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I must admit, when i saw roots coming out of the bottom of my Bunny Ear Cactus container, my first thought was Oh No! Don’t make me touch the cactus! But after a few deep breaths, and some motivational quotes, i found the courage. It really isn’t that hard.
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When to repot your cactus
Supplies needed to repot your cactus
- Your cactus.
- Cactus Soil.
- Pot with drainage holes.
- Protective gear.
You don’t want to get hurt by your plant. Some cacti have large thick spines, others like my bunny ear (Opuntia Microdasys) have short barbed hair like prickles. These glochids might look soft and cuddly, but are definitely not. They are difficult to remove when stuck in hands or fingers, and can cause major irritation. But no fear. There are precautions you can take in the form of protective gear. And you have a number of options.
You can use newspaper or cardboard to wrap the cactus in. Or wear leather gloves to protect you hands. I like to use kitchen tongs (which I use only for my cacti, not for food). If you are using metal kitchen tongs instead of soft plastic/silicone tongs, you can wrap some paper towel around the ends to protect the cactus.
How to repot your cactus
Use the kitchen tongs (or other protective gear of choice) to carefully remove the plant from its original pot. You’ll probably see a packed root system. Shake off the old soil, and gently separate the roots. This makes it easier for them to spread and grow in the new pot. Prune any dead roots you might see.
I took this opportunity to gently remove a few of the new pads for propagation. I will let them callous over, then repot them to root and grow on their own.
Place a small amount of fresh cactus soil in the new pot. Carefully put the cactus in, and add more soil to the top. Make sure to plant the cactus at the same depth it was growing in the old soil. Fill in soil all around the cactus. You can use a bamboo skewer to check around the sides of the pot. Press the soil down gently.
Do not water your cactus immediately after repotting. Wait about a week. You want to give the plant time to adjust to its new home and the new soil. Use care when watering, overwatering is one of the biggest problems with cacti. Let the soil dry out completely between watering.
Now go tell yourself don’t be scared of the spines and repot your cactus. You can do it.
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