Why Is My Cactus Growing Pointy

Cacti will start becoming etiolated (by becoming skinny and pale) for several reasons: if their sunlight requirements are not fulfilled, there is a difference between the amount of light and temperature they are receiving are not kept dormant properly in the winters.

Below are specifics on these elements:

The biggest culprit: Not Enough Sunlight!

Particularly desert cactus require a lot of sunlight to survive. Although they can still develop inside, sunshine is necessary for them to reach their full potential. They will start to get thin if this is not accomplished.

Etiolation, a process, is how cacti display this. Their stem begins to expand more quickly, which could be interpreted as a positive sign. Trust me, it’s not! They may be developing more quickly, but they will begin to appear lean and lengthy. Even some cactus start to get paler and pointier.

When you relocate your plant from the outdoors to the interior, this typically occurs. Due to exposure to less sunlight, they are unable to reach their maximum size, and instead of continuing with their normal growth pattern, they begin to resemble antennae.

Difference between the provided light and temperature:

The plant has to be placed in direct sunshine as soon as possible after springtime temperatures rise. The plant will start to become thinner as it tries to reach higher for more sunshine if the temperature is raised without supplying it enough sunlight.

The plant is maintained indoors without light and this occurs as the temperature rises after the winter months. This is the ideal time to bring the plant outside because the rising warmth will cause it to awaken from its dormant state.

No Dormancy in winter:

Depending on the season, your cactus needs a different type of care. In order to give your cactus this seasonal care, you must ensure that it grows as much as possible during the warmer months and remains dormant during the colder months.

People frequently bring their cacti indoors during the winter. That is the right course of action, but you must watch out that you don’t overwater it at this time. The cacti won’t fall dormant or cease growing if they continue to receive water but no light.

Why is my cactus developing strangely?

“I adore cacti. I keep only these plants alive. We hear it daily. But on the other hand, we also hear, “Succulents are my enemy. I always dispose of them. Succulents and cacti can be the easiest or the most difficult houseplants, depending on your environment and the attention you give them. This may sound contradictory.

Light, water, and temperature are the three key elements that impact how to care for succulents and cacti in terms of survival rates. Your succulents and cacti will get dissatisfied and begin acting weirdly if there is too little or too much water, too cool or too high temperatures, or any combination of the previous three factors. The signs of abuse vary greatly depending on the kind of succulent or cactus. They are difficult to diagnose and frequently mistaken for one another.

Many of you sent us pictures of your succulents and cacti when we issued the open call for Pistils Rx submissions, wondering what could be done. Even while it’s sometimes too late to save a succulent or cactus that has been overwatered, many difficulties can be fixed, and figuring out what’s wrong is the first step in making sure your other plants don’t suffer the same destiny is.

Why is the growth of my cactus oblique?

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.

Why is my cactus becoming more elongated and tall?

Etiolated, a state where the cactus has started to become slender and has also grown whiter, is the acceptable phrase to use when characterizing a skinny plant.

The cactus not receiving enough daily sunshine is the primary and most likely cause of etiolation.

Remember that cactus are accustomed to spending a lot of time in the sun because they are native to some of the world’s hottest, driest, and most arid locations. Although they may thrive inside as well, they require a specific level of light to flourish to their full potential.

Your plant will begin to etiolate if it isn’t receiving enough light. Its stem will expand more quickly, which may initially give the impression that the plant is doing well and there is no reason for alarm.

Unfortunately, the rapid growth also implies that the stem is becoming increasingly slender, pointed, and pale, which is a negative omen for your cactus. You wouldn’t want to see these characteristics in a healthy cactus.

Etiolation frequently occurs when a cactus that has been growing outdoors for months or years is brought inside without having had enough time to adapt to its new environment.

To continue existing, the cactus will expend all of its remaining energy on developing long, thin stems that point toward the nearest source of light. The ends of these new stems may resemble antennae coming from the pads of the cactus since they will be so slender.

Your cactus may be getting slim for another cause related to temperature. Since winter is gone and the plant is no longer dormant, it will also want to be exposed to more light if the outside temperature is beginning to get rather warm.

Keep an eye on your cactus and take it outside so it can get more light even before winter finishes since if you don’t move it outside despite the warmer weather, it will get etiolated and slender. Before relocating the plant outside, do not wait for it to awaken from dormancy.

The cactus might perhaps be getting thinner since it was unable to hibernate throughout the winter.

When you neglect to alter how you take care of it according to the season, this occurs.

The cactus should be brought indoors during the winter because the subfreezing temperatures could be enough to kill it. A dormant cactus won’t use much water at all, so be careful not to overwater your plants throughout the winter. It won’t become dormant if you continue to water it the same way you do in the spring or summer but you aren’t providing it with the light it needs, which will also limit its growth.

Your Succulent Isn’t Getting Enough Light

All plants require light, but succulents particularly crave it. Your pal may be leggy if you don’t provide a sunny area where they can soak up the light.

Insufficient sunshine causes succulents to develop lengthy stems. They begin to turn and spread out in search of light during a process known as etiolation, which gives them a “leggy appearance with a long stem and smaller, spaced-out leaves.

