Why Is My Prickly Pear Cactus Wrinkled

Cacti are recognized for needing very little water, but they do need some water, so don’t completely ignore them! Extremely frequent problems with cactus include both under and overwatering. The right moisture balance must be maintained, but cacti are fairly forgiving plants.

regions of color and cork on the stems. Between waterings, cacti should have enough time to totally dry out. Your cactus needs water every 10 to 14 days in the summer in well-drained soil.

months. Check the root zone two to three inches below the soil’s surface if you’re not sure whether to water or not. Never water a plant if the soil is even slightly wet; wait until it has dried.

A soak-watering is necessary if you see wrinkles on your cactus, especially towards the base of the plant, as this indicates that the plant is extremely dry. Giving a cactus a lot of water may seem counterproductive, but you’ll be surprised at how the water will be absorbed and the cactus will grow back in size.

How to soak-water your cactus is as follows:

  • Without the saucer, put your plant in the sink or bathtub. Pour roughly 3 to 4 cups of water into your basin. Check to see if the water is warm.
  • Give your plant at least 45 minutes to absorb water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
  • After giving your plant a soak, feel the soil’s top to see if the water has gotten to the top 2-3 inches.
  • Water your cactus a little from the top of the soil to assist the soil become soaked faster if not all of it feels that way.
  • Drain the sink or tub once the soil of your plant is evenly moist, and then leave it to rest while it completely drains. Put the plant back in its proper place on the saucer.

How may wrinkled cacti be repaired?

Your plant requires a soak-watering if you’ve ignored it and you see wrinkles on it. A cactus will absorb the water and swell up when you soak-water it, and the plant’s withered appearance will go.

Can you revive a dried-out cactus?

While skin-deep disorders in the upper body of the cactus can be easily handled, those that have spread to the roots typically result in a plant that is slowly dying. Excision of the diseased tissue works successfully for the majority of cacti. Dig out the damaged flesh with a clean, sharp knife, then let the hole dry out. When the wound is healing, avoid overhead watering.

There is not much you can do if the roots have been affected by the harm. You could attempt to repot the plant by removing the unhealthy soil and adding sterile soil in its place. Before replotting the roots in a new potting medium, thoroughly wash the roots out.

Taking cuttings and allowing them to grow roots for a brand-new plant is another way to salvage a mushy, soft cactus. Before inserting the cutting into the sand, let it a few days to callus over. The cutting may need to be rooted for several weeks. A healthy cactus that looks exactly like the parent plant will be created using this method of propagation.

How can you tell whether a cactus is being overwatered or underwatered?

A cactus can suffer considerably more harm from overwatering than from underwatering. Most of the time, it ought to be fairly clear if the cactus has been overwatered.

Symptoms of cactus typically include the following:

  • The stems and leaves of the cactus will begin to change color. typically dark or
  • The cactus’ base will begin to turn brown or black.
  • The cactus will start to rot and leak.
  • It will begin to look as though the cactus is rotting or decomposing.

Root rot does not always become apparent right away. For a while, the outside of your plant could appear normal, but one day you might notice that the lower stem is turning black and becoming a little sticky. The news is quite horrible!

It’s interesting to note that a cactus that has received too much water may occasionally exhibit underwatering symptoms as a result of root rot killing the roots. Overwatered plants can actually get dehydrated because their roots will die and stop transferring water to the rest of the plant.

My cactus is bent, why?

Your cactus’ weak roots could also be the cause of it toppling over or drooping. This issue might also arise if your cactus is potted in a large container.

There are numerous more factors that could cause the roots of your cacti to weaken. For instance, if your cactus requires a time of dormancy, you must keep it in cool temperatures and just lightly water it once every five to six weeks.

Water evaporation but no water in the soil will result from keeping your cactus in warmer settings and ceasing all watering. It causes a cactus to dry up and kills the roots. A cactus may therefore become too weak to thrive when growth season arrives as a result of this.

Reason #3: Under watering your cacti

Your cactus will begin to wilt and droop if you overwater them. If you submerge your cactus, it may also become purplish in color and go dormant. Cacti that have not received enough water have dry cells, which results in a weak stem and a propensity to tip over or lean.

