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I have been growing this guy for 6 years. He's gotten a little too top heavy and today has fallen over and the top piece (about 9") broke off. The break was very even.

I have no idea where to begin here please help. Can it be grafted? Is it doomed?

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  • Well I guess a cactus could be a pet ... a very prickly one, but ... Hope you find an answer! Good looking cactus :D – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 29 '15 at 22:51
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    Yeah you can graft it. If you don't mind the scar. I can put up an answer later when I have more time. – J. Musser Mar 30 '15 at 10:51
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    For future reference, I don't know if this will work with cacti, but if you give tomatoes and such enough potassium sulfate, they get really strong, sturdy stems fast. If it does work with cacti, that might help protect your plant from breaking in any future falls. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Mar 31 '15 at 5:14
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You can graft it back.

If the wound has already dried, use a very sharp knife, as in a proper sharpened and honed chef's knife, and slice off a pickle slice off the top piece and bottom piece.

Wrap the cactus gently but firmly with cotton string, your common classroom white string is perfect for this.

Wind the string around the cactus avoiding the spines, and criss-crossing the wound several times covering an inch above and below the wound making the string both the bandage as well as the support holding it in place.

Leave the string there until it looks like the cactus is going to start growing around the string, then it is time to remove it so it doesn't scar the cactus too much.

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    Yup. It is also common practice to use cactus thorns to hold the graft together. Also good to note that the cambium is not right under the skin, as in most woodys. It's in a smaller ring in the middle (see here). Make sure it's well lined up, even if the rest isn't so. In this case (as the scion and the stock were originally paired), it should be quite natural. – J. Musser Mar 30 '15 at 20:47
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I don't know of a way that you can graft it back together but if you plant that top part in a new pot you have a good chance for it to root and create a new plant.

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It's a pity we can't see the pot properly - seems likely that, as it got heavier at the top, it might have needed a bigger or wider pot to prevent its falling over. Replacing broken parts of plants can be done, if done immediately after the break occurs, but the join somtimes needs 'splinting' and definitely needs taping; as this plant is prickly, it doesn't seem likely this method would be possible without causing more damage to the spines.

Plants get broken all the time in their natural habitat and don't necessarily die, so all you can do is wait and see if it heals itself. It might, though, need a bigger pot anyway... and it's worth following Anubis' suggestion with the broken part.

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Should be able to be grafted back on. If you didn't wait too long. Cacti are grafted all the time. Usually two different types, but the some one should work the same way. I don't know specifics, but Google will.

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  • How long is too long? – rhill45 Apr 2 '15 at 5:26
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    Heck if I know, I've never grafted a cactus. If it healed over. But I supposed you could always cut it again. In fact a clean cut is probably better. – nportelli Apr 3 '15 at 18:32

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