Understanding that a broken cactus’ stem or joint cannot be put back in place is the first step in dealing with the situation. The majority of the time, there will be a crack around the break, preventing it from being effectively re-joined. If your cactus has two symmetrical halves, you should leave it alone rather than risk causing it more harm.
Cleaning the pieces
Use a soft brush to remove any undesirable dirt and debris from the region near the break. Clean the area surrounding the wound and inside it well using a solution of warm water and mild detergent. In order to prevent infection and rot, it is crucial to get rid of all dirt and bacteria traces. Use a pair of sterile scissors or tweezers to carefully remove any dead tissues that are obstructing the wound’s ability to heal.
Avoid touching or applying pressure to a stem’s underside if it is spiky, as it is in many species, as this will only make the harm worse. Instead, apply green leaf gel to the region to help the healing process and reduce scarring.
Take care of the cambium
Always make sure the cambium is aligned before reattaching. The green living tissue layer immediately beneath the bark is called the cambium. It will be beneficial to use a piece of stem from a healthy plant to replace the broken one because cacti typically develop new stems from the cambium. Wood glue should be applied around the wound and the replacement should be securely held until it dries.
After a damaged cactus is successfully fixed, the biggest worry is keeping it from being infected because the new stem lacks any built-in defenses against pathogens. Due to the fact that they draw dust, mites, and other pests that could harm your plants, keep your prickly companion away from windows and drafts. Dehumidifiers should also be kept close to cacti that are growing or blooming because this makes them more vulnerable to decay and fungal illnesses.
Dealing with the remaining half
Your injured cactus may occasionally be split in two with the top portion missing. Even if a wounded cactus only has one-half of its stem left, it can still be saved. New stems will gradually emerge from the plant, and once they are big enough, you can cut them off. Be patient; this process could go on for years. Your cacti may live a long time and become as thorny as you like with proper maintenance.
Another method for fixing a broken cactus is grafting. This entails applying fragments of roots or stems from other plants to the injured area. After a year of neglect, you might think about repotting your cactus into a bigger container to allow the graft to develop freely. Once healed, your spiky pet won’t ever look ugly again. The best thing is that, in addition to teaching you what to do if the cactus breaks, you may repeat this process as much as you wish without harming the plant.
Re-planting as an option
You can think about propagating the broken piece as a new plant if it cannot be repaired. Remove any unnecessary pieces by taking the removed piece. Place the stem in a glass filled with water and keep it out of direct sunshine.
Plant your cactus cutting into the soil-based potting mix whenever new leaves start to emerge, then move it to a bright area of light. While you wait for new roots to emerge, water well and keep an eye out for growth. You can enjoy your newest family member by placing them in direct sunshine once the new stems have grown strong enough. Just keep an eye on it to prevent rot or infection, which would worsen the condition of your other indoor plants.
How can a wounded cactus be repaired?
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.
A snapped cactus will it recover?
You can, indeed. Keep your plant’s shattered bits since they can grow new plants for you. The only thing you need to do is make sure you are preparing the broken pieces for planting according to the correct procedures.
Checking the piece’s broken end should be your initial step. Make a fresh cut with a sharp knife to straighten up the end if it is crooked or broken.
For a few days, leave the shattered portion alone so that the wound can calluse over in preparation for rooted. Before you start to root it, make sure the cut end is dry and covered with tape.
Can cacti heal themselves?
With the help of a recently discovered mechanism, cactus can close off a cut practically immediately. A cactus that has been cut emits an acid that, over the course of roughly 48 hours, destroys the tissues close to the wound. The wound is then closed by calcium carbonate crystals that grow there and harden.
A plant’s immune system usually allows it to naturally repair wounds. This is how it defends itself against different diseases and infections brought on by outside factors like animals or bacteria. This barrier keeps an infection from spreading after the wound has healed thanks to the acid the cactus releases during self-healing.
Because of the body’s innate defensive mechanism, the cut heals with little scarring. This explains why cactus can mend itself so easily and swiftly without any help from a doctor.
Fix root rot in Cactus
Cactus root rot can be identified by symptoms like discoloration, shakiness, and mushy roots. Your cactus becoming brown or black is another sign.
Here’s why cacti plants frequently develop root rots:
In order to enhance water collection in their native habitat, cacti have a large, shallow root system. Root rot can develop very quickly in a pot due to overwatering, compacted roots, or poor drainage.
Water that does not drain properly and is standing around the plant’s base can occasionally only impact the cactus’ base and not its roots. These are some of the most frequent issues with growing cactus inside.
If you act promptly after noticing that your cactus plant is becoming mushy, you might be able to fix the issue. With the right care, even cacti that have decayed all the way to the soil level can recover.
As soon as you’re certain that your plant has root rot, immediately perform the following steps.
Take your plant out of the pot and examine the roots to see how they are doing. Use a sterilized knife to remove the discolored, mushy roots and any rotten parts at the cactus’ base if any are still white.
Prior to repottiing the plant in a fresh container with new cactus potting mix, let it dry out and heal outside of the soil. Always use protective hand gloves or a piece of folded newspaper to shield your hands from the cactus’ sharp spines.
Watch Your Watering
One of the most effective techniques to rescue a dying cactus is through optimal irrigation. Similar to how lacking water is harmful, having too much water is also harmful. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution when dealing with cacti. You should water your succulents as regularly as indicated above.
Additionally, it’s critical to water the cactus plant thoroughly while keeping an eye out for the following:
Under-watering your cactus
If you don’t water your cactus often, it can pucker or shrivel as well as becoming discolored (usually getting brown and dry, or calloused). These symptoms are your succulents and cacti’s method of communicating to you that they are thirsty and dehydrated. Give them a nice thorough watering to fix the problem.
