Succulent Tips: 5 Dangers Of Overwatering A Cactus

Cacti plants are loved by many because of their low maintenance regime. These exotic beauties enjoy their sun bask sessions and the once in a while watering soaks. A lot of cacti plant owners, however, face a challenge of overwatering their cactus without even knowing it. And before they realize, the damage has spread and in some cases cannot be treated.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the dangers that can result from the malpractice of overwatering. We shall look at what might be the root cause of this problem.

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
Overwatering A Cactus @_yunion

1. Using The Incorrect Watering Schedule

Applying water is a fundamental part of taking care of any plant, let alone a cactus plant. Although, cacti should be watered much less frequently compared to a conventional house plant. The very anatomy of cactus gives it the ability to go long periods without water. Consequently, if one uses the same plan to water cacti as other plants, they are bound to overwater it. They should adjust the schedule in accordance with the weather, humidity, location of growth, and finally, the particular growing cycle of the plant.

Be sure to check out “How Often To Water a Cactus: Essential Guide”  for a more in-depth look at when you should water your cactus. Also check out “When You Should Water Your Succulents” for a look at watering the succulent family as a whole.

2. Using The Wrong Planters

Planters are yet another reason you will end up overwatering your cactus. Ideally, you should plant your succulent in a container that is breathable and one that contains drainage holes. Clay pots with drainage holes are probably the best due to their porosity, followed by ceramic types.

Plastic and glass planters are the most disadvantaged as they do not facilitate breathability and drainage, especially if they lack holes at the bottom. Wrong planters will, therefore, result in a waterlogged cactus as the water has nowhere to go, and will likely lead to rot.

Now that you know what may be the cause of a water-logged cactus, below are the dangers your cacti are bound to face if the above is not corrected in time.

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5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
Growth of Your Overwatering Cactus @zzsofig

3. A Soggy & Droopy Cactus Plant

The super fast-growing cacti will have new growth of stems and branches that will, after some time, start to appear saturated and droopy. To touch, you will notice the typical sturdy stems will now feel soft and mushy. The reason behind this is that the cells are filled up with the excess water molecules and begin to bulge.

The cactus tissues consequently swell up, and when the pressure builds up, they rupture. The bursting distorts the plant’s internal transportation structure such that the cactus is unable to move water and nutrients from the roots to the individual parts of the plant. As a result, the cacti plant starts drooping and the arms fall off one by one. For the larger cacti species, the whole plant slants and topples over because it becomes top-heavy. 

Be sure to also check out our piece on “5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents” for more helpful info after this article to help you save your succulents.

 

4. The Cactus Loses Color

Most cacti plants have different tones of greens ranging from the deep virid shades to the lighter lime hues. An overwatered cactus’ color will appear washed out and dull. The discolorations start subtly such that the cactus owner may miss the differences between the original and the resulting color. Over time, the green color turns yellow due to chlorosis which may have been caused by the overwatering malpractice.

Chlorosis is the loss of the usual green coloration of the cactus, which results in stunted growth and hinders flower and fruit production of the cactus. This is as a result of too much water in the soil, which prevents the plant from absorbing nutrients properly. The succulent, therefore, cannot grow healthy because now it lacks the essential nutrients in the right amounts.

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
It Effects on Color Also @mmmayumiii0914

5. The Roots Rot & Die

When any plant is exposed to excess moisture, decomposition is bound to happen. Especially when those plant parts are as delicate as the roots are. A waterlogged soil to begin with experiences a deficient air supply and when the cactus roots are in contact with the soil particles, rotting begins.

The rotting attacks the cactus starting from the root tips spreading upwards. Because the rot happens below the surface, a plant owner may not realize the damage until it is too late. At its worst, the cactus becomes stunted; its stems fall off to touch, the plant turns black and eventually dies.

ALSO READ:

5 Dangers of Overwatering a Cactus
You Can Judge by The Roots @iiikericoto89

An overwatered cactus plant, however, does not have to die. If the damage is not widespread, a few things can be done by you to save your plant. First, you tone down on the watering frequency, change the location of the cactus, exposing it to more sunlight. If the soil is not to par, you should change the soil mix, and repot the plant in a container that has drainage holes.

But if nothing can be done, dispose off the cacti and the soil mix you used. And if you are to use the soil again, screen it to kill pathogens.

Well now that you know what happens to your cactus if you over water it, take better care of it so that it keeps on thriving adding dazzle on your windowsill.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy Planting! 🌵

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