Need ideas for replanting totem pole cactus

crista(Sunset 13)February 8, 2013

My large totem pole cactus fell over after the rain and wind we had last week. I've dug out dirt from the main root area to let the exposed roots dry out in case any broke. From this point I need suggestions on next steps. Should I dig out any more of the roots to prevent them from breaking when we bring the cactus back up to vertical? I figure I'll need to use tow straps to secure the arms together so they don't break off, then build a scaffolding of some sort around it once it's up to provide support so it doesn't fall over again. On the other hand, is this a job for a professional??

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toucan(9)

I don't know the answer to your concern. Maybe needs better drainage so more roots can grow to hold the cactus in.

I always wondered what those cactus were called. I love the look of those. Very nice. Hope you get some good ideas from others.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:21PM
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nickw252

Maybe cut it back so it's less top heavy and replant it? You could replant the cuttings.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:18AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I'm thinking along the lines of nickw....instead of focusing on getting the whole totem back up, would you consider planting some arms separately and letting it re-grow to its former height? Maybe plant a cluster of them a foot or so apart and the roots will mingle and the plant be stronger.

Sorry to hear that happened Crista, good luck for a good solution.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:57AM
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crista(Sunset 13)

Yep, I do think there's going to be some trimming involved here. Sigh.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:52AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Bummer! That's a nice looking specimen. I agree with your initial thoughts and what the other folks have mentioned. I'd trim off enough of the branches to be able to lift it back up and to not have it lean in the direction it fell, and then I'd lift it on up and really tamp down the soil. Putting a nice big rock nearby to stabilize it might help--plus it would look great too. You can just store the cuttings somewhere for several days to many weeks and then re-plant them. Good luck! Let us know what you do and how it works out! Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:15PM
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nickw252

You could also give cuttings away to other friendly forumers :-p

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:34PM
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thisisme(az9b)

On eBay totem pole cactus cuttings are expensive. If you do cut it and plant the cuttings you will be amazed at how fast they grow. In a few years you will have a small forest of them.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:56PM
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