Why Did My Cactus Rot

A cactus’ ability to decay from the top down can be affected by a number of factors. Fungus, disease, or water entering an open wound on the plant are the three main causes of cactus rot.

A cactus is susceptible to contracting disease or fungus spores if it sustains any kind of harm. Water frequently seeps into the wound as well, causing the plant to rot from the inside out.

Any number of things, such as insects or animals that were eating the plant, could be to blame for the damage. It could have been bumped into by someone, the plant could have fallen over, or perhaps something landed on it.

The good news is that no matter how the rotting cactus got there in the first place, the procedures for rescuing it are the same. In order to save your cactus, I’ll explain you how to avoid cactus rot from spreading below.

Can cactus grow back after rot?

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 come my cactus turned mushy?

That indicates that the plant gets floppy and squishy when exposed to excessive dampness.

There are a few things you can try to remedy a mushy cactus and reasons why this can be the case.

Here are some of the most typical reasons why your cactus could become soft and squishy, along with solutions.


Overwatering is one of the most frequent causes of a cactus becoming squishy.

Desert plants like cacti don’t require a lot of water to survive. A surplus of water can be fatal.

In order to thrive in arid regions, cactus plants, like the majority of succulents, store water in their leaves and stems.

When a plant receives too much water, it can’t absorb it all, and the extra moisture makes the cactus floppy and soft.

How do you revive a dead, overwatered cactus?

  • First, trim the cactus. Use a sharp knife to remove the cactus’ top portion.
  • Step 2: Let the cactus dry.
  • Change the soil in Step 3.
  • Replant the cactus in step four.
  • Water the cactus in step five.
  • First, remove the rotten portion.
  • Step 2: Get rid of the rotten piece.
  • Replant the cactus in step three.

How do you regain a dying cactus?


  • REMOVE ROTTING COMPONENTS. Overwatering is typically indicated by rotting.

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.

What kind of plant are overwatered cactus?

The obvious indicators of an overwatered cactus caused by a fungus in the soil include black or brown blotches and mushy stems. It’s time to carefully chop them off with a knife if you experience any of these bodily symptoms. Use a sterilized knife while handling a rotting plant to prevent the spread of the infection.

You will have to exert more effort if the damage is severe. Essentially, what you’ll be doing is multiplying the portions of your plant that are still alive. Wear nitrile gloves to protect your hands from the cactus’ spines while you chop off the rotting sections, and exercise extreme caution when handling the plant. After cutting out the damaged areas, let your cuttings air dry for a few days, or around a week.

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.

A plant can it withstand root rot?

Root rot on a chickpea plant (Cicer arietinum). Take note of how some of its leaves have symptomatic discoloration.

In a condition known as root rot, anoxic conditions in the soil or potting medium around a plant’s roots lead them to rot.

[Reference needed] The considerable standing water around the roots is the cause of this. Both indoor and outdoor plants can have it, but indoor plants are more likely to do so because of overwatering, heavy potting soil, or poorly drained pots. When a plant has root rot, its leaves frequently turn yellow and eventually die. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal.

It is preferable to only water plants when the soil becomes dry and to place them in well-drained pots to prevent root rot. Root rot can also result by using a dense potting medium, like one that has been dug up from the ground. Plants that have evolved for desert circumstances will experience root rot at lower moisture levels than plants that have evolved for tropical settings. Plants from different locales have varying tolerances for soil moisture. Although some plants can be propagated so they won’t entirely disappear, it can be fatal to both indoor and outdoor plants and there is no effective therapy. The plant should be repotted, and any dead tissue should be removed. [1]

Members of the water mold genus Phytophthora are responsible for many occurrences of root rot; P. cinnamomi is possibly the most aggressive species. Other plants can become infected by the spores of the root rot-causing organisms, but the rot cannot spread unless there is enough moisture. In addition to being airborne, spores can also be found on insects and other arthropods in the soil.

How can I tell whether the cactus I have is rotting?

To identify the issue in its earliest stages, you must be aware of how cactus root rot looks.

The most typical signs of root rot include:

Cactus Stem Discoloration

Cacti will exhibit blatant evidence of cactus stem discolouration if root rot is not treated.

Root rot can cause cacti to start losing their vibrant green hue and turning yellow or brownish.

