Earlier last month, my sister and I embarked on just another thrifty desert flora find. The score: two gargantuan dragon bone cacti coming in at six to seven feet tall. 😱🌵
I mean, a brazen five foot two-er right here, the height deterred me none, most especially since I’ve tried to get Caitlin to tackle a ten-footer in the past to start a small cacti farm. I have not succeeded … yet. Obviously, it’s still for sale.
With a very short list of tools, a pickup truck and plant lovin’ willpower, I’m going to teach you how to transport a large cactus safely to your home base, even over long distances. ‘Cause who can pass up two big ass beauties for $130? Not me, sista!!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Heavy blankets, lots of them!
First things first, protect those paws and put on thick gloves. STAT. 👋🏻
To prevent dirt from falling out of the planter, crumple newspaper and stuff the pot full. Use twine to secure the newspaper in place. Depending on pot size, this could take multiple tie-arounds.
PRO TIP: This step works best if you cactus is fully or slightly upright (i.e.; in the passenger seat of my MINI 😂).
For this excursion, I moved two large cacti horizontally on a 40-minute highway drive. The cacti dislodged from their pots (which were ultimately being replaced). In retrospect, I’d skip this step altogether for a horizontal transport. I recommend removing the root ball from the pot, protecting it with a blanket or bag and repotting immediately upon arriving to your destination.
Using a heavy, porous blanket, carefully wrap your cactus. Be wary of the spikes. The dragon bone spikes worked to our benefit, helping hold the blanket in place. Use twine to secure. The blanket will protect the arms from breaking (and you, too).
Pad the surroundings, both underneath and all sides. Make sure to set down the flattest side of the cactus. If the pickup bed door cannot close, lightly fasten ratchet straps around the cacti to keep from bouncing around.
PRO TIP: If you notice the heavy scarring, this is sadly from overwatering. The best feature of cacti is they’re low maintenance! Give them a cup of water a few times a year and you’ll be golden. And without permanent scars.
Aside from some turned heads, there was very little damage in this transport. It may or may not have looked like Caitlin and I were hauling two dead bodies on I-95. 😆 Two baby arms and a handful of spikes were lost, but overall a major success. Make sure to check out my Instagram story highlights for a video tutorial on how to transport a large cactus!
Recommended: Repot cacti of this size in the room you plan to keep them in!
Happy cactus hunting!! 🌵☀🤙🏻