What Causes Holes In Cactus

No one can say “More so than the Saguaro cactus, Arizona (Carnegiea gigantea). Who wouldn’t desire this magnificent, recognizable plant? Its incredible size, nevertheless, can also result in equally overwhelming problems.

If a saguaro has holes, for example, is there cause for concern? Usually, the answer is no. Gila woodpeckers and golden flickers are mostly responsible for the holes. They carve out a place in the saguaro’s trunk where they will build their nests and nurture their young. The wound made as a result of the birds’ activity will dry out and harden off, leaving a callus. These chambers are referred to as saguaro because the nest’s shape frequently resembles a pair of shoes “boots. The birds keep the nests tidy, and when they are abandoned, other birds—like house finches and elf owls—often move in, using the saguaro as a kind of hotel. There is no workable way to keep the woodpeckers away. Although the cactus is not in any danger from the nesting holes, many meticulous homeowners want their cactus to be flawless and free of flaws.

When a saguaro starts to exhibit signs of rot brought on by Erwinia cacticida, it becomes a more significant issue. A black slime that seeps out of the saguaro’s trunk serves as a telltale sign that the bacterium has infected the plant, which can also be identified by other symptoms including mechanical damage or frost damage. If the injury is isolated, a sharp, sterilized knife can be used to remove the affected tissue. Each time you make a cut, be sure to sterilize the knife again. Then, apply sulfur and a 10% bleach solution to the wound, and let it dry. Avoid attempting to cover the wound with concrete or any other DIY remedy. A plant’s tissue cannot regrow after it has been severed. In its place, a callus that resembles the cavity in a bird’s nest will harden and form. It is crucial to remove any rotting, dead, or discolored tissue. Make sure the cutout area is angled so that water will drain out rather than pool inside the pocket. Rinse the area surrounding the plants’ bases and dispose of all plant tissue in a sealed plastic bag. Call a qualified cactus specialist if the infected area is large so they can determine whether the cactus can still be saved. It’s crucial to remove the affected area right once since insects can spread bacterial necrosis to nearby saguaros.

It is uncommon for a saguaro to sustain frost damage while growing in the Valley; instead, it is more likely to do so at higher elevations or in places that are more frequently subject to extended cold spells. The effects of frost injury can take a while to appear. This frequently results in a cactus arm breaking off or swinging downward. Just let the wound heal normally if this occurs.

The leaners are another group. A saguaro may lean for a variety of reasons, including excessive shade from a building or a nearby tree, overwatering that causes bacterial necrosis at the base, having too many heavy arms on one side that throws the tree off balance, soil that is too wet and loose, or having too much soil at the base. It’s probably nothing to worry about if you tilt slightly. Call a specialist who deals with sick cacti if the lean is so severe that you are concerned the cactus will topple—especially if other important plants or structures could be damaged.

The powerful saguaros are built to last, with an estimated lifespan of up to 200 years. A healthy existence for yours can be ensured by watching out for indicators of stress.

What is causing my succulents to rot?

Mealybugs are disgusting little insects that like munching on succulent plants’ fresh growth. It’s difficult to pinpoint the specific reason why they appear, however overwatering and overfertilizing are frequently to blame. Due to the more mild temperatures, they frequently appear on indoor plants, although they can also be seen on outdoor succulents.

In the crevices of your succulent, these tiny creatures normally hang out in a white substance that resembles a web. Right where the leaves meet the stem is where they like to hide. They are consequently difficult to see and to kill.

Mealybugs can swiftly spread throughout a succulent and to other succulents nearby if they aren’t treated very once. They move so swiftly, which is both impressive and annoying. They consume the succulent as they move. This frequently stunts the plant’s growth, making the new growth oddly shaped or smaller than typical. If they remain too long, they could also leave some dents in the leaves.

Why do the holes in my cactus exist?

Looks like decay, mildew, or mold, according to Philipwonel. Check to see whether alcohol can be removed from a Q-tip and whether any patches on the cat are soft or mushy.

Remove the rocks from the soil so that it can dry out more quickly. Before watering, let the soil totally dry out.

Hello, I just done that, and the cactus is so very soft it nearly reminds me of a deflated basketball or something. Does the fact that I accidentally poked a little hole in it when I touched it to remove the stains indicate that it contains too much water? I don’t understand why I only spray her on the 15th and give it a little water on the first of every month.

Can a cactus that has a hole in it survive?

It can be a small rot spot. Keep an eye on it, and if it starts to expand, you can cut above the rot to make a cutting. Simply make a clean cut above the rotten area until you reach good flesh. Set in a cool, dry, shady location for a week on top of a paper towel so the cut can callus over. Replant into a fast-draining mixture once a solid scab has developed. Roots take time to form on cacti. It could take more than a month, so don’t be shocked if six weeks have passed and there are still no roots:). They’ll finally get them.

