Rat Tail Cactus Propagation | 2 Effective Methods For You |

We are going to learn how to conduct the rat tail cactus propagation. If you wish to grow  many rat tail cacti, you could propagate them.  You could use either stem cutting method or seeds to propagate them.

To briefly explain the stem cutting method, We will learn on this subject in detail as we proceed with this article further.

Rat Tail Cactus propagation

Stem cutting

If you wish to proceed with the stem cutting method, you could use a knife or even a pair of scissors for this purpose.

However, before you use them ensure that they are sterilized and clean. Unless that would lead to infections in the plant unnecessarily.

Alternatively, you could use a pair of tongs, and take off a stem from the mother plant. 

You could proceed with the entire stem or cut it into small sections of inches. Alternatively, you could cut the tip of a stem if you wish to have only a single cactus.

You could use shears to cut the stems. You need to let those cuttings air dry and go ahead with potting.

After that, let it become callous for some days and after that only you could place it in a well-draining soil mix. Keep watering them on a moderate level. 

It will take about two to three weeks,to see the results when you propagate them through stem cuttings.. 

Through seeds

If you wish to propagate the rat tail cactus through seeds, keep in mind that it would take a plenty of time to grow new plants.

Having said that, it is relatively an easy process to propagate the rat tail cactus through seeds and they would give you the most guaranteed result.

Consider that you have a rat tail cactus which is blooming, give it some time until it transforms into a fruit.

Once you spot the fruit, give it more time until they become dry. Once it is dry, you could obtain the seeds by cleaning them.

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As the next step, you could use a peat free potting medium which is well draining and place them in a small plastic pot.

I have seen many people tend to use terracotta pots for this purpose.  However, I would recommend plastic as they yield better results for young cacti simply due to their ability to retain heat for prolonged periods.

To do this, you could simply scatter your seeds over the soil surface and cover it with vermiculite. Alternatively, you could use fine grit as well.

Next you could cover the pot whilst using a plastic bag or even a glass lid. After a few weeks’ time your seedlings would form   and you could consider planting them in  the spring.

On the other hand, if you live in an area where the USDA hardness zone is above 10a, you could consider growing them outdoors.

When you are using this method indoors and if you run short of adequate light, you could consider using a grow light.

Rat Tail Cactus propagation

Step by step guide for stem cutting and potting 

As aforesaid, propagating the rat tail cactus through stem cutting is an easy process to follow. Many people tend to obtain cuttings whenever they spot their cactus have outgrown the pots.

It would be challenging to transplant them as they have spines. The best recommended time to obtain the stem cuttings would be either spring season or summer season since  those are their actively growing seasons.

If you wish to have only one individual  plant, you need to take a cutting from a stem edge. In case you wish to have several cuttings, best is to take a stem and cut it into 1-inch sized sections.

Leave those cuttings in a dry place for a few days.  That will allow the cut edges to become dry and callous.

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Consequently it would protect the cactus from any infections which could happen during the rooting process.

Once they become callous, you could place them in a container filled with moist  potting medium. 

You simply have to water the soil medium before you plant the cuttings. In case if you water the cutting after you planted it, it will wash away the cuttings as well as the soil. 

When you plant the cutting, plant it shallow . Ideally at a depth of 1/8 inch. There is a potential that it could collapse, hence you need to add support until the rooting takes place.

As aforesaid, you could spot them rooting within two weeks’ time.

Potting the plant

You could grow them in any kind of soil mix as long as they are well draining. They will grow in soil mix which has any pH value. 

Be it acidic alkaline or even neutral. However, these cacti grow in rocky environments when they are in their natural habitat. As such, best is to provide them a gravely cactus mix.

In terms of fertilizing them, you could feed them with a rich fertilizer in their growing season. Alternatively, you could use a slow-release fertilizer too.

When it comes to repotting, the best thing to do it once every couple of years. Further you need to repot them once you see them outgrown from the pot.

Moreover, it is important that you repot them since the nutrients would be depleting from the pot. During repotting you could see if there are any damaged roots or any other dead roots.

How to treat after rat tail cactus propagation


Rat tail cactus would require typical watering needs just like the other cactus. During fall and during spring, you need to water them frequently.

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On the other hand, you hardly need to water them in the winter season. You  need to allow the soil to dry out between the two watering sessions.

Further you may apply the soak and dry method when watering them. 


Best is to provide a temperature range of 45 degrees Fahrenheit – 50 degrees. Having said that, they could also withstand temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Further, they would thrive well in room temperatures in early autumn and spring.  These cacti would go dormant during winter.  As such, the best is to shift them somewhere where they can rest with cooler settings.


Rat tail cactus would love to thrive in direct sunlight. As such always make sure that you locate them in a place where they can have full and bright sunlight.

In case you do not have adequate sunlight, you could consider using grow lights to supplement them with additional light.  Further you could take the plant out when there is adequate sunrise and heat also.


Best is to feed these cacti with fertilizer once every two weeks. You may use a liquid fertilizer for this purpose. Ideally it has to be diluted to a mild level. Avoid feeding them in winter.


Rat tail cactus would be one attractive plant to add to your indoor garden as it would bring a charming vibe to your landscape.

As long as you properly provide the care treatment, you will have beautiful and healthy plants in return.

In addition to that, as you may understand, you can have many rat tail cactus by easily propagating them. 

Credit to: Marie Dauis ETC
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.