Skip to Content

3 Ways To Propagate A Thanksgiving Cactus

3 Ways To Propagate A Thanksgiving Cactus

Sharing is caring!

The Thanksgiving cactuses are on the shelves of supermarkets and if you already have this plant at home, there’s no need to buy more. 

All you need to do is propagate your Thanksgiving cactus and you’ll get more plants for your collection and a great holiday gift for your loved ones.  

I’ll show you 3 easy ways to get more of these plants and they’ll work even if you’re a beginner.

Let’s get started!

1. Soil Propagation

We’ll start our propagation journey with a simple method used for various plants, including the Thanksgiving cactus. It’s referred to as soil propagation and the plant parts we use for it are stem or leaf cuttings.

Before taking the cuttings, you need to make sure your Thanksgiving cactus is entirely healthy. You can’t get a new plant if the mother plant has any issues. 

This type of plant features small serrated leaves that develop into chain-like strands. A leaf cutting refers to only one leaf whereas the stem cutting is a longer section with more leaves attached

No matter which one you take, the propagation process is pretty much the same. 

Here is the complete procedure. 

1. Take sharp and clean pruners or scissors, select a healthy and mature leaf or stem cutting, and remove it. Don’t use any sections that have flower buds at the end.

You can take more than one cutting as long as they meet the above criteria.

2. Allow the Thanksgiving cactus cutting to dry and callus over for a day or two.

3. Fill a container with a quick-draining soil mix suitable for this holiday cactus. Lay the cut end of the leaf sections on the soil and press them a little bit. They don’t need to be buried deep in the soil, just enough so the cutting is in contact with the soil

At this point, you can use a root hormone, but from my experience, the Thanksgiving cactus cuttings root well without any help.

4. Maintain moisture and keep the cuttings warm, and you can expect the roots to form in about 2 weeks. Soon after, new Thanksgiving cactus plantlets will emerge above the soil surface. 

2. Water Propagation

This is another way to propagate holiday cactuses, including the Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus.

The segments you need for water propagation are the same as for soil propagation but the difference is in the rooting medium. 

Here’s the procedure. 

1. Take the Thanksgiving cactus leaves or stem cuttings with sharp and clean pruners or scissors

2. Fill a glass or jar with clean and fresh water and submerge only the bottom part of the cuttings.

3. Change water regularly to prevent pathogen development, which can destroy the cuttings. 

4. You should notice new roots in a few weeks but don’t transplant the cuttings until the roots are a couple of inches long

5. Plant the rooted cuttings in a fast-draining soil type and keep them moist and warm until the new plants are well established. 

This propagation method gives great results but the best part is that you can watch the root formation. 

3. Division

Division is another easy method with a high success rate, but there’s one important thing to consider. The Thanksgiving cactus looks best when it’s bushy but this method will affect the appearance. 

Once you divide it, the mother plant will be less bushy, but if this doesn’t concern you and your goal is just to get new plants, here are the steps. 

1. Remove your Thanksgiving cactus from its original pot and carefully loosen the root system using your hands.

2. Separate the root ball into a few segments (or one smaller one), making sure each section has healthy stems and roots

3. Prepare a few containers, depending on the number of sections you have. Fill them with a suitable potting soil and replant the sections. 

Again, you can use a root hormone to boost root growth but it’s not obligatory. 

4. Water each Thanksgiving cactus section sparingly and keep them in bright indirect light

5. Make sure you don’t expose new plants to direct sunlight because it can stress them and they won’t root successfully.

When propagated through division, the Thanksgiving cactus takes about a month to generate new roots, and a little more to display new growth. 

Resume with the typical Thanksgiving cactus care; water when the upper 2 inches of the soil dry out, keep in bright indirect light, and prune if necessary. 

And last but not least, enjoy your new holiday cactuses!