Why Is My Cactus Growing Weird

“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 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.

Why is my cactus becoming more slender and tall?

Cacti are typically thought of as resilient plants with fewer needs than other indoor plants. Cacti are perennial desert plants that require a certain amount of light, heat, and water to survive in their optimum form, even if they continue to grow in a variety of situations.

Like other plants, cacti have ways to express their unmet needs. They don’t have leaves that can turn yellow, but they can nevertheless show their demands by becoming slender and pale. Etiolation is the term for this. The cacti can develop long, slender branches or, less frequently, spindly, odd-looking branches. Continue reading if your cactus is displaying any of these symptoms.

Lack of sunlight is the main cause of cacti’s slim growth. To make up for this, they become taller and leaner as they strive upward for more light. Moving them outside or close to a south-facing window will remedy this.

Why is the growth of my cactus wavy?

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. To remedy the succulent’s drooping issue, repot it in a new container with just 2 inches of space on the sides and water it until the top 2 inches of soil are dry.

Why is the head on my cactus growing?

Re: Cacti developing heads Other times, a plant may have grown in poor light before being moved to better lighting, as seen by more robust growth on the top.

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.

How can I tell whether my cactus is content?

Cacti enthusiasts are already aware that these desert plants can withstand the most extreme weather conditions. This does not imply that they are safe from illness, pest, or animal attacks. Cactus may tolerate some neglect, but it requires adequate care to be strong and flourish. A healthy cactus indicates strong chances and promise for future reproduction.

So how do I determine the health of my cactus? The physical characteristics of a cactus will show whether it is healthy. A healthy cactus has a robust, succulent stem, upright leaves, an equally green appearance, and strong roots, to name a few. A healthy cactus will be able to store a sizable amount of water without showing any indications of deterioration and will consistently produce brightly colored flowers during each flowering season.

The traits that distinguish a healthy cactus will be examined in this article. It will go over how to maintain the plant’s health and how to recognize any symptoms of ill health.

What can I do to get my cactus to grow straight?

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 producing new growth?

Because it doesn’t include the transfer of seeds, cactus pup propagation is a vegetative method of plant propagation. You employ an offset, which is produced asexually by the parent plant, to create a new plant.

The pup develops as a little clump that is simple to separate from the parent plant and use to create a new cactus. This is most likely the simplest way to spread cacti. The majority of the time, it is rather simple to separate the pup from the parent plant, and it will establish itself fairly fast and frequently with success.

Most of the time, the pups will have a limited number of their own roots. Sadly, not all cacti species can give birth to pups. Make sure your garden’s cactus species can produce offsets before choosing this method of propagation.

Types of cacti that grow pups/offsets

Offsets are produced by many cacti of the barrel and rosette varieties. Large barrel cacti typically produce the largest pups, making them one of the greatest succulent species to multiply through this technique. The barrel cactus has a special technique of giving its offsets nutrients and water while protecting them from the harsh sun.

The majority of pups develop at the plant’s base, although some may also appear throughout the stem or even on the pads. Any of these offsets can be taken out and rooted in a container so they can develop into new plants.

As long as you make clean incisions and give the offsets time to calluse before rooting, propagating cacti from offsets or pups is simple and quick.

In general, cacti plants that you should think about growing from pups ought to be big, rounded, and clump-forming. The offsets must be at least the size of a tiny ball, and the parent plant must be substantial.

Why is the top of my cactus so skinny?

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.

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.

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).

How can a crooked succulent be fixed?

Unfortunately, you cannot undo this once your succulent has been stretched out. However, if you catch it in time, you can take action to stop it.

Give your succulent more light as soon as you see the first indications of stretching.

Choose the house’s brightest and sunniest window for your succulent. The extended area of the plant won’t recover its original shape, but new growth will once more converge.

The sole option is to cut your succulent down and propagate the cuttings if you wish to get rid of the etiolation, or stretched-out section.

Although trimming your succulent is a harsh approach, over time it will result in several new succulents for you!