Cacti and their pups are fascinating and low-maintenance plants that have gained immense popularity among indoor and outdoor gardeners alike. Their unique appearance, resilience, and ability to thrive in arid conditions make them a perfect addition to any plant lover’s collection.
I had a large Echinopsis subdenudata “Dominoes” cactus that pupped for me a few years ago. The pups were so little, but I did separate them from the Mom, but planted them all together….for companionship.
Now these cactus pups are big enough to be in their own individual pots so I am potting them up before the change of seasons. Hopefully by spring, they will be ready to take off and grow well.
Selecting the Right Pot
When planting small cactus plant pups, it’s essential to choose the right-sized pot. Opt for small pots with drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging. The pots should be just large enough to accommodate the cactus’s root system with a little room for growth. Using small pots also aids in controlling water intake and prevents overwatering, which can be detrimental to cacti.
I am choosing to plant my pups in small hypertufa pots. Since I have made a few smaller ones over the years, I think this will work out perfectly. After all, the pups have lived all their lives in hypertufa.
Mixing the Right Soil
Cacti have specific soil requirements that differ from most other plants. They prefer well-draining soil to prevent root rot and other moisture-related issues. You can use a specialized cactus mix or create your own by mixing regular potting soil with coarse sand and perlite. This mixture provides the perfect balance of nutrients and aeration for the young cacti.
Transplanting the Cactus Babies
Gently remove the small cactus plant babies from their original container, being cautious not to damage their delicate roots. If they are still attached to the parent plant, use a clean and sharp knife or scissors to make a clean cut. Allow the cut ends to callus over for a day or two before planting to prevent rot.
My pups were years old and I ended up trimming some roots because they were too big to plant.
I filled the small hypertufa pot with the cactus soil mixture, leaving enough space at the top to accommodate the cactus without touching the rim. Tamp down the soil slightly to remove any air pockets. Place the cactus in the center of the pot and adjust the soil level as needed, ensuring the cactus sits at the same depth it was in its original container.
Once your small cactus pups are securely planted in their individual pots, it’s time to water them. Use a watering can with a narrow spout or a syringe to water directly at the base of the cactus. In my video, I used a deep sink to water and rinse the pots.
I use this small house plant tool set assortment to work on my houseplants. The watering tool is perfect. And the mat is such a timesaver…not to mention a mess saver.
Cactus Care – For My Cactus Pups
Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again, as cacti are adapted to survive in dry conditions and do not require frequent watering. I know I let mine dry out for weeks (sometimes a month) before watering again.
Cacti thrive in bright sunlight, so place your small potted cactus near a sunny window or in a well-lit spot outdoors. However, be cautious of intense, direct sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day, as it can scorch the young cacti. Gradually acclimate them to increased light exposure to avoid shock.
Regularly inspect your small cactus plant babies for signs of growth and health. Look out for new shoots or roots, which indicate successful establishment. If you notice any signs of pests or diseases, take prompt action to protect the cacti.
Planting small cactus plant pups in small hypertufa pots is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. They are just darling. As you watch them grow and mature (and it takes years), you’ll appreciate their unique beauty and adaptability.
Remember to provide them with well-draining soil, ample sunlight, and infrequent, but careful watering. With a little care and attention, these young cacti will flourish independently in their small pots, adding charm and vibrancy to your indoor plant garden…or outdoors if you are in the right climate.
Enjoy my video from YouTube. Here it is!