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Updated: Mar 31

Nowadays, grafted cactus are becoming more and more popular, especially in garden centers

But what exactly is grafting and why do you need to do it? Read on to find out and as well as learn how to graft them.


Grafting cactus is basically a straightforward method where you attach a piece or even a whole cactus (called the "scion") onto a wounded piece of another cactus (the "rootstock") to create a single plant. This way, you won't just be able to create a whole new form of cactus but also increase the growth rate of a scion, as it will get the nutrients it needs from the rootstock, which can really be beneficial for slow-growing species.

Grafting cactus a method of attaching a piece (called the "scion") onto a wounded piece of another cactus (the "rootstock") to create a single plant



Furthermore, the possibilities of grafting cactus are not limited to just any specific species. However, the top cactus commonly used are the hymns and astro


There’s actually a lot of ways to graft a cactus, but the most simple and effective way is the lateral method. And here's how to do it.

Step 1:Cut the head off the rootstock. Although you can cut it at your desired height, a minimum of two or three inches above the soil is recommended. Also, cut as precisely as possible using a clean, sharp knife.

Step 2:Create a scion by cutting off the head of the other cactus. As much as possible, ensure the cut where both the scion and the rootstock have the same diameter.

Step 3:Place the scion on top of the cut portion of the still, rooted rootstock so both are situated together.

Step 4: Use some rubber bands to secure. Do this all the way from the top, down, and around the pot and the cactus to hold the pieces together. 

Use rubber bands to secure your newly grafted cactus

Once done, you can remove the rubber bands in just a couple of weeks, as the two cacti you grafted should have already been bonded together permanently by then.

Important: While grafting, you need to work fast and efficiently. If you leave your scion and rootstock out for too long, they might begin to desiccate.


They actually don't require much attention at all, which makes them the perfect plants for people who have a tight schedule. Besides, caring for a grafted cactus is not that different compared to ungrafted ones.

1. Light Exposure

When it comes to light, grafted cactus prefers bright indirect light, as exposing it under the full sun for a long time will definitely harm it. So if you plan to grow yours outdoors, make sure to slowly acclimate your cactus to a brighter exposure to prevent it from burning.

Grafted cactus prefers bright indirect light

Also, the rootstock of your grafted cactus is very sensitive when it comes to cold and frost. So make sure to move them indoors (ideally in a room with a temperature above 15C), especially when it becomes too cold.

2. Soil and Water

Like most cacti, one of the top reasons a grafted cactus dies is due to overwatering. So be sure that the soil you are using drains well enough (like a cactus or succulent potting mix with perlite) to prevent it from sitting in wet for too long and to allow it to fully dry out in between waterings. You can use a moisture meter to test the moisture level of the soil.

Use well-drained soil for grafted cactus to prevent overwatering

A wooden skewer should do the trick as well in testing the moisture level of the soil. This can simply be done by sticking it deep into your cactus soil, then remove and check to see if the skewer is moist or has moist soil sticking to it. If moisture is detected, do not water. 

3. Feeding

Like any other plants, grafted cacti only need to be fertilized at least once a month when they are actively growing and stop as soon as they enter their dormancy period, which usually happens in the winter months. You can use any standard fertilizer for your grafted cactus.

You can use any standard fertilizer for your grafted cactus


They are easy to grow, incredibly adaptable, relatively pest-free, and are low maintenance - ideal for any home, office, or garden to make a perfect green space.


There are actually several reasons why a grafted cactus starts to turn brown or discolored, but below are the most common reasons why.

1. Overwatered

An overwatered grafted cactus will usually show signs of becoming mushy, browning or discoloration. 

  • How to save it?Once overwatering is suspected, immediately check the roots for signs of root rot. If the roots are still white and healthy, then repotting the grafted cactus in a fresh, new well-draining soil should be enough to do the trick. 

  • How to avoid overwatering? Overwatering usually happens when the plant is watered without allowing the soil to dry out completely. So to prevent this from happening, it is advisable to water your grafted cactus only when the soil is dry. You may either use a moisture meter or insert a finger into the soil (about 2 to 3-inches deep) to check before each watering. Also, it is best to make sure that your pot has good drainage to allow any excess water to flow out of the pot.

An overwatered grafted cactus will usually show signs of becoming mushy, browning or discoloration. Photo credit: @truuliisa on Houzz


2. Rotting Stem or Root Rot. 

If the stem of your grafted cactus starts to turn brown or discolored, it’s most likely that the plant is also suffering from root rot (brown or black, mushy or slimy roots), which is usually caused by overwatering or having poor drainage (or both).

  • How to save it? If root rot is suspected, quickly (but gently) dig the grafted cactus out from its pot and remove or snip any unhealthy roots from the plant using a clean, sharp knife or scissor, and replant it in a new pot with fresh, new well-draining soil.

  • How to avoid rotting stem or root rot?Make sure that the grafted cactus is planted in a pot with proper drainage (either a plastic pot or any fancy pots with drainage holes), wait until the top 2 to 3-inches of the soil is dry, and has a good flow of oxygen to help prevent moisture from building up in the roots of your plant.

What is succulent grafting?


Succulents are a group of hardy plants that grow well in warm and sunny locations. Normally, grafting is one of the most common ways of propagating succulents for making new plants that involve joining two plant sections from different plants to create an exotic plant. The mature piece of a tree is called scion, while seedling or offset is rootstock. If your succulent grows some small plants at the base of the parent plant, you can take them and join them with another succulent for growing a new succulent. 

