Best length for a cutting? Options
#1 Posted : 2/18/2020 7:18:57 PM

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I've heard it's best to make your cuttings at least 30 cm (roughly 1 ft) long, as smaller ones will grow slowly.
What's your opinion on this?

I've just cut off a 'branch' and it's 38 cm (15" ) long. I'm sure this will be a good grower, but what do you guys think about cutting it into two 7.5" cuttings?

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#2 Posted : 2/18/2020 7:25:37 PM

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Two 7.5" cuttings will probably be fine. The smallest cuttings I've been able to propagate were about 2" diameter and 2" long. That being said there is a dramatic difference in how fast and well a larger cutting will tend to root and pup. My general rule is to take at least a 6" cutting for propagation.
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#3 Posted : 2/19/2020 9:10:22 PM

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Either way is fine. But I think that you will have a better result by not dividing it. Larger cuttings tend to grow a lot faster. With smaller cuttings it just takes more time for them to get going. Cuttings that are 2 feet or longer are ideal to use for rooting. Gets you to a good-sized plant much faster. If given the choice between planting a single 15 inch cutting or two 7.5 cuttings, I would choose the 15 inch cutting everytime.
#4 Posted : 2/19/2020 10:36:40 PM

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Thanks guys. I've cut it already... Next time I'll keep a longer cutting and compare.
#5 Posted : 2/20/2020 4:14:00 PM

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While I've successfully propagated a 1" cutting - which was entirely due to circumstances - it surely figures that larger cuttings will have larger energy reserves. Larger cuttings also have a higher volume/surface area ratio - arguably, in effect, protecting them from dehydration and infection to some extent. Depending on the material available, my cuttings will be a minimum of 3" in length. (This is an observation, not a recommendation!)

And of course, the individual nature of the specimen of cactus has a fair degree of influence on the relative rate of pup formation, and root formation, as well as the number of pups that form. Some cacti are simply far more, er, 'puppy' than others. One particular Peruvianoid I have sends out multiple pups from even a 2" cutting, something which none of my other specimens do.

Another practically indistinguishable Peruvianoid took seven years to grow roots, although that may have been incompetence on my part. This was a scabby, skinny 5" x ¾" cutting (gifted) so really we can be pleased that it survived at all.
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#6 Posted : 2/20/2020 5:00:52 PM

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Mine is a T. pachanoi, a very potent and easy-rooting one strain and quite fat with a diameter of 2.75" (7cm). Thinner ones have rooted within a few weeks in the past.
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