Tips for Transporting a Cactus in Your Garden (Part I)

If you’re planning to transport a cactus, doing so in colder weather is best.

Sometimes, mature cactus plants have to be transported. Transporting cacti in the landscape, particularly big specimens, can be difficult. This process poses more harm to you than the plant due to the thorns, spines, and other hazardous armor most of these plants have. Moving a cactus can be done at any time of the year. However, the best time is in cool weather. Below are a few tips on how to transplant a cactus without danger to you or the plant.

Before Moving Cacti in the Landscape

Older cactus plants can get very big and need professional assistance to reduce plant damage. If you are determined to take on the process yourself, consider site preparation, have several extra hands available and prepare the plant carefully to avoid harming pads, limbs and causing yourself and your helpers any pain.

Only move healthy specimens that will have the best chance of re-establishing. A word to the wise: wild cactus cannot be harvested legally in most areas, so this information applies to cultivated cacti in the landscape only. Preparation is crucial when moving a cactus plant.

Mark the plant so you can put it in the same way in which it is growing. Plants with huge pads must be swaddled in an old blanket or something that will protect the limbs while giving you safety from the spines.

Don’t water

Watering before moving is a big no-no. First, it makes the pots heavier. Second, succulents don’t receive as much airflow in a vehicle and the soil won’t dry out as rapidly. This can swiftly cause your succulents to rot.

How to Transplant a Cactus

Start by digging a trench around the plant a couple of feet away and around 17 inches deep. Then begin prying around the plant cautiously. Cactus roots are typically near the surface but are delicate, so be gentle during this process.