How To Trim/ Prune A Cactus

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Cacti can survive in scorching and dry places. But like other plants, they sometimes need ‘a little haircut’ to look and grow their best. Cutting or trimming a cactus might sound scary because of its spikes, but it’s pretty easy if you know what to do. This guide will show you the easy way to trim your cactus without getting hurt. Let’s get started!

In What Case Does A Cactus Need To Be Prune

As I recall, here are a few familiar occasions:

  1. Sick Spots (Pic 1): If your cactus has soft, mushy, or weird-colored spots (black, brown, or white), it might be sick. Cutting off these bad parts can help keep the rest of the cactus healthy.
  2. Too Big: If your cactus is getting too big for its pot or space in your garden, you should trim it a bit.
  3. Making More Cacti (Pic 2): If you want another cactus just like yours, you can cut off a piece and propagate it. This is a way to “copy” your cactus 🙂
  4. Looks: Sometimes, a cactus grows in a funny shape or has too many arms. If you don’t like how it looks, trim it!
  5. Dried Parts (Pic 3): Older cacti might have dried-up bits. Therefore, removing these bits can make your cactus look and feel better.
  6. Safety: Some cacti have long, pointy spikes that might hurt someone. Trimming those spikes might be a good idea if your cactus is in a place where people walk by.

Reference: Publication “Pruning Cacti And Other Desert Succulents” – University of Nevada, Reno Homepage.

How To Prune/Trim A Cactus Safely

Time needed: 10 minutes

My estimated time for a careful pruning session is 10 minutes per cactus (though it depends on how big your cactus is). Here is the breakdown:

  1. Wear Thick Gloves

    Put on some sturdy gloves. This keeps your hands safe from sharp spines.

  2. Get Your Tools Ready

    Grab some clean scissors or garden shears. You might need a small saw if you’re cutting a big piece.

  3. Hold It Right

    If you’re cutting a big part, wrap it with a few layers of newspaper or use kitchen tongs. This way, you can hold it without getting poked.

  4. Perform A Straight Cut

    Make a neat and straight cut. It’s better for the cactus and helps it heal quicker.

  5. Wait. Do not water it right after!

    After cutting, wait a few days before watering your cactus. This gives the cut spot some time to dry out.

  6. Clean Up Well

    After you’re done, toss the cut pieces in a bag. Check for spines that might have fallen off. They can stick to clothes or shoes.

If you cut a piece and want to grow another cactus, let it dry for a few days. Also, there is more than just one idea about what to do with the cut-off part.

    What To Do With The Cut-off Parts?

    Cut-off parts from a cactus don’t need to go to waste! Here’s what you can do with those pieces:

    1. Grow a New Plant (Propagating): Make the cut piece into a new cactus. Let the cut end dry for a few days. Plant it in the soil, water it a little, and watch it grow.
    2. Crafts: Use cactus pieces as stamps with paint or neat patterns on paper.
    3. Making Compost: Add them to your compost mixture if you don’t need them.
    4. Show Them Off: Put the pieces in a clear jar or bowl. It looks cool for a while.
    5. Keep Animals Away: Turn out it’s pretty effective to place cactus bits around plants to keep animals away.
    6. Eat Them: Some cacti, like the prickly pear, can be eaten. Check if yours is safe first.
    7. Give Them Away: Someone else might want your cactus pieces for their garden.

    Final Words

    Giving your cactus a slight trim is all about helping it be its best self. Just like we need haircuts occasionally, cacti benefit from tidying up. With patience and the right strategy, you’ll find that it’s an easy and rewarding task. So, armed with these simple tips, go ahead and show your prickly friend some love. Happy trimming!

    Here are the following 2 super related guides:

    Succulent City chief editor


    Succulent City

    Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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