No harsh sun or water should be used during this waiting period for roots. In my garage, by a window, I preserve all of my clippings. Only at roughly 4 o’clock in the afternoon does that window receive sunlight. There’s no need to lift and inspect for roots all the time. Simply let things be. The only thing you should do is check it once a week to make sure nothing unexpected has happened. When roots form, you’ll notice a change in the plant’s demeanor. You can water and begin acclimating to the sun once the roots have formed.

Right now, I wouldn’t turn the cactus into a cutting. Simply keep an eye on the cactus; if the place expands and doesn’t heal, surgery will be necessary. It can be entertaining to bring something back to life, but if you don’t want to go through all that, you could just buy another one.

One final point: those fuzzy things are unpleasant, as Alain already stated. While not what they appear to be. They are known as glochids and can get lodged anywhere. Sometimes, simply glancing at them makes you uncomfortable. really harsh on the skin. Goodluck:).

Cactus bugs: how can I get rid of them?

Even if there are additional pests that may harm your succulents, the majority of infestations will be caused by one of these four bugs.


The fluffy, white insects known as mealybugs are typically found in big numbers. Although you might mistake them for a spiderweb up close, they have a distinct, cottony texture.

They adore living in cracks and other secret, safe places. Check the areas of your succulents where the leaves meet the stem; this is a preferred location.

Fortunately, mealybug infestations are fairly simple to manage. You can just unpot the succulent and thoroughly rinse it out with a strong stream of water if the infestation isn’t too bad. That ought to be sufficient to remove all of the mealybugs.

You should repot the plant in new soil because certain species lay their eggs in the soil. If you’re unsure whether your soil is contaminated, you can bake it at 200 degrees for a couple of hours to eliminate any hidden pathogens.

Apply rubbing alcohol to the affected areas of the plant if water is ineffective or you don’t want to repot the plant. The insects will be instantly killed by regular 70% isopropyl alcohol, but your succulent won’t be affected at all. Try spraying the plant liberally with alcohol after filling a spray bottle with it.


On the plant’s surface, scales take the form of rounded or oval bumps. They are very little, measuring no more than one centimeter or so, and are always dark in color.

It should be immediately clear why these insects are called scales since they are protected by a hard, smooth shell. When they reach the adult stage, they choose a location (typically along the stem) and stay there for the rest of their lives. They are fairly resistant to chemical treatments and almost impervious to predators.

However, they usually spread very slowly. If you notice a few of them on your plant, you may remove them quite quickly by scraping them off with a blade or your fingernail. If there are numerous, you should use a potent insecticide.

The solution is neem oil. Neem oil is frequently marketed as an extract and needs to be diluted before usage, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Additionally, keep in mind that if the oil is on the plant and under strong, direct sunshine, it could result in sunburns because it is an oil.

Neem oil should therefore be used at night. That also lessens the chance of accidentally catching helpful bugs, most of which are active during the day.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are extremely hardy because they can overwinter in the soil and reproduce swiftly. They flourish in the same hot, dry environments that succulents do, unlike the majority of pests.

The tangled, wispy cobwebs that spider mites build around themselves to ward off predators make them very easy to recognize. They come in a variety of hues, including brown, black, and red, and many of them are so tiny you would need a magnifying glass to see them. Look for webs on the undersides of leaves, where they almost always congregate.

Although they pierce leaves to get the juices, the damage is done gradually. For a plant to actually be in danger, spider mites would need to completely cover it. To identify spider mites, look for random spots of yellow, brown, or gray scarring on leaves.

Washing away their protective web covering with vigorous water is the first step in getting rid of them. Apply neem oil next as you would for scaling. Treatment with isopropyl alcohol is also effective. An additional choice is to use insecticidal soap, which you can either purchase or manufacture by combining a few drops of dishwashing detergent with a quart of water. Use a spray bottle to liberally apply the solution.

Fungus Gnats

In reality, fungus gnats are merely a nuisance and not even a pest. However, they are very common and should be mentioned.

They resemble fruit flies in every way, more or less. perhaps a little smaller When you brush by them, they will occasionally take off in a swarm when they are resting on the leaves of your plants.

The adult gnats you see flying around have a relatively brief lifespan and barely consume any food. They lay their eggs in wet ground. The eggs develop into larvae that primarily consume decaying matter but may eat new, sensitive roots if given the chance.

Although fungus gnats are not very harmful to your succulents and cacti, they are a sign that your plant is overly damp. Give the plant extra time to dry out in between waterings or switch out the soil with one that is looser and faster draining.

It is quite simple to get rid of fungus gnats. The soil will eventually die if you thoroughly dry it up (without any water for around two weeks). The eggs and larvae will shrivel up, and the adults will eventually pass away. If you place a fan to blow over the plant, the adults won’t be able to return and deposit eggs because they are extremely slow flyers.

Water your plant with an alcohol or insecticidal soap solution and fully wet the soil for a quicker fix.

That is the quick-and-dirty method for removing bugs from your cactus and succulents. Do you have any questions concerning any other pests? Do you require more information? Tell us in the comments section below!

What may be used as an insect spray on succulents?

When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.

After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.

If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.

Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:

Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs. &nbsp

Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents. &nbsp

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine. &nbsp

If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.

Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.

So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.