PROPAGATION OF CACTI AND SUCCULENTS FROM CUTTINGS AND OFFSETS CUTTINGS

Sizeable cuttings should be selected. This will ensure quicker flowering specimens. They are taken during the plant s period of growth from April to August. When taking a cutting, use a sharp knife or razor blade so that a clean cut can be made. The cut surfaces should be dusted with flowers of sulphur and left for two or three days in the sun (or longer depending on the species) in order that the cut surface may harden and form a callus. This will prevent decay. The cuttings should be placed in very sandy compost, consisting of 3 parts sand and 1 part sifted loam, with the base of each cutting just penetrating the surface soil; if possible, cover them with a piece of glass in order to obtain quicker rooting. Until rooting does take place, water should be given sparingly, and afterwards somewhat more generously.

Epiphyllums, Rhipsalis, and Euphorbias root well in a compost of equal parts of fine sand and sifted peat.

When the cuttings have formed roots, they can be transplanted into a mixture of 2 parts loam, 1 part leaf-mould or peat, and 1 part sand, with a sprinkling of bone meal added to each pot, as well as a little mortar rubble or lime.

OFFSETS

Offsets are complete plants developed on the parent plant. Often roots are formed on them before they are detached. They are easily separated from the parent and, if rooted, should be potted up at once and given a light watering and treated like ordinary plants. If no roots are attached, treat them as cuttings.

Unlike seedlings, which might be variable, cuttings and offsets are always true to type. Many cactus genera produce offsets freely, particularly Echinopsis, Mammillarias, Lobivias, and Rebutias.

PROPAGATION FROM LEAF CUTTINGS

Most Echeverias, Pachyphytums, Sedums, and Crassulas can be propagated from leaf cuttings. Detach a few single leaves from the stem by exerting sideways pressure on the leaves, so that they come off cleanly. Place these in dry sand and keep in partial shade. Soon small plants will appear, which can be potted. Leave the old leaf attached to the young plant until it is well established and growing.

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