What better time to repot bunny ear cactus than when it’s waking up from its winter hibernation? It is a common practice to repot cacti in the springtime after they have gone dormant during the winter months, but the bunny ear cactus has a unique habit of being able to retain its spines through the dry season and so can be placed in a new container while still looking fresh and alive.
The process of repotting cacti is not necessarily difficult, but it does require proper preparation so you don’t end up pricking yourself with a spine or damaging the plant.
The first thing you’ll need for this job is an adequate tool kit. Make sure you have strong gloves, a pair of sharp pruning shears, and some disposable plastic cups and pots.
How to Recognize a Cactus That Needs Repotting?
It’s hard to imagine a cactus that needs repotting. With their spiky and stiff appearance, they seem to live in rock-solid pots and never need any maintenance.
The truth is, though, that even cacti can be pot-bound, which means that their roots have grown as much as possible to the limits of the container. Like other plants, cacti need to be repotted regularly to keep them healthy. They are particularly sensitive to the overgrowth of root systems, which can cause them to rot and die.
Here are some signs you should look out for if you think your cacti need repotting:
- A plant with parasites or pests (such as spider mites or mealy bugs) will show yellowing leaves or brown patches on the body of the plant.
- Discoloration of this sort is an indication that your plant has been attacked by an outside force, and needs to be treated with a pesticide before it worsens.
- Repotted plants will have a fresher look immediately after being moved from one container to another. If your plants don’t show this difference in appearance within a few days after repotting, they might not have needed it at all.
Preparation and Equipment for Repotting Cacti
Take all of your cacti out into the open and assess which ones will need repotting. Then, gather:
- very thick gloves.
- a pruner.
- clay pots of various sizes.
- a bucket of river sand.
- a bag of good soil.
- a bucket of garden soil.
- newspaper or pieces of packing polystyrene.
When to Transplant Bunny Ear Cactus
There are various reasons to transplant a cactus. The most common of these is because the plant has grown and the pot has outgrown it, something that will happen approximately every two to four years. While it’s true that you should move your bunny ear cactus when its roots have filled the container—if you wait too long, the roots will reach outside of the container and begin to rot—there are more factors to consider than just size. We know that a cactus pot is too small when:
- The roots of the plant are visible through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
- The top of the cactus has reached the edge of the pot, especially if it is a low and somewhat wide one.
When you’re about to transplant a bunny ear cactus, it’s important to remember that the roots of this plant are quite fragile. In fact, they are hardly more than a thin layer of mycelium (a mat-like network of fungal threads) anchored in the substrate. For this reason, any injury to the root system is very likely to cause rot and the death of the plant.
In order to avoid this problem, you should keep a few things in mind:
-If you transplant during summer or a dry season, it will be much easier for the root system to adapt to its new environment. In addition, if you do it then, any injuries will be less likely to cause problems.
-It is also important not to water your cactus too recently before transplanting; doing so might make the roots decay more quickly.
-It is preferable that the soil be somewhat dry at the time of transplantation; if it has been raining or watering recently, wait until it has dried out some more before moving your cactus.
-Finally, use a container with drainage holes in its bottom; using one without them can damage your roots by causing them to rot from excess moisture.
How to Transplant Bunny Ear Cactus Step by Step
Transplanting is a big word, and it’s usually used to talk about changing the location of an adult plant. But this time we’re going to transplant a small bunny ear cactus that has just been repotted, taking it from a small container to a bigger one.
- The first thing is to loosen the soil from the pot to be able to extract the cactus without causing damage. If it is a plastic pot you can press the pot around its perimeter. If not, use a blunt tool to pass it along the inner edges of the pot, removing the soil on the edges.
- Before picking the cactus you should put on thick gardening or leather gloves to avoid injuring yourself with the thorns. Additionally, and make sure that the soil is dry, you can surround the cactus with several sheets of newspaper before lifting it.
- The peat and soil must then be removed from the roots, cleaning them with the hands very carefully or with some water, always with very little pressure.
- The roots of the cactus are a very important part of the life of your plant. They are responsible for absorbing nutrients and water from the ground, so you will have to keep them healthy. If some of them have died, it is better to remove them because they will only drain energy from the rest of the roots. To do this, use previously disinfected pruning shears or a knife. If some of them are showing signs of fungus or pests, apply cactus fungicide or pesticide.
