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Re-potting a cactus, my first time

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  • Re-potting a cactus, my first time

    [align=left]Hi everyone- I'm new to this site and really excited to find this community, Google rocks :)*Hoping to get sound advice on replanting my husbands 30 year old cactus (there are actually 2 in the same wooden pot).* I've read a few threads with easy to follow suggestions but new to this and want to make sure I don't kill the cactii!* Some facts:*we are located in Northern California, the weather has been chilly (high 30's at night, mid 50's during the day), we don't know what type of cactus these are.* The*cactii are about 18 inches high with*stiff, semi thick*needles.* I will take a picture tomorrow and post- it is dark out now.**Some*questions: Is a clay pot the best to re-plant in?* Do I still follow the suggestions of going with a pot only 2 inches bigger than the current although these cactii haven't been*replanted in about 10 years?* Do I leave the root clump the way it is or separate when re-planting?* Is 50% sand and 50% mulch the best mix for this situation?* Appreciate your help![/align]


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  • #2
    Hi Jacqui,

    I realize it's been a couple of months since you posted your question and I'm hoping you already have answers to your questions.* If not I will try and help.

    You asked:* "Is a clay pot the best to re-plant in?"

    I think so as UNGLAZED clay pots 'breathe' and allow the moisture to evaporate.* Since cactus don't like their roots wet, I find that best.

    You asked:* "Do I still follow the suggestions of going with a pot only 2 inches bigger than the current although these cactii haven't been replanted in about 10 years?"

    Unless you see they are stressed from being rootbound, it would probably be best to go 2" to 3" larger.* The potential for overwatering in a larger pot is too risky as the soil would stay wet longer.* If they are severely rootbound, as I suspect they might be, consider teasing out the outermost roots so they don't continue to circle.* You can measure the width of the rootball and use a pot 2" to 3" larger then the rootball.

    You asked:* "Do I leave the root clump the way it is or separate when re-planting?"

    If they are happy together and their tops are not crowding each other, they can probably be left together.* Without pics it's hard to say.* This site explains how to remove and pot up the offshoots.
    http://www.cactuscenter.com/propag1.html


    You asked:* "Is 50% sand and 50% mulch the best mix for this situation?"

    Not knowing which cactus you have that sounds like a good mix.* You can also purchase potting soil made especially for cactus.* Check to see if it contains a slow release fertilizer as you could burn the roots if it does and you add additional fertilizer.

    Maybe this site will be helpful.
    http://www.cactuscenter.com/trans.html

    Hope that helps,
    Newt

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