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.
How are rotting cacti 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 cactus can it withstand rot?
“simple to maintain
When you hear the word, that is likely the first thing that comes to mind “cactus. These plants need very little care and attention to flourish, but there are still a few things you need to do to make sure they live and grow. One of the typical cacti issues that you must avert at all costs is rot. Any portion of a cactus plant, from the tip to the roots, is susceptible to rot.
So, are you interested in learning how to revive a dying cactus plant? As long as the damage isn’t extensive, a decaying cactus can be saved. There are a few things you can always do to save the plant, regardless of the portion of your cactus plant that is decaying. Avoiding overwatering, repotting the cactus in dry soil, and removing the rotting areas are all ways to treat root rot.
Can cactus root rot be treated?
are ineffective because the illness is soil-borne, and the treated area’s roots continue to proliferate.
The following plants are typically resistant to cotton root rot in cactus:
Why is the bottom of my cactus mushy?
It’s also very logical why you could have been overwatering your cacti if you weren’t aware of how drought resilient they can be. Check the roots of your cactus if you’re not sure if the bottom is decaying. Similar to other plants, the roots of cactus are firm and white in color, whereas unhealthy roots are brownish-yellow and extremely slippery.
Check the drainage holes if your cactus is in a container while performing a visual inspection. Give your cactus a good soak and watch for the water to flow out of the holes. Poor drainage may have led to your mushy cactus. Drill more holes in the container if it doesn’t. According to the Succulent Care Guide, before you repack it, give a potting mix made specifically for cacti and succulents a try. Perlite will also aid in preventing the plant from becoming soggy.
In addition to root rot, wet soil frequently causes other issues, according to Cactusway. It may result in a bacterial or fungal infection that frequently begins close to the base and spreads quickly, making the plant’s exterior brittle. The other two reasons why that tough-looking cactus might be softening are more obvious from a distance. They include insect harm and plant damage.
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.
What does a cactus that is rotting look like?
Regrettably, rot is a typical issue with cacti. It’s important to recognize that rot is a fungal or bacterial disease and will likely continue to develop unless something is done. While environmental factors are involved (rot is most common when the plant is overwatered, growing under conditions of high atmospheric humidity, when the stem has been wounded, after an insect infestation, etc.), it’s important to understand that the rot itself is a disease.
From the roots to the tip of the plant, rot can develop. However, crown rot—which starts where the stem meets the soil—is perhaps the most typical. Look for moist, somewhat depressed, black or dark tissue that is often surrounded by light green or yellow growth. Given that it occurs underground, root rot is the most challenging to find. It frequently manifests itself first when the plant’s entire top starts to yellow and sag.
Over time, many cacti develop a corky and brown base, which is typical for certain species. Try sticking a gloved finger into the plant’s base. It is not rot if the brown portion is hard. Soft rot will exist.
Cacti frequently self-heal in the wild, compartmentalizing the wound with callus tissue to prevent it from spreading. As a result of the lower light and higher humidity that are invariably present inside, that is not nearly as common. Furthermore, even if the rot stops spreading, the damaged area will always detract from the beauty of your plant. Major surgery is advised as a result. Thankfully, you don’t need years of medical school to perform this.
Sterility is essential in the operating room, as any surgeon will tell you. The same is true with cactus surgery. Always maintain your cutting instruments (knife, pruning shears, even saw [for particularly thick stems]) hygienic by washing them down with rubbing alcohol before cutting and between each cut during the subsequent operations.
Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to quickly cut off and discard the top portion of the plant when rot appears aboveground, close to the tip or in the middle of the stem. Make sure there are no signs of rot by inspecting the wound on the lowest half of the stem (dark, spreading tissue or even just an orange discoloration). If so, make another, lower cut until you can see that the remaining tissue is sound.
Though less crucial than with root or crown rot, you might want to apply powdered sulfur to the wound.
One or more new stems will begin to form right below the cut as the cut calluses over with time. You get to choose whether you want to maintain a few stems or just one. If you provide the plant with the proper growing circumstances, the plant will eventually fully recover.
