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Repotting Cacti

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Repotting cacti can seem a little precarious but we have some simple tips and tricks to make the process as smooth as possible.

person holding euphorbia cacti

When to Repot

Many cactus varieties are slow growers and prefer to be snug in their pot. Oftentimes they can go years before needing repotting.

Signs that your cactus needs repotting can include:

  1. The roots are growing out of its pot’s drainage holes.

  2. It is difficult to water because the plant is the same size as the pot

  3. Your multi-stem or column cactus has become too tall for its pot making it susceptible to tipping over.

Helpful Materials

We recommend having some tools on hand to make the repotting process easier.

  1. Gloves: not just cloth gloves but a more robust pair with rubber or leather on the fingertips and palm. Gloves do not guarantee you will be fully protected but they certainly help.

  2. Newspaper or packing paper: you can fold the paper and use it as an additional barrier between the plant and your hands when tipping the plant out of the pot. Another strategy is to twist the paper at the ends and then wrap it around the plant. Leave yourself a little extra room at the ends to act as a bit of a handle and lift the plant out of the pot.

  3. Tongs: can be very helpful with handling cacti that have curved or soft spines. It is not recommended to use tongs on cacti that have hard spines as they can cause damage.

  4. Long tweezers: helpful for holding the plant in place while adding soil around the plant or dressing the topsoil with decorative stone.

cacti on a table, zoomed in

As a general rule, we recommend repotting plants is in the spring because it’s right before they start their active growing cycle. Water the plant a few days before, so that it is easier to remove from the pot. Be sure to choose an appropriate potting medium. Our growers use a Lambert Cactus and Succulent Potting Mix. This sandy media reproduces similar conditions you would find in an arid environment.

Visit one of our customer service plants associates at our garden centre should you require further information.

Happy planting!

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