Help with repotting Cacti

HotTomato99July 30, 2014

Hi there! I was hoping for some help with repotting cacti. So i am a big fan of bare rooting and washing away old soil when i repot. I have also seen some very successful reports of jade and other succulents done in this manner.

However, i learned the hard way with some small lithops that you CANNOT get the roots of cacti wet when repotting. Some sources say to just repot and don't water for a week. Others have said to let the bare roots sit out for a bit before even putting into medium.

I am pretty confused. How do you tell if your succulent needs to be dry when repotting or can take a root wash? For those that must be dry during and after repotting, how long do you need to wait before watering?

I use 511 almost exclusively, but am going to try gritty with my jade and a few others that seem to like dryer roots. I also have a mottled spurge on the way which i thought was a much more arid plant than i think it is.

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Ok, jsut read the post about lithops and understand the error of my ways there. Still am confused with moisture and repotting cacti in general. Here is the plant i have on the way.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:20PM
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Those are not cacti, first of all.. those are Euphorbias (Euphorbia lacteas is my best guess). And you wanted to put them in a nicer pot? Sure wouldn't put them in a larger pot (maybe a bit deeper is all). For most succulents, I just pull them out of the pot they're in, and put them, root and soil in the new pot... only time I recommend washing roots is if there is something wrong with the soil or roots themselves (like root mealies, or rotting roots, or muddy, sloggy soil, or you are root pruning to fit something in a smaller, shallower pot). Why damage roots more than you need to? As for when to water next, kind of depends on your climate and situation... in California, outdoors, I almost always water immediately after repotting, though more to make sure the soil fills all the spaces well rather than giving the plant needed moistures... most times I doubt it really makes a difference if you water immediately, or a week later, but I still like to get it done right away... I might chose to do so differently in winter, or indoors, where plants are growing a lot more slowly.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:39AM
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Hey, thanks for the info! No, i bought the euphorbia online and it will be arriving bare rooted today. Yes, to my earlier point I now realize it is not a cactus. I thought it was a columnar cacti until i did a bit more research.

Since i have been slowly transitioning all my plants to 511 from crappy potting mix, they generally do have soil issues in the root ball.

Thanks for the tips about watering. I think the lithops issue i had was not a 'watering too soon after repotting' issue.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:34AM
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