Haworthia Retusa

Haworthia Retusa – Detailed Care Guide

Haworthia retusa is also called Star Cactus. Even though it is called “Star Cactus,” Haworthia retusa is a soft window succulent with translucent leaves and not a cactus plant.

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Haworthia Retusa @Amazon

Star Cactus is native to Western Cape Province, a small town in South Africa. The natural environment of Haworthia retusa is a low, flat terrain.

Not only has Haworthia retusa won the hearts of millions of succulents growers around the world, but it has also won the Award of Garden Merit put together by the Royal Horticultural Society in the United Kingdom.

This article is all you need if you would like to know how to propagate and care for the Haworthia retusa.

Description of Haworthia Retusa Succulents

Haworthia retusa is a small succulent that does not grow beyond six inches in diameter. The lime green leaves of the succulent form rosettes and have translucent windows on the tips. The leaves measure approximately three inches in length and an inch in width.

The Star Cactus produces flowers with brown or green veins when it blooms in the summer or spring.

Haworthia retusa is not poisonous to pets and humans, so you can grow it indoors.

Caring for Your Haworthia Retusa Succulents

It is not difficult to please the Haworthia retusa succulent. It will survive indoors or outdoors as long as it can get an ample amount of sunlight and water. Here are some factors to consider when growing your Haworthia retusa plant:

Light

For your Haworthia retusa to thrive indoors, it needs to be kept close to bright light. You can place the succulent pot close to an east or west-facing window to get the desired amount of light.

If you don’t have a well-lit home, the Haworthia retusa will stretch in the direction of light and become leggy. To prevent this, you should supplement your indoor lighting with a grow light.

If you are growing your Star Cactus outdoors, it would be best to plant it in a succulent pot rather than in the ground. If the weather becomes inclement, you can easily move the pot inside. Also, you can move the pot to get as much sunlight as possible.

The Star Cactus plant is better off under partial shade. But it can withstand full sun when there is no heatwave. Full sun and high heat levels can lead to sunburn and dehydration. To prevent sunburns, ensure you acclimate your succulents to full sun. About three to four weeks need to pass for the Haworthia retusa to adjust to full sun fully. But then, if your Haworthia retusa is already sunburned, the only thing you can do is to either trim off the damaged parts or allow the damaged parts to be replaced with fresh parts.

Water

Just like most succulents, Star Cactus should not be overwatered or left in standing water to avoid root rot.

To prevent overwatering, ensure you examine the soil before watering. Stick fingers into the soil and feel the moisture content of it. For better testing, use a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of the soil.

If the soil is moist, wait for a couple of days for the soil to dry before watering again. When you allow the soil to dry before resuming watering, the natural environment of the succulent is simulated, allowing the plant to grow healthy.

Note that Haworthia retusa succulents are usually dormant during the summer. In light of this, ensure you water them just enough to prevent the leaves from drying up. During the fall, when the succulent is actively growing, you can continue your regular watering schedule.

Star Cactus can thrive in fairly high humidity. If you live in an environment with a dry climate, you do not have to bother about getting a pebble tray or humidifier to adjust the humidity level.

But then, you need to water these succulents more frequently in high humidity. The rate of evaporation will drop during this period and the soil will remain moist for longer than usual.

Temperature

Haworthia retusa cannot withstand frostbite, so you must protect it from icy temperatures. While this succulent is happy with cooler temperatures in the winter, ensure you do not expose it to freezing temperatures.

Haworthia retusa can thrive in a temperature range of 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is below that range, you risk killing your plant to freezing. On the other hand, if the temperature is above that range, your Haworthia retusa succulents may suffer from sunburn.

You should consider moving your Haworthia retusa succulents indoors during the winter months, where the temperature is warmer and stable.

Soil

Star Cactus cannot survive for long in wet soil. Hence, it would be best to avoid potting mix containing water-retaining ingredients such as peat moss, coconut coir, or clay. If the soil drains quickly, small portions of these ingredients will not be that harmful.

To enhance the drainage of the soil, use large particles of perlite, gravel, and coarse sand. These ingredients permit airflow to the roots of the succulents when the soil dries up.

While succulent pots with drainage holes help the soil to dry out quickly, your succulents can still survive in a pot with no drainage holes. You just have to know how to water the succulents properly and examine the soil’s moisture level.

