Although cacti are low-maintenance plants that can withstand harsh circumstances, they are nonetheless susceptible to stress. Your succulent may droop or topple over as a clue that anything is amiss. Why does the plant lean, and how can it be fixed?
The tilting and tipping over of a cactus plant is an indication of overwatering, underwatering, pest damage, root rot disease, or an excessively large container. Repot the succulent in a container that leaves only 2 inches of space on the sides then water it when the top 2 inches of soil is dry to fix the drooping problem.
How can you determine if cacti are being overwatered or underwatered?
Here are a few frequent problems that many plant owners have when trying to determine the best approach to take care of succulents and cacti.
Cacti and succulents adore light. No succulent or cactus we’ve ever seen wants to sit on your gloomy office desk, even if some species (for succulents, try haworthia or gasteria; for cacti, try epiphytes like rhipsalis and hatiora) can endure lower light. To thrive, these guys need to be close to a window, ideally one that faces south so they can make the most of the sunlight. The first step in determining whether you are prepared to care for succulents and cacti is to choose a light spot in your home.
When they don’t receive enough light, succulents exhibit peculiar behavior. If your succulents require more light, you’ll frequently notice yellowing in them. Bright pink, purple, or yellow colors frequently return to simply plain green, while deep green will eventually fade to pale green.
The development habits of succulents are similarly impacted by inadequate light. Succulents frequently become long and spindly in an effort to reach for the light. Sempervivum and echeveria species, which typically grow in rosettes, may suddenly start growing tall and reaching for additional light.
Likewise with cacti. As the cactus strives for light, what was formerly dark, robust flesh may turn pale. Additionally, just like “reaching succulents,” cacti that don’t get enough light will exhibit odd growth patterns. Etiolation is the process of new growth being significantly smaller than the rest of the plant; occasionally, long, tendril-like branches or unusually skinny new growth on the top of the cactus will emerge.
Succulents and cacti can bounce back from too little light, but the etiolated growth habit is irreversible. If the strange growth pattern bothers you, consider trimming it off. Many succulents and cacti may flourish after pruning. The new growth that appears should be “normal and non-etiolated” as long as you relocate your plant to a position where it will receive enough light.
Finally, because the soil will remain wet for too long in the absence of proper light, root rot might also result. See if your plant might be experiencing root rot as a result of inadequate light by seeing the photographs of it below.
Most cacti and succulents can withstand direct sunlight. However, if your plant isn’t used to it, using too much can be hazardous. For instance, moving a succulent or cactus onto the porch for the summer (very recommended!) and suddenly exposing it to 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight per day will cause it to burn.
Burn typically manifests itself on your cactus and succulents as browned or calloused flesh. Your best approach for recognizing burn is to look for discoloration, especially on the side of the plant facing the window. A coarser texture will develop on the burned leaves or meat compared to the remainder of the plant.
Burnt leaves cannot be repaired; you can either remove them by pruning or by changing the surroundings so that your plant receives more suitable light.
Succulents and cacti should be moved outdoors during the summer, but do it gradually to give them time to become used to the brighter environment. Start them off in a shaded outdoor space (which will still be brighter than your living room, most likely), and gradually increase their exposure to light over the course of a week or two.
not enough It is undoubtedly safer to provide too little water than too much in the context of caring for succulents and cacti. Despite this, succulents and cacti do require water, particularly in the spring and summer when they are actively growing.
The problematic issue is that having too much or too little water can sometimes appear alike. However, if you err on the side of caution, you might reasonably assume that you are under-watering if your plant exhibits the following behaviors.
When succulents receive insufficient water, they frequently pucker. Because they store water in their foliage, succulents and cacti are lush and meaty. The plant relies on these water reserves to live during dry spells. As the plant physically consumes its water stores, the flesh will start to shrivel or pucker. As observed in these jade species, this typically begins on the lower leaves and moves its way up the plant:
Here’s another illustration of a succulent that is thirsty (a few of which often happen to be etiolated from low light). Observe how they seem a little bit shriveled:
Additionally, a dry cactus may pucker or shrivel in addition to discoloring (usually getting brown and dry, or calloused).
Give your cactus and succulents a nice, thorough watering if they exhibit these symptoms. But always choose cactus or succulent soil that drains properly, as your plants won’t want to stay in wet soil for very long. The leaves should quickly re-puff up!
too much From only a picture, it might be difficult to tell whether a cactus has received too much or too little water. Without knowing how much water it received, for instance, it would be difficult to determine whether this opuntia cactus received too much or not because the symptoms are frequently similar:
However, a succulent or cactus that has received too much water will feel mushy rather than simply puckered. These plants can store a lot of water, but once that storage capacity is exhausted, the plant will literally come apart as the cell walls and roots decay. This results in them becoming mushy, and it’s a crucial distinction that may help you distinguish between over- and under-watering while also looking at your own watering practices and the surrounding environment.
