Barrel Cactus Propagation – How To Propagate Barrel Cacti From Pups
By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Is your barrel cactus sprouting babies? Barrel cactus pups often develop on themature plant. Many leave them and let them grow, creating a globular design inthe container or in the ground. But you can propagate these for new plants too.
Propagating a Barrel Cactus
You can remove the pups from the mother to plant in a container or a different spot in the gardenbed. Of course, you’ll want to do this carefully, avoiding the prickly andpainful cactus spines.
Heavy gloves are a necessary part of the protection you’llneed to use when propagating a barrel cactus. Some wear two pairs of gloveswhen working with cactus, as the spines easily pierce through.
Tools with handles, such as tongs, and a sharp knife orpruners allow you to reach the bottom of the pup without injuring yourself.Evaluate which tool will work best for your situation.
How to Propagate Barrel Cacti
Cover the mother barrel cactus plant, leaving the babyexposed. Some use plastic nursery pots for this part of the chore. Others coverwith tightly wrapped newspaper for protection. Remove the pups at ground level.Then securely pull and elevate the baby, so the stem is visible and slice itoff. Try to do this with one cut.
One cut for each removal causes less stress on both themother and the pup. Clip the stem as close to the main plant as possible. Cleanthe knife or pruners before starting and following each cut.
Often, the pups can twist off, if you use tongs, so youmight try it that way if you can get a good grip. If you wish to attempt thismethod, use tongs to hold the baby and twist.
Remove all pups you wish to take. Put them aside to callousover before repotting. Move the mother plant into a partially shaded area forrecovery. Repot the pups into a container or bed of cactus mixtopped with two inches (5 cm.) of coarse sand. Limit watering for a week ortwo.
If the destination bed is in full sun and the pup wasaccustomed to some shade from the mother plant, let it root in a container.Later, move it into the bed after roots have developed.
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How to Grow the Golden Barrel Cactus
While the golden barrel cactus is rare in the wild, it can commonly be found in homes and gardens across America. Its unique, spherical appearance makes it a striking ornamental accent for xeriscapes such as desert landscapes and rock gardens. With proper care and attention, the golden barrel cactus can reach up to three feet in both height and diameter and may also produce flowers. Even in areas that are prone to drought, this plant offers an attractive, eco-friendly and all-natural decor solution for your garden.