If succulents has thorns often becomes problematic grab it during the transplant without getting stung. In certain cases, just a pair of rubber gloves of an appropriate thickness is enough or for globular cactus you resort to the classic newspaper sheet rolled up and wrapped around the plant as a band keeping in hand the two ends.
However, spines and plant are bigger, more things get complicated. Even putting all the effort possible you must estimate that our succulent will also suffer some damage. For example, some spines may break, from a shrubby cactus could become detached elements or you may tear tubercles of a mammillaria. Many cacti, including many common species of Mammillaria, are fitted with hooked spines; this characteristic is particularly insidious since even just touching the plant with hands, these hooks are caught easily under the skin and then it becomes difficult to unhook them one by one without damaging the plant. The tubercles of some mammillaria are quite tender and excessive force detaches them off completely from the main body of the cactus. In these cases, you should use gloves rather tough, where these spines are unable to sink.
Another pitfall lies behind the look harmless Opuntia microdasys: his blades in fact appear adorned with delicate tufts of hairs and not by sharp thorns. The first time you have to transplant it, you do not feel the need to wear gloves, with the result that at the end you find yourself having your fingers filled with fine bristles stuck in the skin. These are very annoying because every time you touch something, they penetrate deeper. Pulled out with tweezers is a painstaking work, a more effective remedy is to wrap your fingers with tape and then rip: this will eliminate most bristles at once without straining your eyes. After such an experience you will learn the hard way that the glochids, that is these tufts of bristly hairs, are more dangerous than thorns. The next time you happen to transplant an Opuntia you will easily remember to use gloves.
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