Over-watering your cactus
Encourage the cactus to shed as much water as rapidly as possible if overwatering is a persistent issue.
Choose an unglazed clay container that is only marginally larger than the cactus and fill it with a ready-made cactus mixture to accomplish this. To avoid upsetting the cactus’ delicate roots, pot it gently in the mixture. In contrast to the loose cactus mixture, which allows water to drain rapidly and completely, the clay pot will wick away more moisture from the root zone.
Landscape plants provide you less control over drainage, therefore you should only plant very large landscape cacti directly in the ground.
Change the potting soil
As we’ve already seen, the main factor contributing to cacti root rot is overwatering. Let me be very clear about one thing, though.
The rots aren’t directly brought on by water; instead, Phytophthora spp., a type of water mold, is to blame. But the rot won’t start unless there is enough moisture, which you happily provide it when you overwater.
The pathogen that first caused the rot is likely still present in the current soil, which is the first explanation. The second and most significant issue is that some potting mixtures are considered to be heavy and likely hold too much water.
Due to this, you must switch to a lighter, more permeable potting soil, such as this Classic Potting Mix. What I appreciate about this mixture is that it has a high level of disease resistance, offers excellent drainage, and absorbs just the right quantity of water.
Read this post about how to increase drainage in potted plants to learn more about how to do it.
Repot your cactus
Giving the cactus plant a greater growing space is a frequent justification for repotting.
When houseplants ultimately outgrow their pots, the roots cluster together and get compacted. Without enough room for the roots, a plant will frequently grow slowly and may even perish.
Water that seeps right through the container, roots that are obviously congested, leaves that appear unhealthy, and roots that are growing through drainage holes or above the soil line are indications that the plant has outgrown the container.
The roots can spread when the plant grows larger when the plant is moved to a larger container.
To get rid of any unwanted guests, make sure to properly disinfect the new pot using a solution of one part water and one part bleach.
Choose your pot wisely
Although I highly advise potting up, you should be careful not to pick a pot that will actually cause issues.
The roots may eventually rot if the pot is too large and contains too much dirt, which will allow it to retain too much water.
You need to stimulate some new root growths when roots or tissues have been severely harmed by overwatering or other undesirable cultural practices.
A full cactus plant can regrow from even a small amount of healthy tissue, but if you leave the rot in place, it could spread further.
Till a thick scab appears on the portions that were sliced, let the cactus dry on the counter for a few days. If there is still much of the cactus, bury it about halfway; otherwise, place the remaining piece of the plant in a clay container with cactus soil.
Water the cactus lightly during the first week and then only when new growth starts to show.
Let your cacti rest
Sometimes, your cactus may not require rescue, and you may simply be being overly cautious. It’s possible that when certain portions die off or lose their buds, they are merely requesting a rest.
Don’t worry if the cacti lose their buds one winter; they should bloom the following year.
There shouldn’t be any cause for concern as long as the crucial areas, including the roots, appear healthy.
Provide optimum temperature
If your cactus isn’t flowering, it can be because of the temperature or the amount of daylight it receives.
For six weeks, days must be between 8 and 10 hours long and nights at least 14 hours long to start blossoming. You might need to cover your cactus if your home has bright indoor lights at night.
Only at cool temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees F will flowers bloom.
Watch out for mealybugs
Mealybugs exude wax and sticky honeydew, which lowers plant quality and weakens the phloem of your cactus plant by sucking sap from it.
a large population Although leaf drop and plant growth can be slowed by feeding on the foliage or stems, healthy plants can withstand low populations without suffering serious harm.
Since indoor plants are typically not exposed to the natural enemies that frequently keep mealybugs under control outdoors, cacti are particularly vulnerable since year-round mild temperatures foster mealybug populations.
To ensure that you find and control them in good time, regular monitoring and inspection of your plants is essential. By reading this article on how to control pests, you can discover more about handling mealybugs (mealybugs).
Feed them well
The majority of plant issues, including a dying cactus, can be due to inadequate nourishment.
As a result, it’s crucial to feed your cactus at the most appropriate rate and frequency with a fertilizer that has been prescribed.
Feed a complete cactus fertilizer every two weeks from early spring to early fall. Feed the cactus once a month in the fall and winter.
A plant that has received too much fertilizer may wilt despite being watered, have leaves that feel like they are made of fabric, or have brown leaf tips.
Follow the directions on a fertilizer packet carefully, and if in doubt, use a smaller amount than advised. Ensure that the fertilizer you use is labeled as being suitable for indoor plants.
Light is more important for the cactus than you think
When a plant needs more light, it can eventually grow lanky, floppy, pale, or start to drop its leaves. It is probably not getting enough light if it is expanding yet the new growth is pallid and fragile.
Protect your cactus from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight
An otherwise healthy plant will develop this stiff, dark, bark-like tissue just above the earth. Actually, it’s a result of cacti’s natural aging process. Always work your way up from the cactus’ base when corking.
A cactus is an indication of sunburn or another issue if it turns brown from the top down, though.
A whitish discoloration, typically at the top and side facing the sun, is a symptom of mild sunburn. On the charred surface, severe burns leave behind hard, dark scars.
Brown scars on cacti indicate permanent harm. Moving your cactus into the shade will help it recover if the only discoloration it has is a whitish one.
In order to acclimatize cacti that aren’t used to being in the sun, full sun must be provided for a brief period of time each day, followed by an increase in exposure over the course of several weeks. Some creatures should never spend the entire day in the sun.