There are two main reasons for succulent grafting: 

First, grafting is quite a successful method to propagate novel plants. When different plants are grown together, the resulting exotic succulent is unique. 

Secondly, many specimens of scullentd are not stable on their roots, and grafting the plant to stable rootstock increases the chances of those succulent plants growing successfully. 

So, overall, you can graft succulents to create an exotic plant.

How to Graft Succulents – Step-by-step


Before directly going to grafting succulent, you must arrange grafting supplies such as a sharp knife or scalpel, grafting tape, and grafting wax for large Scullent Though these are simple tools, a sharp knife is a key to cutting the plant without crushing it nicely. Plus, you should also have denatured alcohol to sterilize the knife. So, after managing these things, follow this grafting method:

  • 1. Selecting the scion is the first and most important step in grafting, as every plant cannot grow on any type of stock plant or rootstock. You need to check their compatibility and then work on the next steps. 

  • 2. Choose a potted stock plant from the same genus as the scion to prevent rejection of the scion. For example, succulents belonging to the family Asclepiadaceae can be grafted to plants of the Ceropegia genus. Similarly, plants in the family Portulacaceae can be grafted to Portulacaria afra,

  • 3. When you have selected scion and stock plant, sterilize a sharp knife by dipping it in denatured alcohol. This is necessary because the knife can transfer the infection to the plants.

  • 4. Let the potted scullentd in soil and make a straight cut through the stem of a stock plant that should be 1 and 3 inches above the soil level. Similarly, make a straight cut in the scion, and at this step, both joining sections are ready to be grafted.

There are three grafting ways: flat grafting, slide grafting and split grafting.

Flat grafting


For Flat grafting, place the scion on top of the cut surface of the stock succulent plant and arrange it, so the vascular tissues inside both plants are partially aligned. Now secure the scion in place by wrapping a rubber band around the bottom of the stock plant's planter pot and then the top of the scion. You can also tie a piece of string around the pot so they remain held and do not move to disrupt grafting. This type of grafting is used on plants that have the obvious trunk and branches. 

Side grafting


Side grafting is used for succulents with thin stems such as echvria and Sedum .You need to cut scion and stock at an angle using a sharp knife in this method. Place the scion stem against the cut made in the rootstock, so the vascular tissues of both plants are touching. Secure the scion stem in place by wrapping string or a rubber band to hold them together firmly.

Cleft grafting


If you want to grow exotic succulents using the cleft grafting technique, make a V-shaped cut in the stem of the stock plant. 

Cut a stem off the scion using a sterilized sharp knife and then make two angled cuts on opposite sides of the stem to form a wedge shape. The end of your scion plant is like a wedge, so insert it into the V-shaped cut of stock plant and wrap the two plants in cotton to hold them together as they grow to a new succulent. 

Grafting Echeveria


They  are among the most popular succulents grown indoors, floral arrangements, artwork, and terrariums. Their stunning rosette shape, plum leaves, and various colors give them a striking appearance. Although they are easy to grow and maintain, grafting Echeverias combines its features with other plants. So, you should decide on rootstock and follow the above-mentioned grafting procedures. 

Normally, the Jade plent goes well with Echeveria to create exotic plants as it is thick-stemmed and stabilizes Echeveria. Similarly, Echeveria is quite an interesting succulent, and you can grow their leaves on a plant with a long stem.


So, cut the Echeveria scion and prepare it for grafting. Similarly, cut through the rootstock and insert a scion in it. Tie the graft with a band or string to keep them together and merge their growth pattern.

You can also use grafting wax to prevent the grafted section from water at the junction point.


Tips to Care Grafted Succulents and Cuctus


Though succulents are low maintenance plants but these care tips can help your grafted plant to thrive: 

  • 1. Most grafted cacti and succulents do best indirect light. Therefore, you should not expose them to bright and direct light. East or west-facing windows are ideal for providing just enough sun for your plants without burning with direct light. 

  • 2. Watering is another factor for the healthy and pest-free growth of cactus. Do not frequently water your plant, and before watering, ensure your plant's soil is completely dry. Remember, the watering plan for succulents does not remain the same throughout the year. Your plant needs comparatively more water in summer than winter. This is because overwatering makes the soil waterlogged, and plant roots are immersed in the standing water that is never favorable.

  • 3. Depending on your rootstock, you can find out the proper soil pH for your grafted plant. As many cacti prefer acidic to soil you should maintain its pH other your plant faces many growth problems. 

  • 4. Fertilization of plants is essential to fulfill their nutritional requirements and supplement with depleting minerals. But timing and selecting the right type of fertilizer is the real thing. You should always use cactus fertilizer in diluted amounts to prevent plant burn. 

  • 5. Similarly, fertilization during the growing season encourages healthy growth in your grafted plant. 

So, regardless of the grafting procedure and plant, these tips will keep your plant healthy and blooming. Above all, the incidence of plant problems is reduced to a greater extent. 



Grafting is used for ages to produce new varieties with better and adaptive plants. Many succulents and cactus can be grafted, but moon cactus, Ruby Necklace, Little Jewel, Living Rock Cactus, and Wine Cup produce really stunning exotic plants. Similarly, Pebbled Tiger Jaw, Crinkle leaf plant, and blue rose cactus can also make your grafting experience outstanding. 

Thus, select compatible scion and rootstock, prepare them, and graft carefully, ensuring proper sterilization as grafting plants as the chances of their exposure to contaminants is quite high. 

You will see new growth in some weeks. So, give them ideal growth conditions and take good care of grafted succulents to grow well.

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