How to Propagate Haworthia Retusa Succulents

Haworthia retusa is quite easy to propagate. It is best to propagate this succulent when it is actively growing, so the new plants can have enough time to develop before their dormancy period. Here are the ways to propagate Haworthia retusa succulents:

Seeds

Propagating Star Cactus plants from seeds require patience because seeds take time to germinate. But the process of experimenting is quite fun for succulent growers.

Plant the seeds in a damp, warm soil. If these soil conditions are not met, your succulent seeds will not germinate. You can use a seed tray to cover the soil, so the seeds will always be warm.

After about three or four weeks, you will notice that the seeds are germinating. At this stage, you can remove the seed tray.

Ensure that the soil is not overwatered to prevent root rot. You can adopt the “wet and dry” watering technique that involves watering and waiting until the soil is dry before resuming your watering schedule.

Cuttings

If you got no patience to wait for seeds to germinate, you can opt for propagating by stem or leaf cuttings. This is a more effective method of propagating Haworthia retusa.

To propagate from leaf or stem cuttings, cut off a mature stem or leaf with a sterilized knife. Allow the cuttings to dry for a couple of days, so the cuts can heal. This helps to prevent infectious organisms from attacking the cuttings when they are planted.

After sticking the cuttings in the soil, do not water until you notice tiny roots springing up. If you want to speed up the root development process, dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone before sticking them in the soil.

You can water and care for the cuttings the same way you would care for a mature succulent as soon as you notice the tiny roots appear.

Bear in mind that planting a number of cuttings in a single pot will give you a vibrant array of succulents when the cuttings mature, so you should consider taking more than a handful of cuttings for propagation.

Offsets

Propagating Haworthia retusa by offsets is the easiest way to go. If you follow the watering, lighting, and temperature conditions mentioned above, your Haworthia retusa will produce offsets in no time.

You can cut off these offsets with a sterilized blade or pluck them from the plant with your fingers. Ensure you go as close as possible to the parent plant when cutting off the offsets. This will help the offsets in forming roots quickly and increase their chances of survival.

Plant the offsets in a different pot and nurture them the same way you would nurture a mature succulent.

Common Pests and Disease Problems Associated with Haworthia Retusa Succulents

Perhaps, the most difficult aspect of caring for the Star Cactus plant is watering. The chances of survival for the Haworthia retusa succulent are quite slim if it is overwatered. Hence, it is very important to check the moisture level of the soil regularly.

If the roots of this succulent start to rot due to overwatering, it will be pretty difficult to save the plant. If the roots are not yet damaged, but the leaves are becoming mushy or yellow, you can still save the succulent by removing the excess water from the pot.

To remove excess water your succulents are standing on, hold the soil with one hand and flip the container with your other hand. If the water is not that much, you can move the pot to a dry, sunny area so that the excess water will evaporate.

In a bid not to overwater your Haworthia retusa succulents, ensure you do not under-water them. If you notice that the leaves of the Star Cactus have a wrinkly or shriveled appearance, take that as a sign to up your watering game.

When it comes to pest attacks, keep an eye out for fungus gnats, spider mites, and mealybugs. Ensure that there is no decaying material in the soil that will attract these pests. Also, insecticides can help to get rid of these pests, especially at the early stages of infestation.

Cephalocereus Senilis

Cephalocereus senilis is an endangered cactus from Mexico. It is columnar in size that rarely can branch out, with prolonged growth. The cactus grows only about 4 inches per year. It reaches 3 feet in height raised in the home, and up to 40 feet if wild. They have spines in the form of gray hair that serves to protect them from the cold. Because of their curious appearance, they are called “Old Man’s Head.”. They produce large white flowers. These flowers only bloom at night, in mid-spring or early summer when the cactus is about ten years old. To properly develop their spines in the form of hair, the cactus should be exposed to sunlight. When they are young, Cephalocereus senilis does not withstand temperatures below 50ºF. When they are adults, they can stand even 40ºF.

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A picture of Cephalocereus Senilis @floratopia

This species of cactus can live for more than a century. Although this cactus presents its characteristic white hair from the first moment, it is still a prickly cactus. Its spines are yellow and are born just before its coat of fur. It is not recommended to touch them without caution.

