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Plant Diseases/Propagating cactus



My cactus suddenly started developing four babies this summer Photos attached.
As you can see they are placed on top of the plant and rather cramped. I know one should detach the babies to propagate but I have always seen them grow at the base of the mother, not on top!
So the question is, am I supposed to do anything?
I'd be happy to just let nature take its course, I suppose the babies will grow big enough to fall off...but that's my theory, is it the case?

Dear Anne, Don't do anything!!!!  I think that instead of producing babies, your cactus is going to do something even more wonderful - BLOOM!  The placement looks perfect for a blooming cactus.  Even if these are actually babies, you would do best to let them grow fully so they would be mature enough to survive.  Then you could dislodge them and let them dry out (harden off and callous over) so they would be able to grow roots when planted.  However, I think you are in for a beautiful display of blooms.  Be sure to keep the water up as your cactus in in "springtime mode" and provide plenty of light as I see you are already doing, and don't forget to take pictures.  Your blooms will likely be either pink or yellow.  Cactus blooms are often short-lived lasting only a day, so make sure you don't miss a day.  I am from Texas and I've seen a lot of cactus.  Your blooms should be very nice indeed.  I hope this information helps you, but write back if you have more questions, or if you want to show me the pictures!  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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