Saguaro Cactus: Propagation Techniques

What You'll Need
Pot with drainage holes
Sharp pencil
Cactus seeds
Plastic wrap
Small shovel

The Saguaro cactus has a smooth and waxy skin covered with two-inch spines that grow on the plant's vertical ribs. In the spring, the cactus grows white flowers with yellow centers of about three inches.

The Saguaro cactus flower is located on the edge of the branches, and only opens on cool nights, staying closed during the day when the heat is most intense. The cactus and its branches grow upright, and it uses its ribs to soak up rain water. This plant is Arizona's state flower. A Saguaro can live up to 200 years.

Step 1 - Select Pot

Use a small or medium size pot with drainage holes at the bottom. With most varieties of cactus, soil that is not drained properly can cause rot in the plant.

Step 2 - Fill the Pot

Fill the pot with soil that is designed for good drainage, or purchase a soil mixture that is designed specifically for growing cactus.

Step 3 - Planting

Use a sharp pencil to poke a few small holes (about 1/8 inch deep into the soil) and space the holes about 1 inch apart. Place one seed in each hole and press a bit of soil over each seed. Cover the pot with clear plastic wrap. Poke or cut a few tiny holes in the plastic.

Step 4 - Care

Keep the potted plant in a warm location that receives plenty of light. Just make sure the plant doesn't get too much direct sunlight. The pot will need to remain covered for approximately four to six weeks, and the soil must be moistened every ten days.

Do not water the plant too much, as this may cause problems when the seeds start to grow.
When it's time to remove the plastic wrap, you will only have to water the plant once a month.

After about one or two years you will be able to transplant the Saguaro plants to their own pots. At this point in time they will be about one inch tall.

Special Notes

Do not expose the Saguaro cactus to freezing temperatures, as this may cause it to perish. If you don't live in a hot, dry climate like Arizona, it may be a good idea to keep your plants indoors.

It takes a very long time for Saguaros to grow, so they can be a project that lasts for several years.