The quickest way to obtain good-sized plants is to take cuttings. Quite a number of species form offset shoots which sometimes have taken root while still attached to the parent plant, in particular, Echinopsis, Rebutias, Mammillarias. In this case it is simply a matter of removing the offset with the minimum amount of damage either to the parent plant, or to itself. When taking sideshoots from a plant, choose the narrowest point possible to avoid ugly scars and use a clean, sharp knife for this purpose.

The taller cacti, especially the Cerei have an especially tough, woody core which defies a knife here a pruning saw can be used. It is best to choose cuttings from well developed mature branches since the younger branches are too soft and may rot. Once the cutting has been taken, bevel it so that the roots come from its centre, then dust the cut surfaces with sulphur to prevent If the offset is from a plant which is difficult to root, dust the cut with rooting hormone powder instead of sulphur. Leave the cutting in a light, shady place for at least a week to heal over, then place it on damp sand, where it is sprayed overhead with water, and watered with 'Formula 20' to encourage rooting. Rooting time depends on the time of year the cutting was taken and the size of the cutting.

The best time to take cuttings is early spring. Once the cutting has rooted pot up in the usual way. Another way to obtain offsets is to temporarily deform a plant by beheading it. This forces the plant to
produce offsets around the edge of the cutting. This is often the only way to obtain additional plants from solitary bodied specimens which do not set seed on their own.
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