Half of the time my family and I are located on our ranch in a small town in West Texas. Our ranch has 1000 acres of (mostly) untouched Texas earth. And cactus. Lots of cactus.
First of all, I dig a circle around the root system so that when I pull the cactus up, some of the dirt comes with it. I have used potting soil specifically for cactus and that works great too! Once you pull the cactus up, you’ll notice that the root system is actually fairly short:
That’s good! That means you can pot these babies in your home and really not have to worry about ever moving them. This is the same for prickly pear cactus but today I’m going to show you a step-by-step planting an Echinocactus Texensis, or as we call it in the Wild West; Devil’s Pincushion.
Start with your tools
This is some extra dirt I keep for covering the roots and base, a trowel, and GLOVES. Please wear gloves unless you want a million, TINY spines in your hand, especially if you’re using prickly pear because you usually can’t see the small spines.
Fill your pot with base material. Since the root system is short, you’re going to want to fill the bottom of your pot so that your cactus is on full display up at the very top!! I usually just use soil from our compost. I then cover the top four inches with the native dirt or cactus soil mix.
After your cactus is positioned where you want it, just fill in the remaining space with extra soil so that it’s nice and cozy! I fill to the line where you can see that the soil naturally was in the wild. Pincushion cactus are buried pretty deep in the ground, so I try to give them enough soil that makes them feel at home.
Keep them in a sunny place, especially if your cactus is blooming!! I usually just give them a few spritzes of water from a spray bottle a couple times a week right around the base. That way it’ll trickle down to the roots. Remember, these guys are from the desert and the fleshly base actually absorbs and stores water so do not drown them!!