Propagation: Separating baby cactus from Mom

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Bluewing, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure this question has been asked a trillion times, but here goes...

    How do I go about separating the little ones from around the mother? Wait until they are about 2" - 3" tall first? Then try cutting them away without scraping up the mother too much, getting as many roots as possible with each one?

    I would wait and do this in the spring, or summer months.
     

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  2. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    They can be removed fairly early. I have found that if you sit any unrooted 'pups' on the surface of a pot they will quickly root down. Sometimes this can be easier than trying to separate roots. Let them get some size but not too big. If you get in early enough it's normally as simple as grab and gently pull. Just don't over water them while they are rooting down stick with a limited watering.
    On the other hand you could let them get a decent size and then bare root the lot and separate that way. Once they get pushed for room though they often loose their shape and will contort to fit whatever container they are in.
     
  3. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    I will wait for the pups to get larger. as long as they can keep a decent shape, then pot them all up into one small pot until they again grow larger. I just wasn't sure how difficult prying them away from the mother might be, good to know it should be a piece of cake:)
     
  4. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    The hardest part usually is avoiding doing damage to yourself ;}
     
  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    I saw some one do it with some strong paper cut into strips but not sure if you can get the strip around one of the pups to tug it out. They were doing it on a fairly tall lean one to separate it. The paper was being used like clamp so they did not get spines. Maybe bubble wrap might work to pluck them out

    Liz
     
  6. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I use a small plastic pot big enough to fit over the main plant, rinse as much soil off as possible and attack from underneath where there's less spines. You can use a long knife to help pry or cut where necessary.
     
  7. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the two good ideas. Either one should help from getting stabbed. Thorns of any size can be pretty painful, especially when one fell over on my hand once. OUCH! Been there done that.
     
  8. Blake09

    Blake09 Active Member

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    what type is it yours
     
  9. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Ya know, i used to know the name, but I just can't remember it now. I'll have to try and find it online.
     
  10. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I'll have a guess and go with a variety of Ferocactus or Echinocactus
     
  11. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Parodia magnifica or one of those that look almost the same (warasii, possibly one more)
     
  12. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    The names suggested don't ring a bell, so here's another photo of the whole cactus. Although it's in a south window, it REALLY needs to be pushed up more toward the window.
    The top would get somewhat elongated during the summer months, but then the rest would catch up. This is the longest the top has even been. There needs to be some serious moving around!
     

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  13. Blake09

    Blake09 Active Member

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    That is a pretty cactus!
     
  14. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Blake!

    By the way, the cactus is growing in a 6" pot, the cactus is about 7-8" tall. The spines are bristle like.
     
  15. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    Very cool shape. I think Parodia syn/or Notocactus may be right.
     
  16. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Chungii,

    I believe that's the name! Notocactus magnificus. I'd love to see it flower some time, but it might be too warm where it is.
     
  17. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    After seeing the whole plant I feel more confident that it really is a Parodia magnifica (or Notocactus/Eriocactus magnificus if you prefer). If it grows like that in summer - yes, then you really need to relocate it ... I first thought it had been growing in winter.
    You are probably right about the temperature, my plant did not flower until I was able to give it a cooler winter rest (on an isolated windowsill). I like the flowers of this species, they often open even when the weather is cold and cloudy, sometimes they remain open at night too.
     
  18. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I think you're right Mandarin: Parodia being the recent name change for Notocactus so it was probably bought as Notocactus but would be more correctly labelled as Parodia. ( :{Name changes:{ )
     
  19. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, but it would probably have been bought as a Notocactus today as well, the sellers usually keep the old genera names in their lists (I can think of several reasons for that). Currently, Echinopsis, Parodia, Rebutia and Eriosyce (of the genera I am familiar with) are often split up in subgroups.
     
  20. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    It's not just cacti though, I've worked in Nurseries for ages and it takes a long time for name changes to be accepted and made. This adds to confusion when books and especially garden magazines pick up new names and you end up with either a seriously confused customer or salesperson.
    I understand it will probably make it easier for i.d. in the future but as the changes take place it can be a bit of headache.
     
  21. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Are the flowers a light yellow? I believe that was the color when trying to id this cactus.

    Thanks for all the information everyone!
     
  22. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    you can use newspaper and tin foil to protect yourself from the spines. newspaper first and to hold that on, use some tin foil to hold it in place.
     
  23. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Thanks joclyn,

    Believe me, I'll be using those things for protection!
    The worst cactus I have as far as spines go is my barrel cactus, those spines are lethal. PURE EVIL!
     
  24. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, but the flowers are often not very helpful when trying to identify plants from Parodia/Notocactus, most of them are yellow. Here is a picture (with too much contrast) of one of my P. magnifica:
     

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  25. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I like those! Thanks for posting the photo. Very nice flowers!
     

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