Introduction: Easy Method - Reproduce Cactus for FREE
Hi, i'm German from Mexico. I live in Veracruz, a tropical zone where in Summer we have experienced top temperatures of 113°F (no kidding).
Here is hard to get a nice garden, with beatifull flowers, because they suffer.
A friend even call me "plant killer", because i go to greenhouses and buy nice flower plants, and they never live more than a month.
So, you may have saw another Instructable where i made a PVC pot, for cactus. Let my update that.
Here in Veracruz, to relieve the heat, we have a rain season that can become a hurricane season pretty fast. The cactus i planted on my other Instructable where varied, so they needed diferent cares.
Some of them did not survived on rain season; they got drown on the roots (i explain this better root aeration on my Hydrophonic Instructable).
But not everything is bad, some other ones GREW so much, that i needed to do somethig about it.
I started replanting them, until i found a quick and easy way to reproduce them, and here i give you my method.
Step 1: Watch for Cactus Thorn.
When this particular cactus GREW, it started to get taller and heavier.
It began to bend and became a threat once it almost hit my face, with those sharp thorns extremely close to my eyes.
I had to cut it, as you can see on image, and then i asked to myself. ¿What do i do with the excess? ¿Can i plant it? ¿Will it grow as new cactus?.
I put it on soil, as you see it in image, and it died.
¿What did i do wrong? Keep reading...
Step 2: Save a Cactus, Plant It Right.
What happened, was this.
Cactus are highly specialized to save water, they live with almost non.
When i cutted it, a locking process began and the exposed part dried fast and prevent water got out, BUT it also avoided water to get IN. Once i planted it, the conditions where not ideal.
So ¿What are ideal conditions for a cactus to grow?. Stay tuned.
Step 3: Ideal Conditions to Grow, Pretty Much Anything.
What i did was a super rich and concentrated water, full of nutrients.
I learned form hydroponics, that plants in an artificial environment need help to grow.
I prepared a mudy water but no with dirt, instead i used Vermicompost.
Good news is Vermicompost is cheap (in Mexico), i got a bag of 4.4 lb for about 75 cents (on todays exchange).
Vermicompost is like soil on steroids, it's like super composting made by worms. In fact, it's so rich that for you to use it, must add a little on regular soil in order to enhace it. You can not plant any directly on Vermicompost.
At least, not regular plants, but ¿what about a tough plant, like a cactus?
Step 4: Easy and Tricky Step.
So i first prepared a water like a Vermicompost coffe, and chose better a piece of cactus.
If you want to grow cactus, look for thorns, they are amazing.
Seek for a piece of cactus that look badass, full of thorns, the harder the better. They not only protect the cactus.
Carefully, pick up that piece and cut it, and just threw it on the solution made before, the Vermicompost with water (it must look like coffe).
And select good spot, a medium shadow is the best. The cactus must receive indirect sunlight, in order to grow, because the water solution must keep fresh.
If the solution gets hot, it will kill the cactus (harsh experience from hydroponics, thats why you don't see pictures of tomatoes on my Instructable).
Step 5: Amazing Growing Time.
You'll just have to wait for the magic.
In an amazingly short time, roots gonna grow where used to be thorns. In just 4 days you can plant on soil a brand new cactus, and use the rich solution to water it.
Step 6: Grow You Own.
You can regrow some veggies with this method.
I used it on carrot and onions. Heard that pineapples can do the trick.
Not hydroponic super nutrient solution, no Vermicompost, just using tap water.
Rain water is the best for any method.
Super easy, so that's it, hope to see pictures of your own grows on comments.
Step 7: Have Fun
I tried another Cactus variety, and just for fun i went to an art and architecture supply shop, bought an eagle devouring a snake and made my version of the Mexican flag shield.
5 years ago
Wow.... love the wonderful tips you give with great pictures! Thanks! I live in Texas where the temperatures are crazy and having a "cactus garden" that requires less work is one of my goals.... really glad I stumbled across your instructable.... I will post pictures of my attempts to replicate your methods. I currently have 3 healthy plants that have survived 2 years.... barely. Thank you again!!!
Reply 5 years ago
I'm glad you found this useful.
Another trick i give you is this. Water it (your cactus) with the finest drop from an atomizer.
Since they naturally live near the sea, they are used to feed this way.
Another function of the thorns is to be a mist trap so it can become water drops, when the drop is big enough it slide to the base through the "skin" of cactus because it is designed to be hydrophobic.
Final advice, cover the base with little white rocks, to keep the moist in the soil.