Organ Pipe - Plant Cutting?

pieper(9)May 6, 2007

A friend gave me a 2 foot long segment of organ pipe cactus, but I'm a bit lost on how to successfully plant it. She said to let it dry out a few days, then cut about 4" off the "root" end and plant. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And location to plant? Will it need a host plant at this size? Any other suggestions? Sorry for all the questions... moved to Tucson from NYC!


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Simple to do. Allow the cut end to callus (dry out) We usually set them out of the sun for 5 to 12 days depending on the size of the cutting.
Then just place the cutting in a approbate sized container of really well drained soil (mostly sand, some well drained mix) we use 12 grit silica with our blend of cinder sand and "Pro Blend"... Then "Dont Water" if for another week. After that start adding small amount of water to its container.

Here is a link that might be useful: RSI

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 10:39PM
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Thanks for your response. If I don't want to container-plant it, do your directions change? I already have sandy soil and lots of cacti in the ground. Do I need to chop off 4" before planting?

Again, thanks...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 11:26PM
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Nope, follow the same method if your installing it directly into the ground, I'd add a small amount of compost/mulch to the hole that your planting into. Do "NOT" cut any more off the plant, in doing that you'd have a new wound and you'd need to callus the new wound or you run the risk of rotting the cutting when you start to water...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:05AM
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kazooie(kapiti coast, NZ)

turtleman is right. what your friend told you about cutting 4 inches off makes no sense. you are already letting the "root end" dry and callus over to prevent rot when you plant it. if you cut off any more, you would have to let that callus as well before you plant it. also, be patient, it can take a while for cutting to grow new roots. good luck with your new cactus.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Thank you so much for your input. I've got it out to dry (been 3+ days already), so will plant later in the week. It's curved, so my intent is to plant the curved tip away from the sun in hopes it will straighten somewhat in search of sun. Make sense to those with epxerience?


    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 2:08PM
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Cactus cuttings should be planted in the same orientation to the sun as the parent plant. This helps minimize sunburn damage. Cactus develop thicker skins on the sides exposed to greater amounts of sun(west and south most notably).Wihout a good root system the cuttings can literaly cook in the hot summer sun which isn't far away. I have proagated quite a few different species using a technique that has had a very high success rate. When you take the cuttings, or in your case, re-cut the cutting you have (which will take some of the curve out of it) dust the freshly cut end in rooting hormone THEN let it callus over for one week. The rooting hormones usually have a fungicide which will help protect the cutting and they start faster. Plant in a good well drainig soil and water once every two weeks until established. Here are some of the cactus I have started this way.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagated Cactus

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 12:24AM
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Thanks for the feedback, all. I went ahead and planted the seasoned cutting directly into the ground, respecting it's previous orientation to the sun (good point, jkochan!), and it seems to be doing just fine... although it looks rather silly with it's curve. :-) Then again, with cactus, it's hard to tell if it's thriving, eh? But it's holding it's own and looks healthy.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:19PM
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I'm trying to propagate organ pipe cactus too. I just stuck it in the ground in the Tucson soil. Since planting it, it's turned yellow, almost clear, with about a 1/4 inch of green at the bottom. I assume its because its focusing its resources on root growth rather than height. It's also shrunk toward the top, which makes me think it may be getting dehydrated in the sun without roots. I water once per week.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:47PM
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GeeS 9b

Looks dead as a doornail to me.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:43PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Yep, dead for sure. Try again with the instructions above. Did it turn yellow before or *after* the frost? Might have just frozen.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:45PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Poor thing, it DOES look dead, immobilus, I'm sorry to say. It also looks like it froze which may have really done it in. Spring is a much better time to start the cuttings and once a week is probably too frequent to water, especially in winter. Hopefully you'll try again in spring and let us know how it works out. Propagating cacti can be so fun.

By the way, are you sure yours is an organ pipe cactus? They're usually pleated and *covered* with bristles, yours sure looks like San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) to me.

Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Just wondering if my cactus look alive or dead and what kind they are ?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:48PM
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