the conditions of irrigation and maintenance.
Departure from the traditional "earthen" culture of cacti (even the share of land in 30-50%, as recommended by some modern editions) significantly enriched amateur practice, making it possible to simplify and make sustainable the root culture of a significant number of species traditionally considered rather difficult for amateur cultivation.
The following describes how to transplant cacti not only correctly, but also beautiful.
How beautiful and neatly plant cacti at home (with photo)
If in life it is not always possible to change the object of adoration for the better, then cacti can definitely add beauty, including through a beautiful landing. This can not be neglected. After all, by and large, cacti are no worse than bonsai. And growing as long - for decades and even centuries.
Look at the photo, how you can beautifully plant cacti:
The question of the formation of plants and the maintenance of appearance is no less relevant - and at a young age, and in a mature one. That is, in essence, we are growing a work of our agrotechnical art - after all, each of us feels a little like a creator.
This work of art must have an appropriate design. For the picture it is a carefully selected frame, for the plant it is a pot and planting in it. Therefore, before it is beautiful to plant a cactus, get a good capacity for it.
The best pot for a collection plant is relatively new, clean, without chipping and scratching. However, he should not be too elaborate. After all, we want to demonstrate the cactus as a result, and not the features of our delicate taste?
As can be seen in the photo, in order to plant a cactus, it should be placed in a pot (be it square or round) as precisely as possible in the center:
If the plant is an expanded curtain of asymmetrical shape, you must first estimate the most beautiful options for its placement. Most rounded and stolbovidnyh cacti should be planted strictly vertically, without initially collapsing in one direction or another.
The plant should not be planted too deeply or too high - focus on the best collections of our colleagues or on photos of plants in nature.
This video explains how to transplant a cactus at home:
Many pots in their upper part have an extension that is not used by most amateurs as a useful volume. They plant a cactus on 1 — 1,5 cm below the edge of the pot.
- At firstat the same time, at least 10 — 15% of the useful volume of the pot is lost.
- Secondlyvisually creates a feeling of carelessness. This part of the pot just needs to be used to add top gravel drainage flush with the edge of the pot.
This will not only give the impression of a more accurate planting and will often hide the not very spectacular root neck of the plant (especially the old and battered life!), But will not allow unsightly salt deposits to accumulate on the soil surface.
In addition, the presence of a significant upper layer of drainage will clearly fix the cactus in a strictly upright position and give it the opportunity for seasonal movements in the loose surface layer of the substrate: when drying, wrinkle and deepen into the soil, and after watering, soak up the water and rise slightly.
Some lovers are afraid to make the top powder. With it, they allegedly can not control the degree of drying of the soil after watering. However, this problem is easy to fix by picking up permeable soil and less often watering it, therefore, it is rather far-fetched than actual.
Processing before transferring a cactus after purchase
Buying is one of the most common questions among newbies. And a potential problem that some experienced lovers often underestimate.
If the collection is actively developing not only at the expense of its own crops, then weekly or monthly new plants come to us - purchased in a store, at an exhibition, sent by mail to colleagues, donated by friends or relatives.
Cacti that come to us can be in pots or without pots, they can be wrapped in paper, but contain remains of “foreign” planting substrate on the roots. Sometimes some of us are too lazy to immediately handle such a plant, others simply do not know that any newcomer bought or received as a gift should be immediately examined carefully, washed from substrate residues and processed prophylactically.
Such lovers immediately establish a new plant, among others, for weeks and months, forgetting about the necessary precautions.
The consequences of such negligence are usually the following: distribution throughout the collection or its part pestsbrought with a plant or ground in a pot; the death of an acquired plant after the first watering due to the fact that this composition of the substrate is not suitable for your conditions, for example, it dries longer than your own.
Rule number one! Wherever you buy a cactus - on the market, in a store, from a famous amateur in your city, from a friend or girlfriend, in a world famous nursery - when entering the collection, it must be isolated before the first and prompt inspection, necessary processing and mandatory transplantation .
First, shake the plant out of the pot to inspect the root system. If the soil is well showered, then carefully inspect the stem and roots (you can use a magnifying glass). If the earthen clod was stifling, we carefully try to wash the soil with water of room temperature or warmer.
If there are pests, we carry out processing with appropriate preparations, completely washing the roots and stem from the substrate and dust. If the pests and traces of their activity are not found, then simply wash the plant with water.
If the root system is healthy and powerful, after processing, you can trim the roots with scissors to the approximate size (height) of the new pot. If the root system is weak, the roots rotted, it is better to cut out all the rotted and problem areas (with incomprehensible knotted thickenings, brittle, reddish).
Slices should be treated with fungicides. After trimming the root system of a plant, it is better to dry 1-5 days, depending on the scale of the “surgical intervention”. To do this, fit any place with room temperature, in addition, where the direct rays of the sun fall.
The final stage of buying a cactus is the transfer of a new plant into a clean pot with planting substrate, which the amateur constantly uses. It should take into account all the nuances of the structure and size of the root system.
And in conclusion - another video, how to transplant a cactus after purchase: