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We Were Given An 8 Foot Cactus, But It Needs…

Diane Asked

We were given an 8 foot cactus, but it needs to be transplanted. The pot it is in now is 17 inches tall by 8 feet in diameter. How much larger of a pot should we put it in and how deep? Can the cactus be buried deeper than in the original pot or will it rot? We have no idea what the cactus is called.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Diane: There is a general rule when it comes to re-potting any plant. We want to use a container that is only a couple of inches larger that the one your cactus is currently planted in. The width is more of a concern than the height because we can adjust this with soil. Cactcus, like any succulent, likes to be a bit root bound in its container. It is best to use a clay container as opposed to a plastic one because it is porous and allows for good drainage. Use a good soil mixture specifically made for cacti and succulents. Some succulents such as Euphorbia can be buried deeper when we re-pot them, but since we are not certain what kind it is it is best to plant at the same depth to avoid rotting. So choose a container that is about 10 inches in diameter and fill about one-fourth with succulent mix. Gently remove the cactus from its current home, being careful not to damage the roots, and place it in the new container. You may need to adjust the soil level so that the top of the soil attached to the root system is a few inches lower from the top of the new container. Then back fill with the succulent mix and water well. Remember that a cactus likes very bright light and will not tolerate wet soil. It is best to keep them on the dry side.

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