Transplanting Cactus
March 22, 2006 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Can I transplant cacti from a 1" clay pot to a 4" successfully? Is this too big of a size jump?
posted by kc0dxh to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
The cactus will be fine if you use the right soil. Plants don't mind extra space and aren't overwhemed by it. It might look a lot smaller, though.
posted by Alison at 1:27 PM on March 22, 2006

I did this two years ago. The cactus was tiny. It has since grown to fill much of the pot. They're slow growers, but this one wasn't. Good luck!
posted by clarkstonian at 1:34 PM on March 22, 2006

The problem with big size jumps in pot size is that often the soil won't dry out enough between waterings. What I mean is, the roots don't reach enough of the pot, so there's this "dead space" where water can sit for a while. Too much dead water in an organic environment means fungus and rot.
So, as long as you're careful about how you water your cactus, it should be okay.
posted by nprigoda at 1:53 PM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: Is it hijacking if I do it to my own question?

Now that I've got them in these 4" pots, how do I best water them? Up till now, I've set the cute little 1" terra cotta in 1/2" of water for 20 minutes, then set them in the sun. Will that still work?
posted by kc0dxh at 2:02 PM on March 22, 2006

I have about 10 cacti, all in terra cotta, some in store-bought 'cactus soil', some in rock mixes. FWIW, I leave them outside in the summer, and they get a lot of rain, and a lot of sun. No problems with root rot yet.

During the winter, I give them a nice watering every 3-4 weeks. Sometimes a little more frequently for the smaller ones if they look like they need it.

I've never had a problem transplanting to a larger pot, just don't bury them too deep.
posted by bh at 3:08 PM on March 22, 2006

bh is right, but water at a MAXIMUM of every three to four weeks. "Look like they need it" is a weird rule of thumb for cacti, that means Totally Dessicated and Actually Shrinking Substantially, not " the sand was dry."

Repot in clean, non-clay sand, but after you repot, just leave them alone. Do not water once you repot, wait about two weeks.

When I was 18 and 19 I worked at a cactus nursery. It was the most boring job I ever had: a little like being the Maytag Repairman.
posted by pomegranate at 5:25 PM on March 22, 2006

Ever planted something in the ground (y'know, where plants normally grow?) That's a damn big pot :)

posted by polyglot at 8:28 PM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: Cactus nursery?!? Who knew such a thing existed?
posted by kc0dxh at 6:27 AM on March 23, 2006

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