Irrigation

The cactus can be grown both, indoors and outdoors. However, it is more common to see it out thanks to its need for abundant sunlight to grow and develop its hair optimally. When produced in a pot, it is advisable to fill it with a light substrate with good drainage; the pumice is an ideal option. But if you are one of those who like to prepare your substrate with a little fine gravel and black peat you can make an excellent substrate for your Cephalocereus senilis. If we want to plant it in our garden, the soil must be equally light. It must not accumulate waterlogging since the Old Man’s Head cactus will not be able to withstand a flood. To take the appropriate precautionary measures, you can dig the hole to plant it and fill it with a little substrate to ensure better soil drainage.

Regardless of the type of crop that we want to give our Cephalocereus senilis, we must consider that water drainage is the most crucial factor. No water must remain. We can use some other materials so that our substrate is safe. And it has adequate drainage which is coarse sand or washed river sand. Which are quite mineral and are not compact since they can rot at the root quickly.

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Image: IG@liliacacti_hossein_h

Weather Conditions

The solar explosion is essential for the “Old Man’s Head,” so it should ideally be outside. It would be best if you gave it sunlight, preferably direct sunlight, for long periods. If you are not used to directing exposure, it is best to acclimatize it little by little to avoid damage from burns. The importance of this intense and prolonged exposure is its characteristic hair. These hairs protect our cactus against harmful rays. Besides, the direct Sun helps them grow faster and more robust. The cultivation in totally shaded places can result in partial or even total paralysis in the growth of our Cephalocereus senilis.    

Despite being a cactus and needing direct and prolonged sunlight, the ideal temperature of the “Old Man’s Head” is not very high; it is around 59ºF, being able to withstand interior temperatures of up to 68ºF without significant problem. When the cold and winter seasons arrive, it would be convenient to keep it in a fresh and dry part inside the house. There are adult specimens in the wild capable of facing 32ºF during these freezing times, depending on their age and size. The cactus should not be exposed to such low temperatures or frost, during the first years.

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Image: IG@cheyennebotanic

Watering

Cephalocereus senilis is a too delicate specimen when it comes to irrigation. Its base is susceptible and prone to rotting if it is watered directly or remains wet for a long time. It does not withstand even high humidity for long periods. Its waterings must be highly moderate and sporadic. It is vital for our cactus that we hope that the earth is parched before thinking about watering it again. The frequency of irrigation will not be the same during the winter, being that in summer we watered little; in winter, it should receive almost no water. This plant should be moistened when the soil is arid, and even then, it is advisable to allow about two days to pass. The curious thing about these cacti is that they are also somewhat susceptible to drought when they are young. If we have them in a pot, we must be cautious in the summertime. To prevent it from dehydrating we must water the soil as soon as it is scorched.

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IG@grancactus

Fertilizing

The spring and early summer seasons are ideal for fertilizing our Cephalocereus senilis. We should provide him with a mineral fertilizer rich in lime or a standard cactus fertilizer to grow his characteristic “white hairs.” Still, it is essential to be careful not to overdose. Flowering occurs in older cacti with more than 15 years of age and usually occurs only outdoors; it is almost impossible to flow in indoor specimens successfully. Its flowers arise from a very hairy body developed on the stem’s sides; they are tubular flowers with red, white, and pinkish pigmentation. These flowers usually fully bloom at night.

Cephalocereus senilis can be easily propagated from seed. It is preferable to do this during spring or summer. We must place these in trays with a cactus substrate. Keep them in a bright area with enough indirect light and water so that the soil remains moist. If everything goes well, we should have germinated seeds between ten and fifteen days after planting them. The “Old Man’s Head” cactus needs to be transplanted every two to three years. During the spring, into a larger container to provide it with a renewed space to grow.

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Image: IG@martynurquijo

Risks

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Image: Cephalocereus senilis Risk of Rot

The most significant risks of Cephalocereus senilis are excess water, which can rot the plant efficiently and quickly, and pests of both woolly mealybugs or fungi. Some of these pests are often difficult to detect, thanks to the fact that the “white hairs” cover its stem completely, making it almost impossible to see it with the naked eye; even the thorns are difficult to notice. This feature means we must be vigilant, especially in the summer when these pests usually invade our cactus.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata

The Euphorbia lactea cristata is a cactiform plant, that is, shaped like a cactus. It is a variety of crested succulent. It features fan-shaped or wavy crest branches that are particularly distinctive and attractive. The common names know it of crested plants or crested plants. It is a species native to India and Sri Lanka. Its curious wavy crested stems usually have various colors between green with yellowish spots, pink or purple. The most common crest color that this plant presents is typically dark green. Which is marked with quite striking silver-gray zigzag patterns.