If you lower watering in winter, as was covered in the previous paragraph, you must maintain cool temperatures for your cactus. Given that your cactus continues to evaporate water even in cooler temperatures, you shouldn’t completely stop watering it. Although your cactus might somewhat shrink, there shouldn’t be any danger.

Root rot results from winter underwatering, especially when keeping cacti in warm environments. This could result in a weak and delicate cactus that will be stunned by higher watering rates when the growing season begins.

How can a dried-out succulent revived?

  • Restrict the irrigation. The leaves of your succulent are turning yellow, brown, or black as a symptom of stress as a result of overwatering if you are watering it more frequently than once a week. Only water succulents when the soil surrounding their roots has totally dried out. This usually takes around 14 days, although it may take longer or shorter depending on the environment, the size of the pot, and how well the soil drains.
  • Put fresh potting soil in. Your succulent can still become yellow, brown, or black if the potting soil holds moisture for a long time like a sponge instead of draining fast and not holding much moisture as it would in the succulent’s native environment, even if you are waiting for the soil to dry up before watering again. If your succulent was originally planted in regular potting soil, remove it from the container and replace it with special succulent and cactus soil (available at garden centers and on Amazon), which closely resembles the coarse, porous, well-draining soil conditions found in the succulent’s natural habitat and greatly reduces the risk of root rot.
  • Succulents should always be grown in pots with drainage holes at the bottom. As long as the pot has a hole at the bottom that allows excess water to drain out, succulents can be grown in a wide range of containers without risking root rot. As succulents prefer dryer soil conditions, terracotta or clay pots are the best choice because they have a more porous structure that allows the potting soil to dry out. Plant succulents in pots that are appropriate to their size because larger pots can store more soil and moisture, which delays the rate at which the earth dries up and raises the possibility that the succulent will turn yellow, brown, or black.

Feel the dirt at the bottom of the container via the drainage hole to determine whether the potting soil surrounding the roots of your succulent has dried out. Delay watering your succulent for a few days if the soil feels wet. This is the ideal time to water your succulent if the soil seems dry.

The natural conditions of intermittent rainfall followed by drought, to which succulents are well adapted, can be successfully imitated by watering your succulent after the soil has become dry.

If you are using saucers or trays underneath your pot, make sure they are frequently emptied to allow water to leave freely so that the soil may dry out in between watering sessions. Also, make sure that there are no roots or compacted soil covering the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

The succulent can begin to recover even if the leaves appear yellow or brown as long as you let the soil dry out once you have addressed the reasons why it is turning soft, mushy, and turning yellow or brown (adjusted how frequently you water and replaced the soil) and put in place the ideal watering practices.

How soon your succulent recovers will depend on how long it has been under stress, but over the coming weeks, it should start to show signs of recovery.

After the soil has dried out, if the succulent shows signs of recovery, such as a decrease in yellow/brown coloring and firmer-textured leaves, you should resume watering. Doing so will help you avoid going from one extreme of overwatering to underwatering your succulent, which can cause the plant to wilt and die back.

Depending on the kind, some of your succulent’s more damaged leaves may become limp or even fall off (this is common for jade succulents).

Cut the individual yellow or brown leaves back to the base of the succulent with a sterile pair of pruners if the discoloration is spreading and the leaves do not appear to be recovering. This will lessen the overall stress on the succulent and stop any rot from spreading, which aids in promoting recovery.

Root rot is the reason of your dying succulent if the yellow, brown, or black coloring of its leaves or stems worsens over time despite proper watering and replacement of the soil with a well-draining, grit-filled potting mix.

Although it may be impossible to salvage the entire succulent if it has root rot, you can still propagate the plant by taking cuttings from healthy tissue.

Since this is one of the mechanisms of reproduction in the native environment of succulents, all succulent plants can be easily propagated from a single leaf or from a healthy part of stem.

