Cactus mutilation, or how I spent my Saturday.

I had a housewarming about 3 years ago. Yeah, I can’t believe it’s been three years too. People gave me things. Groovy things, nice things, booze. Niiiiice.

One of those things is a cactus. He was just a little fella when he first made his acquaintance. But he’s gotten big and tall (read: the length of my forearm…high.) One problem.

I let him play in the sun about two years ago. And he got sunburnt. All along one side of his poor little top half. I brought him in, and never let him out again. Bad cactus mommy. Bad.

Over the past two years, he’s grown and grown and grown. Sideways.

Yes, I should have addressed this earlier.

A few days ago, I tried to move the chopstick holding him up…. Aaaaaaand plop. Down onto the floor he went. Looks like his roots are melting (aka rotting), and the top heavy cactus yoga he’s been doing served to literally upend his world.

I stuck him back into the pot, and said a word to the Most Glorious Cactus God for help. So after reading tons about when bad people happen to good cacti, I knew what I had to do.

I had to cut him.

Something I hadn’t wanted to do, as the poor little guy was popping out a little side cactus….

Who's a widdle darling? You are. YOU ARE!

But then I saw that Widdle had been all but bumped off, probably during the fall. Trying to atone for that heinous crime got me moving.

Apparently you cut the cactus, and then let the cutting dry until it forms a “callus”/scar. Sounds counterintuitive, but the plant is protected from a ton of infection, rot & other nastiness that way. So off I went to the cutlery drawer….

Ulp. Can you hear me, baby? You okay?

Cutting at an angle is supposed to help the cactus avoid a puddle of rot-inducing liquid from pooling in the cut. I cut below the bend, and then whacked said bend away from the cutting. Then I put it in a cordial glass to stand up right and look stylish doing it. (C’mon, you know cacti are all about looks; why else would they have such great posture?)

Shaken, not stirred. Or else.

In a few weeks I’ll see how they’re doing – because The Internets said so – and then plop them into dry “cactus & succulents” mix. The cuttings will root, looking for water, and then before you know it, new cacti in the family!

She said hopefully.


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