There are also some common species of Euphorbia lactea cristata. These do not have a distinctive crest but rather flattened stems on three sides. With a shape similar to a candelabrum, they can reach a height of up to 16 feet without problems. These species do not have leaves and do not usually present flowering; however, they have black spines on their branches’ undulating parts. These plants are easy to grow but slow to develop; thanks to this, they are often used as indoor plants or balconies. They can be grown in direct soil if the climate is optimal. They make quite an attractive addition to cactus and succulent gardens.

An advantage of Euphorbia lactea cristata is that they are not particularly demanding regarding the substrate or its pH. This substrate can be a cactus one with a neutral or slightly acidic pH. The only thing they do not tolerate is the muddy and damp soil. When planting, it is favorable to add a little organic matter or fertilizer to the hole where it will be buried to keep the plant nourished and thrive.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata
A picture of euphorbia lactea cristata @shajan_plant_journal

Weather Conditions

It is necessary to grow the crest plant in an environment with a warm temperature; it also needs direct light exposure to the Sun for a few hours a day. The ideal time is the first in the morning. It is not convenient for it to be exposed to sunlight for many hours a day. However, being able to tolerate it during the summer. So at these times, it is recommended to keep it in semi-shade. Euphorbia lactea cristata does not tolerate extreme cold. Thus it should not be exposed to temperatures below 50ºF.

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IG@hrickosuave

Fertilization

The regularity of the fertilization of the Euphorbia lactea cristata will depend on the soil’s condition. If we put it in our garden, we can mix humus, fine clay, and coarse-grained sand to use as a home substrate. However, it is vital to mention that we should not use peat in this mixture to cause the pH to be excessively acidic for this plant. If it is in ordinary soil, a monthly fertilizer must be enough for it during spring and summer. And for this task, we can use a mineral fertilizer which is used for any cactus. On the other hand, if you grow them in pots without substrate or in an area with poor soils. We must fertilize them monthly with a medium concentration fertilizer. When it has reached a size too large for its current pot, or, too long has passed since it was last transplanted, we should change it in the springtime to provide fresh soil. However, being a very slow-growing and consuming plant may not be necessary for long periods.

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IG@plant_the_geek

Watering

Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia lactea cristata does not handle long periods of drought well. This species may need weekly watering during the warm summer seasons, but we should only water when the substrate is dry. We must avoid having too wet soil. At the time of irrigation, we can use plenty of water, but we cannot let the ground stay too wet, as this can cause root rot. To avoid this scenario, the soil or pot in which it is located must have good drainage. It is best to reduce watering at the time of the winter seasons if you are outdoors and indoors considerably, water once a month at most to avoid any damage from low temperatures. Maintaining controlled irrigation, in general, is crucial for Euphorbia lactea cristata. Many plants of this type tend to die more from excessive irrigation than from lack of it.

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IG@jos_bloomers

How to Grow Them?

Euphorbia lactea cristata grows from seed. But it cannot be easy to germinate or even find. So one method that is most often used to propagate this plant is by cuttings. Even grafting, in the springtime. These cuttings should be dipped in the hormonal powder. Although it is unnecessary as the key to a successful desensitization process is heat and good air circulation. We must leave them for 3 to 4 weeks until they are insensitive, and then we must plant them. Collecting the cuttings or trying to graft this plant can be a complicated task due to its exudes.

Effects to Human Body

The sap of Euphorbia lactea cristata is toxic and irritating. It can affect a very negative way, inflaming the mucous membranes and skin that comes into contact with it. So it is vital to prevent it from coming into contact with the skin, eyes, nose, or mouth, even capable of causing blindness. The plant secretes this milky and white sap, better known as latex when it suffers some damage to its structure since it serves as protection against predators and is poisonous and irritating to close wounds. If this latex gets to touch our skin, we must wash with water as quickly as possible since it is not soluble in water if it dries it. If it becomes dry before we can clean it, we can use greasy solutions such as milk or skin cream to remove it and calm the burning. In the case of contact with the eyes or mucous membranes, we should consult a doctor immediately.

