First thing to know: Don't worry! The neck will not
rot. These cactus can grow roots from their skin, as
they do when propagated by cuttings. Once the neck is under
soil it stops producing chlorophyll, turns a tan/brown color
as it transforms from skin to root base.
Knock off the pot with
a piece of wood. I use the back of my bench brush. The pot
will come right off since is is shaped to do so.
You are going to use a pot
deep enough to cover the skinny neck - bury it under soil.
Here is a 2-gallon pot
that has just the right depth. Oh, boy! We found a new home
for our lucky supersize Andes.
Break up the root ball
to ensure continued good growth. If you don't the poor plant
will remain root bound. Yeah, you gotta get rough and hurt
her a little pulling the roots loose.
It it makes you feel better in commercial plant nurseries
they shave the root ball off with a large knife.
When you disturb roots this way you should NOT WATER for a
few days. Let the roots heal up and adjust to the new soil.
Then water gently. Keep the plant is a somewhat shady place
to reduce stress. In my experience these are OK to water in
Then they just grow like crazy as they expand their root
I'm so happy in my big new
Here comes the dirt! Oh boy!
My new home of soil. Thank you.
Shake, tamp, settle that soil.
Guess what? It is going to need a bigger pot next spring
- probably a 6 gallon size. When it gets big you'll want to
wrap a towel around it to cover the sharp spines. Have a
helper knock the pot off and have the new pot waiting for
you to set it down.
These get big and you have to learn to repot large,
long spined specimens without having to go to the hospital
As it grows the column is expanding in diameter, but it may
outgrow its neck again. If it does then I cut the upper tip
off to root as a new plant, allowing the base column to grow