Repotting golden barrel cactus

sd2102May 16, 2013

I recently repotted a golden barrel cactus in some cactus mix, but now that I read the ingredients (I know, should have done that before I bought it), I see that it's mostly peat humus which I think from reading posts in this forum is not good for the cactus.

I'm wondering if I should repot it with some other materials mixed into the soil, but I'm worried it will traumatize the cactus if I do that since it was just repotted. So which is worse- soil that retains too much water, or repotting it so soon?


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TT, zone 5b MA


If the soil mix is really that bad I would repot it. I grow mine in a very gritty, mineral based mix...perlite, pumice, turface, some potting soil, and a little charcoal. Peat is just asking for trouble with these plants of is really hard to re wet it once it really dries out.

That's what I would do.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

I had a similar question about a different plant - a Christmas cactus. I, too, repotted, but after reading a thread on the subject found that I had used the wrong type of soil. I didn't get the old peat off the roots, either. (Boy, I really did a lousy job!)

So - fixing the soil trumps disturbing the plant again so soon?

* Note to Self - Read and research BEFORE doing something!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:22PM
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It takes a while for succulent plants to settle it's roots in to any soil even if that soil is the best of soils For both you could fix it as soon as possible or ready the new soil ingredients for an ASAP time later.
Usually not ideal to disturb while growing but as accidents can happen ( POT TIPPING ECT ) most would re pot at the earliest time possible. If you know something is wrong a sooner fix is better than later, or to late to fix.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

Thank you for confirming my thoughts. It's only been a couple of days for me. I haven't even watered it yet. So tomorrow I will get it into a good mix and free up the roots.

Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:15PM
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Still, Golden Barrels are incredibly tolerant of all sorts of soil types, and peat is not the end of the world. I would not go out of my way to get soil with peat in it, but I would not fret over it should it have some in it (unless it was the bulk of the soil ingredients) in a pot with something like that. But repotting it will do very little if any stress to your cactus at all, as the roots have had no chance to adapt to their new soil anyway. I have used soils with peat in them now and then and for the most part have not regretted it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 11:48PM
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It looks like peat humus makes up 50% of the soil composition, so I think I should repot it.

Another question- I repotted it 2 weeks ago, and it looks like I won't have time to repot it again for another 2 weeks because of travel. I also haven't watered it in ages- it had been a month when I repotted it, and I was waiting to let it settle/acclimate before I watered it again. So should I just leave it dry until I repot it? That will make it 2 months without water/fertilizer. Plus wait time after repotting it again?

Thanks for all the advice, it's very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 9:53AM
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