It is highly recommended to use gloves while handling the plant. Especially through doing processes such as transplanting or cutting. We must ensure adequate ventilation in the work area with the plant to avoid latex vapors as sensitive people can even react to these. Ingestion of latex can cause nausea and vomiting, so Euphorbia must be kept out of children’s reach.

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IG@succulent.heart

Diseases

The primary disease affecting Euphorbia lactea cristata is root rot due to overwatering or constant flooding of the roots. These excesses of humidity generate fungi in the seeds that can kill the plant quickly. Therefore it is vital to ensure good drainage. Another problem that it can present is pests. If the mealybug infestation’s presence begins to be noticed. We must proceed to wash with a damp cloth. Being quite careful about the plague. If the area is severely affected and washing is not enough. Proceed with a commercial insecticide for this purpose and proceed to treat the plant. It is essential to treat this plague quickly since, in addition to weakening our plant, it attracts fungi that can damage or kill the plant. In cases where this pest is extreme, we can change the pot and the soil, or product, to avoid future spread.

The Best Succulents Box Review Guide For You

Succulents Box Subscription Review

We love getting plants delivered! Our local nursery is a little slim on the succulent pickings, so plant subscription boxes, like Succulent Box, allow us to try out so many species we never would’ve gotten a chance to own. 

We’re always super excited to receive our plants in the mail, and a little nervous. Succulents are pretty hard to ship. Their leaves are delicate and fragile, so they’re easily damaged in transit. The leaves can even fall off if the succulents aren’t properly packaged and get jostled around too much!

When we got our Succulent Box in the mail, we were relieved to discover that all of our plants were ok! Thanks to the ample padding in the box, none of our succulents were damaged.

Succulents Box Review
Just look at all those packing peanuts! Our succulents could not have been safer.

Time to Unwrap!

We carefully unwrapped all of our new succulents and were really impressed with how they looked.

Succulents Box Review
Plant family photo!

Would you be able to tell that these succulents were wrapped in bubble wrap just a few minutes ago? We wouldn’t—they don’t look misshapen at all!

We loved that every succulent came with a little identification card. It’s easy to figure out which genus your succulent belongs to, but it can be pretty hard to figure out the species and variety.

We definitely would’ve known that the succulent on the left in the photo above was an Echeveria, but we might not have figured out it was a Blue Elf. So we really appreciate the fact that these ID cards were included in the subscription box!

Succulents Box Review
Care instructions and a coupon code—sweet!

We also liked that the subscription box came with care instructions. It had some really helpful tips, like acclimate your succulent plants gradually to sunlight to keep them from burning and water them less during the winter. It had almost everything someone new to succulents would need to know to take great care of their plant babies!

Now let’s take a closer look at each plant that came in the box!

What’s Inside?

Our subscription box came with four succulent plants: one Echeveria, two Sedums, and one Sempervivum.

A Succulent Box like this one with four plants only costs $20, so each succulent costs $5. Not bad, right?

We’d say this cute little Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’ is worth the price!

Succulents Box Review
Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’

And so is this Sedum ‘Firestorm’ below. The edges of its leaves turn a beautiful bright red color in the sun. You can already see that they’re starting to turn red, but we can’t wait until the colors get even more vibrant!

Succulents Box Review
Sedum ‘Firestorm’

Here’s one of the Sempervivums⁠—a beautiful Pachyphyllum plant. Look at those gorgeous fleshy green leaves!

Succulents Box Review
Sempervivum Pachyphyllum

Last but not least, here’s a closer look at the Sempervivum Calcareum.

Succulents Box Review
Sempervivum Calcareum

This succulent has a big, beautiful green rosette with a hint of maroon on the tips of its leaves! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Looks like it’s already sprouting a chick, too, so this succulent is basically two for the price of one!

Overall Consensus

Overall, we’re super happy with our Succulent Box! The plants look healthy and didn’t arrive with any kind of damage. We loved all the extra touches that the box came with, like the succulent identification cards and the care instructions. The bright blue packaging on the outside of the box was super cute too!

