Transplanting a Saguaro Cactus into a Larger Pot

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  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Heavy work gloves
Kitchen tongs
Potting soil

The Saguaro cactus is a popular cactus plant to grow in the desert areas of the southwestern United States. In fact, the flower that grows on the plant is Arizona's official state flower.

Most people grow this cactus plant in a pot from seeds, so it may be necessary to transplant the cactus to another, larger pot at some point. Knowing how to do this properly, and safely, is important.

Step 1 - Safety Materials

The first and most important step in transplanting a Saguaro cactus plant is safety. These plants are very prickly, so it's important you use material to protect your hands during the transportation and transplant process.

Because the spines are hazardous, a thick wad of folded newspaper is the best way to handle the plant without letting it touch your hands. Use the folded newspaper to fully cover the plant.

Lift it by holding the folded ends of the paper, or grasp the plant with the folded paper between the plant and your hand if this is easier. You can also use heavy work gloves to handle the cactus plant without causing damage to the plant or yourself. Kitchen tongs are another option if they are the kind that hinge at the center and work like scissors.

Step 2 - Transplantation

Stack of newspapers

After you have moved the plant from one pot to another using your preferred tools, use more newspaper to form a chute to fill in the soil around the roots of the plant in the new pot. This ensures your hands remain far away from the plant's spines so you can refill the soil without getting harmed. Put a small amount of potting soil on a square piece of paper about one foot square then grab from the centers of the opposite sides. The cross-section of the paper containing the soil will form a "U" shape so you can easily pour the soil into the pot around the roots.

Step 3 - Maintenance

Cactus plants require three main ingredients to grow healthy and strong: food, light, and water.

Food—Most cacti thrive on several small feedings, rather than a large feeding all at once. You can use a time-release food in the spring for easier care. Time-release plant food can last up to six months or more. Another option is to give the plants food three times a year in the spring, summer, and fall with a diluted solution of plant food.

Light—A potted cactus grows well indoors if you give it enough light. Place the plant near a bright window where it can get a lot of light during daylight hours. Although cactus plants need plenty of sunlight, you still have to be careful not to give them too much sun.

Water—Watering cactus plants in pots is more time-consuming and difficult than when they are planted in the ground. In the winter, don't let the plants dry out. At the same time, don't let them become too moist, as this can cause rotting of the roots and destroy the whole plant.

You may only have to water once a month, depending on the humidity in your house.