HEY! I love your blog, and figured you were the best to ask. I adopted a pencil cactus that looks to me like it’s suffering rot. And from being on here so long, rerooting and repotting seemed like the best idea, but I don’t know how to do that for that type of cactus in the way that it needs. Help? Anxious new plant dad.
Hiiii! Congratulations on your adoption, new plant dad! 👏🏽
The thing about propagating a pencil cactus is that as a euphorbia, it will leak a white substance called latex when wounded. It won’t burn a hole through your hand or anything but it is a skin and eye irritant and toxic if ingested. SO I suggest wearing gloves when you go about cutting it for propagation.
Cut a piece of stem that’s a few inches long. Remove leaves from the bottom half so that you have 2 – 3 of bare stem. Remove any latex by running the cuttings under a stream of water. Then set aside the cuttings for a week or so, out of direct sunlight, to dry out and form callouses.
Repot in a gritty, fast-draining mix. Keep out of direct sunlight and keep the soil very lightly moist (euphorbias can handle more water than most succulents). After a month or two, gently pull on the cutting to test for roots. If you feel any resistance, SUCCESS YOU DID IT. Resume care as normal.