- Roots may have been damaged in removal even if you haven’t pruned them. For this reason, let your cactus dry in the sun for up to 4 days before continuing, or, apply a fungicide on them, either specific for cacti or a little powdered cinnamon.
- Prepare the base of the pot with gravel or other drainage material and some cactus substrate, as you can see in the pots on the cover image of this article.
- Then place the cactus in the center carefully and, without pressing it, again hold it with gloves and/or newspaper.
- It only remains to fill the pot, completely hiding the roots, and you will have finished the transplant.
How to Transplant a Child Bunny Ear Cactus Step by Step
The steps if you want to get another cactus from a stem or sucker of the same plant are practically the same as when transplanting a cactus, although there are a few differences.
A child bunny ear cactus is a little plant that makes an adorable housewarming gift for someone you know. But what about if it’s for yourself? That’s okay too! You can follow this step-by-step guide to transplant a child cactus at home.
First, find a good-sized pot that would be suitable. A 10-inch ceramic pot would be great, but most nursery pots and flower pots will do. The soil should be moist and well-drained, so keep that in mind when choosing the container.
Using a fork, loosen the roots from the parent cactus, which will be easy since there are no leaves anchoring them down. The pups should be able to separate easily from the parent plant and you can use your hands to gently pull and separate the pups if needed. If the pups have long roots, then they are ready to go! If not, wait until they are large enough to handle. When planting the pups into their new home, make sure they are planted deep enough so that only 1/3 of their body sticks out above the surface of the soil,. This way it will prevent water loss and root exposure until it is able to adapt completely to its new home.
Moisten the child cactus with a few drops of water. This should not be done when transplanting adult cacti, and you should make sure afterward that you place the pot in a dry area and where it receives sunlight, although not directly.
Rabbit Ear Cactus Cultivation Essentials
Family and Genus: Cactus, Cactus, is a perennial succulent herb.
Habits: Likes a warm, dry, and well-lit environment, and can tolerate cold, drought, and humidity. It grows best in places with strong sunlight, large temperature differences between day and night, and annual precipitation of about 500 mm.
Color: light yellow.
How to Reproduce Bunny Ear Cactus
Rabbit ear cactus has a strong reproductive ability and can be propagated by seeding method and cutting method.
Cutting propagation is recommended because it leads to a 100% survival rate while seeding can lead to a 75% survival rate at best and a 50% survival rate at worst.
1. The first thing is to choose a good day for cutting propagation. The best time to do that is from May to August when the growth is vigorous. If the weather is not good, such as heavy rain or strong wind, it would be better not to do any cutting propagation until a better day comes.
2. The yellow sand, through hot air sterilization, is the substrate that can be used to grow the bunny ear cactus. The clay pot is a container that can be used to protect the roots of the bunny ear cactus from various external factors (such as wind and rain), and also can store water so that the roots of the bunny ear cactus can absorb water in time.
3. Before cutting, select the tubers with strong growth, cut the top piece, and apply slaked lime to the incision.
“The master’s tip: you need to use fermented dry lime powder.” (It sale here)
4. Place the cut rabbit ear palms in a shaded, ventilated, and dry place to dry the incisions, and cut them after the incisions have shrunk.
5. When carrying out the cutting operation, it should not be too deep. Generally, it is advisable to stabilize the cuttings.
6. After inserting, do not water too much but spray water on the stems 2-3 times a day. After 6-7 days, you can spray water once to make the substrate surface wet. After 10 days, Water again.
Clay pots are suitable for planting rabbit ears because of their better ventilation.
Rabbit ear cactus can be grown in a variety of soil types. Although it appreciates a sunny spot and regular watering, it does not have strict requirements for soil. However, since rabbit ear cactus is so vigorous, it is suitable for growth in fertile, well-drained sandy soil.
When potted, it can be mixed with humus, coarse sand, and calcareous materials to form a culture soil.
Repotting cacti on a regular basis will help ensure your plant stays healthy and grows well. The proper potting soil is also very important, in order to maintain the necessary moisture levels throughout the year. Make sure to repot bunny ear cactus during springtime above all else.
To repot your bunny ears cactus, you will need a pot that has a hole in the bottom so water can drain. Choose a pot just slightly larger than the existing container, as it is important for there to be room for soil and—more importantly—new roots to grow. Take out the existing soil with enough room to cover the drainage holes of the new pot (but not an inch less).