Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I solved my leggy cacti problem

on June 29, 2014

I’m sure you all have the same problem…a leggy cactus.

One of my hobbies is growing cacti…non prickly cactis (succulents) that is.

At first, I just collected them.  It all started with “mini” jade plant that I came across in 2009 at my local hardware store.  The jade plant was cute and I figured it had the best chance of surviving in my house.  Well, obviously the jade plant didn’t care about my black thumb…it flurished.  Within 6 months it had quadrupled in size and now is quite the monster.

So, each trip to the hardware store led to a new cactus adoptee coming home.  Soon, my collection had grown to need more window space…so I bought a 3 shelf bakers rack on craiglist to maximize the window space.

Well, because of the limited sunshine, some of the cacti had become leggy…meaning they grow long rather than compactly.  At first, I thought some of them were just meant to grown from the top shelf down to the bottom of the floor.  Nah nah…come to find out that was just ignorance.  Because many of the cactus plants were out of control, I dreaded watering them.

Today I knew I needed to water them and the dread began but rather than succome I decided to solve the problem…for mine and the plants sake.
I did alittle research…come to find out what I have to do to these poor plants is quite brutal.  Like Henry the 8th brutal.  Off with their heads!!  Yah, no joke.


First step, behead the plant.  Oh this is gonna hurt…someone prepare the guillotine…

Next, strip of the leaves from the bottom up until the leaves are the proper spacing.


Next, set both the leaves and the head aside for a while…we want the ends to scab over before we can replant.  I opted to utilize a chinese takeout container top.


If we (notice how you’ve been enlisted into this project now) were to immediately place them in soil without scabbing, they would absorb too much water and not grow.

Oh…and just a note…all those leaves will grow into new cacti so…uh…if anyone finds their home has room for a cactus, I will soon be offering adoptions.

So there you have it…we are in wait until their bleeding has clotted.  I feel like I need to offer them some first aid…

I continued this medievil torture for most of my plants.  Sadly, I have so many in this condition, this will take some time.  And more chinese takeout container tops…I’m calling in my Chicken Chow Mein order now…


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