Transporting a plant from one location to another requires careful planning and preparation. You need to consider many factors such as distance, weight, water requirements, temperature extremes, pests and diseases, and other plants that might be present in the area where you are going to transport your plant. If you don’t have any experience with transporting plants or if you’re not sure what kind of equipment would be needed for this task then it’s probably better if you do not attempt this task at all!
Before you begin, make sure that you have everything you’ll need to move your plant. For example, if you plan to use a forklift truck, then get some good quality wood (preferably Douglas fir) and get yourself a forklift. Also, make sure that there is enough room inside the vehicle so that your plant will fit comfortably in its new container.
If possible, try to locate a place where the soil is relatively free of rocks and roots. Some places are easier than others. If you cannot locate a suitable location, then it may be necessary to dig a hole and remove the root ball first before moving the plant.
When choosing which type of container to use, make sure that it is sturdy enough to support your plant’s weight without breaking easily. Make sure that the lid fits tightly around the top of your container so that no air can escape during transportation. If necessary, line the bottom of your container with plastic to prevent any water from leaking out.
If you will be transporting a saguaro cactus that has arms, make sure that the container is deep enough to allow for the longest arms to hang down without bumping into the sides.
Make sure that all of your equipment is in good working condition and that it’s properly set up before you begin to move your plant. When carrying the plant from one place to another, hold on tight so that it does not fall off and break. When lowering the plant into its new location, do so slowly to make sure that the bottom of the container does not hit the ground first or it might cause the container to break open and damage your plant.
The first thing you need to do is to drill drain holes in the bottom of the container. Place some drainage material such as crushed stone, gravel, or small stones in the bottom of the container to help with drainage. Place a sufficient amount of lightweight soil over the drainage rocks.
Don’t pack the soil down; instead, make ridges and valleys with your hands so that water can drain from the soil and into the drain holes you drilled in the container’s base.
Now you’re ready to place your plant into its new home. Gently remove your plant from its current location. Try to handle it as little as possible because this will prevent the loss of roots and foliage.
When handling your plant, try not to allow direct sunlight to shine directly on it because the heat will damage the plant. Also, be careful not to damage the roots or rupture the root ball. Once you have placed your plant in its new home, spread out the roots and branches to their natural positions. This will help the plant to adapt to its new environment a lot faster.
Water the plant thoroughly so that water goes out the drain holes and into the soil below. If the plant has been in a shallow container, you’ll need to water it a lot more often because the root ball will dry out more quickly. However, if you’ve used a deeper container, then watering it will not be as much of a problem because the water will last longer before drying out.
Place a cover on the container to keep the water from evaporating and place the container in a location with bright, indirect sunlight.
Once your plant has been placed in its new home and watered thoroughly, it will be ready for cultivation. Water it whenever the soil begins to feel dry. You may need to water it more often at first until the plant becomes established.
Watch for signs of over or under watering stress such as wilting or discoloration of the stems and leaves. As the plant grows, it will need less frequent watering.
Now that your plant is in its new home and you know that it’s getting enough water, you can prune it to its desired appearance. Pruning should be kept to a minimum because every time you prune it, you run the risk of damaging or killing the plant. Younger saguaros can be cultivated to grow just about any size and shape.
They can be trimmed into hedges, allowed to grow into trees, or anything in between.
As your saguaro matures, you may notice a few changes in its appearance. As it grows taller, the base will get wider. The older a saguaro gets, the more wrinkled and brown the skin will look.
This is perfectly normal. A saguaro can grow branches, but these are quite rare. As a rule of thumb, if you find a saguaro with branches, then it is not truly a saguaro—it’s a cactus. The flowers of a saguaro are also relatively uncommon, so if you find one with flowers then consider yourself very fortunate!
As you can see, caring for a saguaro is not a difficult process. They are very hearty plants that can survive in adverse conditions. They can grow in poor soil and even dry creek beds.
They do best in sunny, open spaces and require little water. A typical household plant wouldn’t last a week in these conditions, so consider yourself lucky to have a specimen that can thrive under these conditions!
If you follow these instructions and care for your saguaro properly, it should grow and thrive to be a magnificent specimen! I have grown saguaros, and they are very rewarding plants to take care of. So, if you have the time and dedication to give your new pet the proper attention it deserves, then you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding friendship with one of nature’s great gifts—the saguaro cactus.
Good luck and happy growing!
Article contributed by Ariana. Article written in cooperation with Roger.