How to quickly and safely transplant cactus?
Cactus is considered by many to be an unpretentious plant that can do without watering and, in general, grow independently. But actually it is not. Cactus also needs to be cared for, and one of the important areas of such care is transplanting. But how to transplant this thorny plant? In fact, everything is easier than you think.
When is a transplant required?
Transplanting is required if the former pot has become cramped for the plant. Also, the cactus must be transplanted, if you purchased it in the store. The fact is that stores often use nutrient mixtures, such as peat.
And this allows you not to fertilize flowers, which is convenient for sellers who do not have enough time for proper care. But the cactus will not be able to grow in such a substrate constantly, since it must take everything necessary from the soil on its own, only then its roots will grow, strengthen and develop.
For cactus, a specialized soil is ideal, specifically for these thorny plants, as well as for succulents.But if you decide to prepare the soil yourself, then you can mix two parts of sheet humus, clay-sod land and well-washed (this is important!) River sand, as well as one part of crushed bricks and charcoal.
To fertilize the soil, you can use either a special feed, or a mixture of superphosphate, calcium carbonate, as well as vermiculite mulch (proportions are equal).
The Right Pot
A new pot must be larger than the previous one, but not by much, otherwise the cactus will not be able to take root normally and receive useful substances and will simply die. The difference should be about three to four centimeters in diameter and about the same in height.
Tip: to find out if the new pot fits the size, you can put an old one in it. It should enter easily and fully immerse.
When to transfer?
The best time for a transplant is a period of active growth, that is, spring. But you can also carry it out for almost the entire growing season.
Preparing for transplant
It is advisable to sanitize the prepared soil and the pot, this will avoid the infection of roots in case of their damage (pathogenic microorganisms can penetrate through cracks and cuts).For disinfection, you can put the soil in the oven and calcined for half an hour.
And the capacity, if it does not withstand elevated temperatures and may melt during heat treatment, can be treated with an antiseptic.
Another important stage of preparation is the so-called dry rest. In other words, about three or four days before transplanting, you need to stop watering. Why do you need it? First, dry soil will be easier to separate from the roots. Secondly, if you accidentally damage the roots, and then through such damage they get moisture from the soil, this can lead to rotting.
How to transplant?
So, how can a cactus be transplanted into another pot? The main stages of transplantation:
- First you need to try to separate the soil from the pot. To do this, carefully tap the container from all sides. And if it is soft (for example, made of plastic), then it is possible to muffle it. But be careful and careful!
- Next, you need to grab the cactus and pull out of the tank. To not prick (and without protection it is almost inevitable in most cases), you can wear tight rubber gloves. You can also wrap a cactus with a soft towel or cloth, especially if it is large.If the plant is small, you can use plastic tweezers to transplant it. But be careful not to damage the trunk and roots!
- Next, clean the root system, completely removing it from the ground. Be extremely careful not to damage the roots. If the soil is not peeled off, it is possible to carry out transshipment, that is, to move the plant into a new container together with an earthy clod. But after purchase, this is unacceptable, since the substrate will certainly need to be changed.
- Carefully inspect all roots for damage. If you find them, sprinkle with charcoal or ash to dry.
- Now pour a layer of drainage into the new pot. Its role can be played by claydite or broken brick.
- Next, pour some soil and place the plant in the container. But it should be placed so that its root neck (the place of attachment of the roots to the stem) is located about a centimeter below the edge of the pot, otherwise when irrigating wet soil will contact with the stem, which can provoke rotting. Straighten the roots and sprinkle them with soil, lightly ramming it. The soil should be at the level of the root collar, bury the stem is extremely harmful.
- From above, you can also put a thin layer of drainage in order to avoid excess moisture in the future (it is destructive for such a plant).
- Further, the dry rest should again follow, which will effectively dry the soil and avoid decaying the roots. Then you can water the plant in the usual way.
- Replace only healthy cactus. To check this, take it by the barrel and pull it. If it is strong, it will either pick up the pot or come out of it with an earthen lump. If the roots are broken, then surely they are weak.
- If the cactus is high, then after the transplant, it needs to provide support so that it can be safely rooted. To do this, close to the ground, without damaging the roots, place a pencil or other similar object, lean the plant trunk against it and tie it neatly.
- If the roots in the process of transplantation have suffered, then it is desirable to increase the sand content in the soil and choose a smaller pot, as well as regularly fertilize the plant.
- To find the perfect pot, look at the cactus when you take it out of the pot. If the roots are long, then choose a capacity deeper.If they are branched to the side, then it is advisable to pick a pot wider.
- If the dry soil does not separate from the roots, then try to soak it, probably, it will help. But then gently blot it and sprinkle with ash or crushed charcoal to avoid rotting.
- A new pot with a transplanted plant should be put in the same place, since the cactus does not like radical changes and gets used to a certain area. If the capacity is rearranged, the plant may even die.
Now you can definitely transplant the cactus at home. Everything will turn out if you follow the above recommendations.
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