Abstract In vitro propagation systems by means of areole activation were developed for Turbinicarpus laui, T. lophophoroides, T. pseudopectinatus, T. schmiedickeanus subsp. flaviflorus, T. schmiedickeanus subsp. klinkerianus, T. schmiedickeanus subsp. schmiedickeanus, T. subterraneus, and T. valdezianus. In vitro-germinated seedlings were used as a primary source of explants. Multiple shoot formation from areoles was achieved for three explant types (apical, lateral, and transverse), cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with 3% sucrose, 10 g l−1 agar and several treatments with cytokinins. Efficiencies were in the range from 7.8 shoots per explant in T. valdezianus up to 19.7 shoots per explant in T. pseudopectinatus, using the best treatment for each species and in a single proliferation cycle. Four of the studied species responded best when 6-benzylaminopurine (3.3–8.8 μM) was used, while 6-(γ,γ-dimethylallylamino)purine (19.7–24.6 μM) showed better results in two species. The two remaining species showed no significant differences in their response to both cytokinins. Regarding explant type, the best results were obtained with transverse cuts for five species, with apical explants for one species, and the two remaining species showed no significant differences among the explants tested. Rooting of the in vitro-generated shoots was achieved most efficiently on half- or full-strength MS basal medium. Rooting frequencies were in the range from 54.2 to 94.2%, and the frequency of survival of the plants once transferred to soil was 91.6% on average.