Disposal of plants

Because the Wheel Cactus plant is so robust and drought resistant, it must be disposed of appropriately to ensure is dies. This cactus plant cannot be dug up or broken off and left lying on the ground to dehydrate and die; instead they will re-root and continue to grow. The plant can re-root from any pore on any lobe (pad/wheel) and somust be removed from contact with the soil. Wheel Cactus plants have been reported to survive many months without water, light or contact with soil. Hanging them in trees does not work as they root into the bark or send long tendril roots down to the ground and continue to grow. They do not die if left on rocks either.

Cactus growing on the side of a tree

Cactus growing on the side of a tree

Ideally, Wheel Cactus plants should be totally destroyed by incineration. However, most plants contain too much water for this to be a successful method, unless they are small, very dehydrated or you can create an extremely hot fire.

If plants are manually or mechanically removed they can be buried, but they will only die if they are completely covered with soil and are buried under a minimum 1/2 metre of soil. The safer alternative is to take them to the rubbish tip. If the plant has been injected with glyphosate it can be left to die on site.

When removing plants manually or mechanically try to ensure that pieces of the plants do not break off because each little piece with a pore (where the spine/prickle is on the pad/wheel) can grow into a new plant.Check the area after removal and pick up all the pieces that have broken off and dispose of them at the tip.