How to Take a San Pedro Cutting

A San Pedro cactus is a remarkable staple of any Lazy Garden, with an unbelievable ability to grow and sustain with little to no care. Its strong, columnar shape stands out in any space as a symbol of resilience and beauty. But sometimes a San Pedro outgrows its boundaries or even becomes prone to rotting. Thankfully, taking a San Pedro cutting can be a swift, effective solution to keep your cactus healthy and a simple way to propagate your cactus. We’re offering a step-by-step guide to take a cutting of your San Pedro cactus.

San Pedro Cactus Cutting


What is a Cutting?

A succulent cutting is exactly what it sounds like - a section of the plant that is removed by cutting the parent specimen. This is mostly done by taking a large section of the plant from its tip down. 

San Pedro cacti are referred to as self-sterile, meaning they cannot pollinate themselves and can only be propagated through cuttings. 

How to Take a San Pedro Cutting

What you’ll need: A sharp knife (such as a bread knife), Isopropyl alcohol (>91%), Paper towels, Cactus-safe gloves, Large pot with drain holes, Cactus-succulent soil mix

1. Sterilize your knife with isopropyl alcohol to prevent possible bacteria or foreign substances from infecting your cactus.

2. Cut off the desired section of your cactus. A sawing motion can be helpful in cutting the tough, waxy exterior.

3. Allow both your cutting and stump to heal for 2 weeks, letting them callous over completely without any watering. Note: Keeping your cutting in a cool, dry place will help it heal and callous most effectively.

4. To plant the new cutting, fill a large pot with cactus-succulent soil mix and dig a deep hole. Depending on the size of your cutting, you'll want to anchor it deeper into the soil to make sure it is sturdy enough to form a solid root base.

5. DO NOT WATER for 4-6 weeks or until the roots have fully formed. Your cactus may look slightly shriveled from lack of water, but this is normal and expected. It will plump up again once watering is resumed.

6. Once the roots are formed and the cactus is set in the soil, water with the “soak and dry” method. This means thorough, less frequent waterings, allowing the soil to dry completely in between each soaking.

Extra Small San Pedro Cactus

Keeping Things Clean

The most important thing to remember when taking a San Pedro cutting is keeping a sterile and clean environment. Cutting your cactus leaves it vulnerable to bacteria and possible disease. Sterilizing your knife in between cuts and preventing dirt or other species from contaminating your exposed cutting area is key to ensuring long-term health and optimal growth.

What Happens to the Parent Plant?

First, keep the cut site clean and dry as much as possible. If the parent plant is healthy and calloused over properly, it will grow multiple new branches from the cut site over the next few months. Over time these will grow large and even become available to take more cuttings. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving. 

Another Way to Cut

Tip cuttings are the most common way to take a San Pedro cutting and we sell them over at San Pedro Source in several sizes so you can easily plant them yourself. Another way to take a cutting is by taking a midsection cutting by cutting your cactus lengthwise from top to bottom. This style is planted lengthwise in the soil, almost like a log, and allows multiple pups to grow alongside the base. It can create a fence-like structure which is a nice, unique addition to an indoor garden.

Whether your cactus needs to be rejuvenated or is outgrowing its current container (or you just want to practice your green thumb and grow a new cactus), taking a San Pedro cutting doesn’t have to be stressful. Just follow the steps above and watch the magic happen!


@lazygardens A simple way to propagate your 🌵 #sanpedrocactus #cactus #lazygardens ♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K