It can be challenging to determine how much light your plant needs right immediately because every plant is unique. Try transferring the succulent to an area where it will receive more light if you find it starting to grow a long stem without adding more leaves. You might want to think about buying a tiny tabletop grow light if your house doesn’t have a place where the sun shines.

Why is the shape of my cactus changing?

Your cactus won’t survive or grow if it doesn’t receive enough sunshine. Your cactus will begin to lean and exhibit thinning and elongated growth if it has not received enough sunshine for an extended length of time.

Without light, it won’t be able to photosynthesize, and over time, its metabolic functions will begin to slow down. The majority of cacti demand bright, generally indirect light, while full sun may be required if you don’t receive much sun where you live.

Make sure your cactus is situated in a spot to get the most possible sunshine, even during winter hibernation. It must be kept cool, though (about 54–59 F/12–15 C), otherwise it will begin to grow and thin out.

Your cactus will gradually start dying if you keep it in warm, dark circumstances. Allow your cactus to gradually acclimate to more sun once winter is past (shade them in the beginning).

Your cactus may be dying even if its roots appear normal if you detect shrinkage, a terrible smell, and possibly yellowing. That may be caused by inadequate lighting, excessive watering, or wintertime storage in dark and heated circumstances.

Reason #4: Under watering

Cactus shrinkage can also result from inadequate watering. Cacti prefer quickly draining soil, and they prefer to dry out between waterings, however chronically underwatering them can lead to problems.

If the earth feels dry, be sure to water your cactus accordingly. Even a soil meter like this one can be used to measure the moisture content of soil.

You should just lightly water plants once every 4-6 weeks during the winter dormant period. Some cactus keepers cease watering completely, however it’s preferable to water very sparingly because transpiration is still taking place.

Your cactus might shrink during this period, but once you resume regular watering routines, it should grow normally again.

Can you cut a cactus’ spines off?

The main reasons for trimming cacti are to remove parts to root for new plants, remove offsets or pups for the same reason, reinvigorate a plant that has gotten too tall or too leggy, and to take off damaged material. Most cacti really don’t need any form of shaping unless they have a great huge limb that looks ready to tip the plant over.

Cactus trimming can enhance the variety of forms that cacti can take while avoiding overcrowding, which raises the risk of disease, mildew, and unwell plants.

  • The pads that function as the leaves of Opuntias, Crassulas, and Senecios are simple to remove and can be utilized to establish new plants.
  • Columnar plants, such as totem pole or organ pipe cacti, may simply grow too tall or spindly and require a careful beheading to force branching or just larger stems.
  • Other members of the family of succulents will also grow flower stalks, which are persistent and unattractive when dead. The beauty of the plant will be restored after removal of them.

Cactus trimming serves a variety of functions, but the good news is that you can replant many of the portions you remove.

Water cactus when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry

Test the soil’s dryness by inserting your finger into the top 1-2 inches of soil before watering it. It’s okay to water it if it’s dry. The soil and type of container may be keeping the water and causing the plant to lean over if it still feels damp after being watered more than three weeks ago.

Put it in a terracotta pot that drains water more quickly to fix this. Get cactus soil with sand-like qualities if the soil has slow-draining characteristics.

Get rid of pests on foliage and roots

You can manually exterminate any mealybugs or ants you see near the container or perched on your plant. But if you want to destroy an adult bug and its recently hatched eggs, it would be advisable to get an insecticidal soap.

The plant can be cleaned by rinsing it in a water and concentrated liquid dish soap solution. If the bug or insect hasn’t done much harm beyond drooping cactus leaves, this remedy is beneficial.

Repot the cactus in a well-sized pot

Repot your plant every two years in a container that will give a modest bit of room on both sides. A cactus plant needs a container that is 1-2 inches deep on the bottom and sides. This provides the plant with ample room to develop and utilize the soil’s water and minerals.

Provide 6-12 hours of sufficient light

One of the most important strategies to treat droopiness is to mimic a cactus plant’s natural environment. If you first put it in a dark room, move it to a room with enough light.

As an alternative, you can relocate the pot outside to your patio or terrace so it can get at least 12 hours of light every day and cease hunching over in search of illumination. Bring it inside once its uprightness has been restored, but do it in a room with enough light.

Keep the cactus warm during freezing months

Since cactus hibernate in the winter, it’s crucial to keep them warm when you see that the chilly conditions are causing them to droop. You may either place it somewhere that radiates heat at night or, for added warmth, cover it with a cotton sheet.

Carefully insert a 6-foot stake into the hole. Once the stake is in place, use a shovel to scoop the soil back into the hole. The stake should be buried about halfway to prevent bending from the weight of the cactus. To hold the cactus straight, pick a stake made of a robust material, such as bamboo or hardwood.

Cut off the tape’s loose ends with a pair of scissors after tying a loose knot in it. Avoid wrapping the cactus with the tape too firmly. If you tie too firmly, you risk damaging the surface and inviting pests and infections.

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. It will typically lean against a window.