Disintegrating Plant Tissue

Because diseased roots drop off and expose the cactus core to air, root rot-affected cacti frequently contain plant tissue that is dissolving.

Once it is exposed, it can soon dry out, causing the dead tissue to separate from the plant’s living tissue and leave a hollow space in its center cavity.

Mushy Cactus Roots

This is because the infected cactus core swells and begins to fill the central cavity of your cactus plant, where its stem attaches to its roots, as it becomes infected.

In time, this swelling may rupture, allowing dirt, water, and germs to enter the interior of your cacti and do further harm.

Soft or Discolored Spots on Cacti Stems

If you notice soft or discolored spots on any part of your cacti stem, then there may be a high chance that they are suffering from cactus root rot.

If left unattended, rot can quickly spread to the cacti spines and cause them to lose their vibrant color. In many cases, these spots will also appear waxy.

Weak Cacti

Cacti that have cactus root rot frequently lose their vigor and become frail, which can make them collapse or fall over.

Even when cactus are adequately watered, they may still tumble over since they will become very tough to support.

Black Rot on Soil Surface

A symptom that your cactus plant’s roots have contracted cactus root rot and may be dying off is the presence of black spots of dead soil close to the base of the plant. As a result, the soil around your cactus plant will begin to disintegrate.

Dead matter has accumulated around the base of your cactus or cacti, where molds and other fungi start to proliferate as they degrade.

Yellowing Cacti Spines

Because disease frequently affects the cacti’s spines, cactus root rot can cause cacti to lose their brilliant color.

These yellowish spots may also form on the cactus’s spines that are along its stem or on any other portion of your cacti plant when it becomes diseased.

Wilting Cacti Spikes and Buds

Wilting buds and spikes are another sign of root rot that is frequently present. This virus could spread inside throughout the entire plant if it is not treated, severely harming it.

You should be aware that even if you address surface signs right away before cactus stem discoloration becomes apparent, once interior components of a cactus get damaged by root rot, they cannot be rescued.

Internal Decay in Cacti

This illness causes internal disintegration and an increase in respiratory activity as a result of cellular degradation due to alterations within a cacti’s circulatory system.

Any attempts at treatment at this point in the disease’s progression will be ineffective, even if they are started right away after identification, unless all damaged roots have been cut out before additional harm has been done.

However, as was already noted, cacti with root rot will immediately start to exhibit cactus stem discolouration after the internal cavity has been revealed.

How frequently do cacti need to be watered?

The most frequent reason for cacti failure is improper watering, whether it is done too much or too little. Cacti have evolved to store water for extended periods of time and can maintain moisture through droughts because they are endemic to arid regions and dry temperatures. They have a limited capacity, which is why over-watering can result in a variety of issues.

When it comes to regularity, watering your cacti will largely depend on the season but also on the variety. Checking the soil is the easiest technique to determine whether your cactus needs water: It’s time for a drink if the top inch is dry. That entails applying the “soak and dry procedure” on cactus.

What is the soak and dry method?

The soak and dry technique is thoroughly wetting the soil until part of it begins to flow out the drainage hole, then waiting until the mixture is nearly dry before wetting it once more. If done properly, this strategy will help them endure a period of under-watering should you need to travel or leave the house because it takes use of their natural tendency to store water (or if you just get busy and watering falls to the wayside, as happens to all of us now and again).

Watering during the growing season versus the inactive season

Like with many houseplants, the season affects how frequently you need water. It becomes more crucial that you get in the habit of examining the soil to determine whether your cacti are thirsty. A healthy cactus needs watering every one to two weeks during the growing season, according to general wisdom. The frequency changes to once every three to four weeks during the off-season.

Even then, it’s crucial to examine the soil. The same way that not all interior spaces and not all cacti are alike. The only way to be certain that your cactus require watering is to carefully examine the soil to determine how dry it is because there are so many different factors.

Why is my cactus becoming softer and browner?

Cactus tip rot, which is evident when the top of the plant begins to become dark and mushy, is most likely the cause (aka cactus stem rot).

That basically signifies that your cactus is starting to rot. If nothing is done, cactus stem rot will quickly become a serious problem.

A cactus will continue to rot from the top down once it begins. The plant will finally perish as it continues to spread down the entire stem.

Therefore, it’s critical to take quick action as soon as you see cactus tip rot in order to save the plant.