Rooting Trichocereus (San Pedro Cactus) cuttings
Congratulations. You just bought a San Pedro cutting or you just made one yourself. It’s now time to get it settled in soil the right way and grow your own new Trichocereus cactus.
Rooting Trichocereus pachanoi (San Pedro Cactus) cuttings and other Trichocereus species like T. peruvianus, T. macrogonus and T. bridgesii is not difficult. Most cuttings are lost to rotting which occurs in the following situations:
- Placing the cutting in soil while the cut is not dry
- Watering when no roots are present
- High humidity of the air
What should I do when my cutting is rotting?
When your Trichocereus cutting has a black / brown coloration and feels soft to the touch then you should take action. The cutting was not dry enough and got infected with bacteria which cause the ortting. You should immediately remove the infected spots. Take a sharp knive and clean it (preferably with a 60 – 70 % alcohol solution). Let the alcohol or other cleaning agent evaporate and the cut 2 cm above the infected wound. After you made the cut make sure all the brownish coloration has been cut away. You should be seeing healthy green / white flesh. Now put the cutting aside to let it dry again.
Rooting your San Pedro cactus the right way
Before you do anything make sure the wound / cut is completely dry. If it is not, place the cutting horizontaly for a week or so on a dry and light location untill the wound is dry. Then place the Trichocereus cutting verticaly in an empty container so the cut can dry even further. Place the container with your cactus cutting in a bright location, preferably with temperatures between 20 – 25 degrees Celsius. After 2 weeks place your cutting in a dry rooting medium. This could be coarse sand, perlite or something else. Best is to not use a rooting medium with organic particels (like peat) because this could induce the rotting process. Now leave the potted cutting in the container for 4-6 weeks without watering! Take it out to check if roots are forming. If not, place it back in your rooting medium and check later. Only when roots are being formed you can take the cutting out of the rooting medium and place it in regulart cactus soil. Only water your cutting when it has some roots and make sure your soil drains well.