Kris Heading, Moorak, SA
I transplanted this cactus from the ground to a pot about 10 years ago as a single ball. Unfortunately, it got a bit too much water and started to rot. It then started producing lots of pups. I’d love to remove these and plant them in a garden bed. Will the parent plant survive and keep reproducing if I remove them all?
Phil Dudman says
The parent plant should survive and continue to produce pups after removal of the existing pups. Just move the pot undercover to keep the plant dry while the wounds heal.
Thick leather gloves are a must when removing and handling the pups. You may also need some pieces of polystyrene or sheets of folded newspaper to offer further protection. Place these over the spines, then give the chosen pup a gentle twist and pull. Leave the pups in a dry spot for a week or two until the wounds callus over, then place them on top of a sandy propagation mix. Water once a week. You are best to grow them in pots initially, so you can control the amount of moisture they receive. Plant out once they’ve established a good root system.