The gardener’s version of Mission Impossible? Repotting a cactus. It is a tedious activity that only comes once every few years but remains in our nightmares. If that time has come for you, follow these few steps to protect your green thumbs and keep your cactus happy.

You will need:
  • Braai tongs (or use newspaper)
  • A slightly larger pot – one size up is usually enough
  • Cacti and Succulent potting soil or make your own with 50% pool filter sand and 50% potting soil
  • Gravel

Step 1

Repot your cactus when roots appear on the sides of the pot, or every 3-4 years. Use braai tongs to loop around the centre of the cactus. Holding the sides together, place the pot on its side and gently pull it out.

Step 2

Fill the bottom of the new pot with gravel and then add some potting soil.

Step 3

Tease the roots with your other hand to loosen the soil. Lift the cactus into the new pot at the same level as it was previously and fill the remaining spaces with more potting soil. Firm down gently using your hands or the back of a trowel.

Step 4

To allow the cactus to adjust to repotting, wait a few weeks before watering.
For more on gardening: