Cactus Care: Planting and Repotting Cacti
Cacti are one of the most interesting botanical groups. Evolved in the Americas, they have developed amazing adaptations to the shortage of moisture that make them unique. Their extraordinary variety of shapes, sizes, colors and blooms give these plants an aesthetic value that gardening lovers appreciate.
As plants go they are easy to care for, but you should still take care when planting and repotting cacti as this procedure is traumatic for any plant. Here OneHowTo explain how to transplant a cactus and, something equally important, when to plant a cactus.
Cacti which live in pots need to be transplanted every few years, due to the growth of the plant and soil depletion. The best time to transplant a cactus is the spring and summer (never in winter).
It is best if the new pot is just a bit larger than the previous one by a few centimeters. In the bottom place a layer of gravel or small stones to ensure good drainage for the cactus.
The substrate must contain a good proportion of sand (up to 50%). The rest can be made up of peat or a mixture of peat and garden soil. In your garden center you will find specific substrates for cactus if you wish.
During cactus transplantation, hard, puncture-proof rubber gloves should be used and a some kind of protective material. It is vital not to damage the roots as fungus could penetrate the plant and be potentially fatal.
Therefore at the time of transplantation you must carefully remove the earth to be disposed of with a blunt object. If any root has been damaged, apply powdered charcoal and leave without water for 10 days.
The cactus should be planted at the same level it was, i.e. you should ensure that the soil level is neither too high covering the bottom of the plant, nor too low to expose the roots.
The container where the cactus is transplanted must be placed in a shady place for a few days. After this period you should carefully check the cactus for any signs of ill health such as fungus or browning. Once it has the all clear you can consider it successfully re-potted.
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- If you want to transplant a cactus reliably it is recommended that you contact your trusted gardener.