Q. Can I root and grow the broken-off top of my cactus?

I have a potted saguaro cactus that was about 18” tall until I broke off the top 4” last week. Can the broken off top be rooted and actually grow? I am keeping it in a pot of cactus soil.


Your cactus may be able to root from that torn off top. You are lucky that there is a sizable broken-off section which gives it a better chance.

Remove it from the cactus soil that you have prepared for now and keep that aside while the "cutting" dries for a few days to reduce the chance of rotting. Then push it just into the potting mixture and keep it in a place where it gets indirect light, giving it only enough water to keep the soil just barely moist.

It is October now and we are entering a period of slow growth. A spring start would be more promising, but in several weeks you may begin to feel that roots are holding the cutting in place. The chance of success is uncertain but its worth a try.

The lower part of your cactus stem should also send out growth from around the cut surface. You can remove those in the spring, once they are at least two inches long, and treat them as cuttings.

Courtesy on NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Jan 21, 2021
  • Views 4
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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