You’ll need to perform more extensive surgery when the roots or the stem’s base exhibit signs of decay. The plant must be severed from its stem and its top rerooted. Only if the top portion is still wholesome and green will this be effective. I’d advise arranging a small cactus funeral service if it’s already yellowing or getting soft before buying a new one.
Cut off the plant’s top above the wound with a knife or pruning shears, if the top is healthy. Throw away the bottom portion. If you choose to preserve the pot, be sure to completely empty and clean it before reusing it to get rid of any disease spores.
Look at the wound. The tissue is it healthy? Lay the cutting on its side and take off another portion as you would a carrot if you detect the tiniest hint of brown or orange inside. Repeat as necessary until you have a section free of rot. Occasionally you’ll discover that the rot has permeated the entire plant, in which case it’s game over, but typically you quickly reach healthy tissue.
Apply sulfur powder to the wound (it’s a natural fungicide) once you’re confident that you’ve removed all of the rot and pre-rot (orange tissue).
For thin-stemmed cacti, callus production can take as little as a week or as long as three months. If callusing will take just a few weeks, you can simply lay the stem on its side. The stem tip will start to grow upward from its prone position if the cutting is likely to endure a few months, damaging the cutting’s future symmetry. If so, either stand the cutting upright or rotate the prostrate stem a quarter turn each week to prevent it from recognizing which way is up.
When callusing is finished and the cut surface is entirely dry and hard, put the cutting into dry potting soil, preferably using a cactus mix. Do not water immediately! In dry soil, let the new plant a few weeks to establish roots. Start watering sparingly after that. You can start watering normally after you notice some healthy new growth.
When rot develops on a stem of a clumping cactus, the disease can sometimes be treated by simply removing the one or two affected stems.
But division might be the best option if it turns out to be root or crown rot that only affects one side of the plant. Pull the cluster apart, keeping only the healthy stems, and remove the plant from its container. They’ll likely already have roots, in which case you may simply pot them up. Delay watering for a week or two, though.
Consider stems to be cuttings if they have not yet rooted. After cleaning them off, leave them to dry in the open air for a few weeks before potting them. As mentioned above, don’t water them at first, and when you notice fresh growth, start watering normally.
How can I revive my dead cactus?
HOW TO SAVE A DIEING CACTUS AND RENEW YOUR PLANT
- REMOVE ROTTING COMPONENTS. Overwatering is typically indicated by rotting.
- CHANGE THE DAILY LIGHT.
- REVERSE WATERING.
- RINSE OFF DUST AND GREEN.
- PEST & INSECT CONTROL.
- FERTILIZE WITH LOW NITROGEN.
- ALLOW THEM TO DRY
- WATCH FOR DISCOLORATION & MUSHY SECTIONS.
How can cactus root rot be avoided?
The best treatment for cactus root rot is prevention. The secret to maintaining a cactus’ health and preventing root rot is good cacti maintenance.
In order to maintain the health of your cacti and prevent them from getting root rot, make sure you do the following:
Water Cacti Properly
Because they are desert plants, cacti don’t require a lot of water. Cacti should only be watered once the soil feels dry to the touch.
Ensure to water cacti cactus in the morning so that cactus roots have enough time to dry out before nightfall.
Make Sure To Repot Cacti Every So Often
Every few years or so, you should repot your cactus if you want them to stay healthy and avoid getting root rot.
When transplanting a cactus, be sure to use fresh soil because old soil may contain cactus diseases that can spread to the cactus.
Provide Cacti With Proper Sunlight
For the cactus to properly photosynthesize, make sure it receives at least six hours every day of intense direct sunlight.
Make sure they receive sunlight through a window and not an artificial one if you wish to maintain cactus indoors.
Use a Well-Draining Soil
When cacti get wet and their roots aren’t properly drained, cactus root rot begins to develop.
Use sandy soil or include sand into your usual potting mix to help the cactus root zone effectively drain excess moisture.
Use a Pot With Proper Drainage Holes
To allow extra moisture to drain out, make sure your pot includes drainage holes in the bottom.
If there are no drainage holes, you will need to drill some yourself or use a saucer made of terra cotta that is specifically made for this application.
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.