Overwatering is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including browning or blackening of the plant’s leaves or stems, browning or blackening at the plant’s base, mushy or leaky plants, and plants that are practically decomposing in front of your eyes.
Gently remove your succulent or cactus from its pot and look at the roots if you suspect decay. When a plant has brown or black roots, it
To cool Because they are native to desert settings, the majority of succulents and cacti are well-suited to freezing nighttime temperatures (jungle cacti, for example). Most succulents and cacti prefer chilly nights, especially in the winter. In fact, several species, such jade, christmas cactus, and epiphylum, bloom more readily in colder climates.
Low temperatures, however, can be an issue indoors because they frequently coincide with high humidity levels. When you water your cacti and succulents in the cool winter months, the soil will remain moist for a lot longer than it would in the hot summer months. You guessed it: root rot results from cool, damp soil.
Pay close attention to your succulent and cactus watering schedule if your house gets quite cold in the winter. You might only need to water your plants once a month or even less, depending on their type, size, drainage capabilities, and pot. Additionally, we advise erring on the side of caution when it comes to winter watering and giving the plant a moderate amount as opposed to completely soaking the soil.
The procedures outlined above for identifying over-watering are the best approach to determine if too-cold temperatures are having an impact on your succulents and cacti.
too warm Cacti and succulents are particularly skilled at tolerating high temperatures since they can survive cold temperatures for the same reason! After all, the desert is a region of extremes.
However, excessive heat in an indoor growth setting frequently causes watering problems. If your plants are outdoors in the heat, they will quickly dry out. Depending on the heat and exposure, you might need to water your succulents and cacti twice a month or even every week.
When put in a window, excessive temperatures can also be a problem for cacti and succulents. Plants can be burned by the sun’s heat coming through glass since it tends to be more intense. Utilizing the detection procedures outlined under “too much light,” check for burn.
What cacti-related issues have you had? How are succulents cared for? There is so much to learn, and we’d love to learn from you. Please share with us in the comments.
Have inquiries? For a chance to have your issue addressed in the upcoming episode of Pistils Rx, feel free to post it in the comments section or send us an email with images.
How can I prevent the curvature of my cactus?
You may have planted your cactus too loosely in the soil if it is drooping from the ground. Additionally, it can indicate overwatering. We all know that before the next watering, the soil where the cactus is placed needs to be fully dry. Otherwise, the ground will get looser and the earth will begin to harden around the cactus’ base. Replanting a cactus in dry soil or adding more soil around the cactus’ base are two possible solutions to this issue. Additionally, you can encourage your cactus to grow upright by covering the soil’s surface with a coating of gravel or small rocks.
How can a sagging cactus be fixed?
It might be challenging to gauge how much water to give a cactus plant. A dehydrated cactus will frequently take on a purple hue and soften. Later, the leaves get wrinkled, and the branches may droop. Cacti that have received too much water will also sag, droop, and possibly get root rot. Your plant will have proper drainage if you place it in cactus potting soil, and frequent watering might help it recover from dehydration. Another solution is to repot a root-bound plant into a bigger container. If your plant has received excessive water, let the soil air out. Just until the top 2 inches of soil have dried up do cactus plants need water, and even then they only need enough to allow some drainage from the pores in the bottom of the container. The cactus will know it has enough moisture if water starts to drain from these holes.
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.
Can you bend a cactus back into shape?
Restarting will be your only option to get the plant back to straight because you cannot go back and fix it. More light will keep this plant from bending, iann wrote. It will grow straight up in bright light, particularly outdoors in the direct sun.
Can a dried-out cactus be revived?
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.
Why isn’t the growth of my cactus straight?
Issues with Improper Planting The cactus may be loosely placed in the soil if it is leaning from the ground. A poor watering technique could be at blame. Before watering a cactus again, the earth needs to totally dry out after irrigation.
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.
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.
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.
Should I turn the cactus I have?
I know some people who steadfastly refuse to rotate the pots; in fact, they even mark the pots so that, in the event of a relocation, they will end up facing the same direction. They assert that the plant’s inclination toward the sun is natural.
My plants don’t rotate. The label on the pots tells me which side should be on the north (sunny) side. Any rotation, in my opinion, stresses the plants. Any plant with rapid growth may easily reposition its leaves and adapt to a new orientation, but cacti take much longer. When rotated, they can also easily burn from the sun (it happened in my collection).