Posted 4w ago by @brittnee

Hello my fav plant peeps! Im in need of some help with this cactus
I just got this cactus given to me to try and save it, she said its a little over 50 years old and judging by the looks of the dirt its probably only had a few repots, if that. So I'm in desperate need of any advice since I've never had a catus 😬 Does it look okay health wise? Maybe just super rootbound and in need of a good repot? #help #greggang #happyplants #plantsmakepeoplehappy #plantaddict #succulentlove #planttherapy
Hi @brittnee i think your soil is too dry and it is infected. Try to repot, remove the cactus and wash on a running water. Air dry for about 2 hours. Soil mixture can be 1 part potting soil, 2 parts sand, gravel, or grit, and 3 parts perlite or pumice.
@SirLiquorice to the rescue! Can you help this old boy get better?
Almost looks like it’s two different kinds of cacti in there. I would get a good cactus mix like rabbit hill farms soilless cactus mix or something to put it in. You could either separate them if they are separate root systems or keep them in the same pot. Just maybe get a terra cotta pot that’s a little bigger and put some new cactus soil. Try and shake off all the old dirt gently from the roots to remove as much of the old soil as possible and I like to put a layer or lava rocks or rocks at the bottom of the pot to help it drain and then put the cactus soil and then I put another thick layer of rocks or bonsai soil on top to keep any dirt and perlite from floating up. Try not to put the cactus any deeper in the soil than it was when removed. I wait usually at least 3-7 days before I water after repotting to let and damaged roots heal. And always remember cacti thrive on neglect. People watering them is usually what kills them the most. So if you aren’t sure the soil is dry then it’s best to wait longer to water. Rot kills them worse than drought. They can survive drought but they can’t survive being over watered. But rabbit hill farms cactus soil or any good cactus mix will make it much more difficult to over water. I also really recommend getting a cheap soil moisture meter. Then you can be sure the soil is dry completely at the bottom before you water again. They also usually need a lot of direct sunlight in the morning with shade from the hot sun in the afternoon. Try and find a spot that it gets lots of light but also watch to make sure it doesn’t get burned. It’s a pretty cool looking cactus all hard grow. The way it is. Looks really rugged. That’s cool that it is that old. It would probably be bigger if it had been reported more often. But they are survivors and will live just fine even if the conditions are horrible. But if you give them optimal conditions then all the new growth from now on will look so much better and healthier and you will be able to clearly tell the growth period when you got the plant versus before. A couple of my cacti I bought were neglected and weren’t repotted and the growth was stunted bad and they started looking ugly. Once I repotted them and started caring for them a little better all the new growth looks like a completely different cactus on top of the old one. Pretty cool that you can tell an obvious difference between when it wasn’t growing as good as can be, versus when conditions improved
@brittnee @SirLiquorice very well said. Thank you for helping her.
@brittnee You have received good advice. Hope the old cactus continues to do well 😊
Thank you guys so much! Y'all are seriously the best 🥺 @SirLiquorice i appreciate the detailed instructions! Fingers crossed that it pulls through!
@SirLiquorice i do have one more question.. if you wouldnt mind. So after examining it this is what I've found. Should i be considered?
Looks like it’s starting to rot or may have an infection
It might be difficult to save it. If it’s rot sometimes they can heal and only partially rot. I had one recently that had a pup partially rot but it stopped. So it recovered. Some can get a fungus infection and spores will be released and spread to other plants but that’s mainly on opuntia or prickly pears I’ve seen that. I have one I had to get rid of so it wouldn’t spread to others. Just wait and watch is all you can do. But some of those pics look concerning. Don’t water it. Just wait and watch it for now
Sometimes you can cut off any healthy parts and grow roots on the healthy cutting to keep it growing. Or you can take a middle or bottom cutting just make sure it isn’t planted upside down if a middle cutting
But there’s a lot of spots all over it that concern me.
You could remove it from the old soil and just leave it bare roots and let the roots dry for a few days and see if it changes in appearance
It’s such a cool looking old cactus so I am hoping it pulls thru. But those last pics worry me
Might have to find any sections that look good still and try to cut out the good parts. If this middle section looks good all the way around you may be able to cut to top and bottom off and then grow roots on the middle part to save it
Update: I removed them from the pot and let the roots dry for a few days (didn't see much of a change in appearance), sprayed em down with copper fungicide, potted in soilless cactus soil. Cut off the top of the little one where it was black and to my suprise it was totally healthy on the inside! I had a little accident while moving the big one and it broke 😩 So what do you think now that we know the inside is healthy? Better chances of it surviving? Do i need to keep using fungicide on it? @SirLiquorice

See more content like this

Growing healthy plants can be intimidating, but you’re not in it alone. Get inspired from other Greg users!
Discover the Community