How To: Callus Succulents and Cacti

updated Jul 16, 2020
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Callusing cactus? No, that’s not a description of how your feet look after being in flip-flops all summer but a technique for sprouting cacti and succulents from plant pieces that have fallen or broken off, with minimal effort which we, novice gardeners that we are, had first heard about Sunday night from Ryann Davis of Succulent. She assures us that it’s so easy that even the darkest of thumbs should be able to do it and, from one plant, create many offspring. It’s one, inexpensive, way of sharing your plants with friends and starting your own succulent garden. One mantra? No water. Huh? Details after the jump…

1. Trim off any rotten bits from your cutting. In order to sprout, you need a healthy green stem. Use a sharp knife to make a clean cut.

2. Allow the cut end to dry (callus) for at least 4 or 5 days. Lay it on a paper towel. Avoid the sun. Turn long pieces frequently so that they don’t develop roots along their side edges.

3. After the end calluses, plant the cactus in a pot filled with stones or volcanic rock on the bottom, and then well drained organic cactus mix that is no more than moist. Do not water until evidence of root growth appears. You can lift the cutting and check but it usually takes several days or weeks for any roots to appear.

4. Always allow cactus soil to dry out almost completely before watering, as most are prone to rot if kept moist.

Has anyone tried this technique? Can you give us any pointers?