Watch this instructive YouTube video to learn how to quickly grow additional succulent plants with no additional cost using cuttings and leaves:

Succulents Turning Brown Due to Sun Burn

Overwatering is the most frequent cause of browning in succulents, but depending on how badly the sunburned the plant, it can also cause the leaves to turn pale brown or even yellow.

Varied succulents require different amounts of light, with some aloe succulents flourishing in direct sunlight while others prefer brilliant indirect light and are sensitive to direct sunlight (such as snake plants).

Succulents require some time to adapt to varied light intensities, so if they are relocated from a relatively shady place into an area of full sun, they could all get sunburned.

As a result, it’s critical to determine the light needs for your specific succulent type. If you do decide to move your succulent to a brighter location, do it gradually over the course of two weeks, exposing it to more sun each day.

Your succulent will have time to appropriately acclimatize to the area of higher light intensity without burning if it is gradually exposed to more sunshine.

If your succulent has become scorched brown from sunburn, temporarily transfer it to an area with bright indirect light.

Unfortunately, severely sunburned sections of succulents seldom recover in appearance. However, this does not always indicate the succulent is dead because, as long as it has been relocated out of the sun, the plant’s condition is unlikely to deteriorate.

Although sunburned leaves on succulents can survive, it is best practice to remove them for aesthetic reasons.

With a clean pair of pruners, trim any burned sections of leaves below the brown or yellowish patches, ideally all the way to the plant’s root. In order to fill their place, new leaves sprout as a result.

However, if your succulent has suffered severe sunburn, the best way to revive it is to look for leaves and cuttings on the side of the plant that receives more shade so you can propagate them and grow more plants from them in areas with better light conditions, which will satisfy the needs of that particular succulent.

Why does my cactus seem to be losing air?

This may occur if, for example, the soil is not sufficiently permeable, if the plant is in a dark or chilly location, or if it has gone a long period without water and the roots have withered. It rarely spreads, but if the plants are placed very close to one another, it can.

What does a cactus that is dying look like?

Possible dead cactus symptoms include: Cacti topple over or are exceedingly flimsy in the ground. Spikes could come off. These two symptoms point to both root rot and overwatering. Yellow turns brown in color.


Prickly pears don’t need to be pruned, but they can be trimmed back. To keep the pads’ size and shape, take out individual ones as necessary. Holding the pad in place with tongs, cut it off at the junction or line where it attaches to the following pad. Pads can be calloused off and shared with pals or planted somewhere else. Find out more about propagation below.

Amendments & Fertilizer:

Young plants should be fertilized with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. A water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-10 or even 0-10-10 can encourage more flowers and fruit in established plants. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer if you’re growing for the pads.


Prickly pears can withstand severe droughts. For the first month, don’t water newly propagated pads. After that, water during the first year every two to four weeks—twice a month in the summer and once a month throughout the other seasons. Rainfall will usually be sufficient to keep established plants alive. When there is a drought, you can supplement with the twice-monthly/once-monthly seasonal schedule.

off a pad pruning, a new prickly pear plant has grown. Selma Jacquet/Alamy Stock Photo provided the image.


Since seeds grow slowly at first, it can take your plant three to four years to begin blooming and bearing fruit. The seeds should be maintained moist until they begin to sprout since they require shade.

Pad propagation is considerably easier and produces results more quickly. This is how:

  • By according to the above pruning rules, you can take off pads that are at least six months old.
  • The cut end of the pads should create a callus if they are left to dry out in a spot with some light shade. This can take two to four weeks in warm, dry weather, but it may take longer under cool or humid conditions. It prevents the new plant from decomposing at the base.
  • Plant pads at a depth of 1 inch in a mixture of half soil and half sand once they have fully calloused over. Your plant could rot if it were buried any deeper.
  • For the first month, don’t water it because the pad already has enough moisture to survive.
  • Until roots develop during the course of the following month, support it with rocks or another type of structure. Your plant should be able to stand on its own after a month, but if it’s still a little unsteady, keep providing support.
  • You can water it at this time and follow the previous watering instructions, just make sure to let it totally dry between waterings.

Flowers and fruit normally start to appear on young plants by the second or third growing pad.