As you can see from the photos above, there’s a nice variety of succulents in this box. They’re pretty good size as well—the ones you’d get from a nursery wouldn’t be much bigger.

And who knows if a nursery near you would even have all of these unique succulents! We’ve personally never seen an Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’ at any of the garden centers near us.

Plus, going to the garden center is not nearly as fun as getting a subscription box in the mail. Having a succulent surprise delivered to our door and not knowing what was in it was so exciting!

 

Succulents Box Review

Full Succulents Box

Would you guys get a plant subscription box like Succulent Box? We’d definitely get one again, especially since they start at $5! We also love that their 300 varieties of succulents and air plants are organically grown in California, making them a quick- ship when ordering within the USA.

Ready to get your subscription box started? Head to this link to order yours!


Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below or share in our Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge. We’re sure our fellow succulent lovers would love to hear from you!

Have your own succulent subscription box, or planters, or any succulent- related item you’d like for us to review? Contact us to inquire, we’d love more succulents for the office!

Before your new succulent babies deliver, make sure you check out our care guides so you’re fully prepared! Check out When You Should Water Your Succulents, How to Propagate Your Succulents Successfully, and Your Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Have fun and happy planting! 🌱

How to Tell If Your Cactus is Dying

How to Tell if Cactus is Dying

It’s been some time since you got that cactus. You’re doing all you can to make sure it thrives. Watering. Fertilizing. Sunlight exposure.

You name ’em!

But you haven’t seen a slightest change in quite some time. Is the little thingy really growing? How do you know you’re doing the right thing as far cacti care is concerned?

Worse still, is your cactus dying?

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

One thing with cactuses is that they take time (years) to show any considerable change in size – most of them. Even then, as the plants are growing, you have to be on the lookout for any signs of deviation from normal growth patterns.

This is how you tell your cactus is dying.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@designs4seasons

Signs That Your Cactus is Dying

Discoloring cactus

A cactus plant will take on a tinge that is not naturally its own. Depending on where the problem is coming from, the change in color may start at the top end of stem segments or from the base the soil. Dying is guaranteed if rapid action is not taken.

Droopy leaves on cacti

Dying in the few leaf-bearing cacti (like epiphylum) is signaled by downward pointing leaves that lack vigor.

This gives the cactus plant a general unhealthy look (because it is, right?). It will also appear under watered even when you’ve excelled in quenching it.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@lindastarguitar

Soft segments around your cactus

The change of colour above may be accompanied by squishy stem segments that appear swollen.

This also means they can break off easily with minimal force applied.

Try pulling a spine off. That’s a dying cactus if you manage to pull off the specialized leaves.

Instability in your cactus potting soil

You’ll know this if the plant has a lean. Not bent – just the whole plant leaning to a particular side. A dying cactus is shaky in its potting mix and may appear as though it’s about to fall off – well, it will definitely fall off if you moved it, for a severe case. A sign of lack of roots. Or the existing ones may be too weak to properly support the plant.

This is assuming you potted the plant just right.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@plant_n_grow

Foul smells coming from your cactus plant

Now, that’s a really bad sign. A foul smell means a large part of the cactus is completely rotten and there is nothing you can do to save it.

In other words, it is no longer in the dying process, it’s actually deceased now. All you can really do now is dispose of your fighting cactus plant and obtain a new one whether it be from a purchase or from a friend.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@plant_n_grow

Why is Your Cactus Dying?

Overwatering

The age-old sure way to kill a cactus is by treating it to frequent watering sprees. It may look like a sensible thing to do. Only that with a cactus, the more frequent it is getting water, the higher the chances of it dying. Make sure to check out our article on how often to water your cactus if you need a refresher.

This is so because the water is such a perfect condition for rot.

Inappropriate potting medium

If you didn’t get the memo – your regular potting soil is a no-go zone for a cactus. It just holds on to water for way longer than your plant would prefer.

So, even if you get the watering correct, the soil mix will pull you back a couple of steps. The long periods of dampness are a nice condition for rot. And before you know it, your plant is exhibiting signs of dying.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

Our Pick
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04/20/2021 01:36 pm GMT

A wound becoming infected

It may have happened that a part of the stem broke off leaving an open patch.

Such a part is just what bacteria and some pests need to wreck havoc on your cactus. It is soft therefore making it an easy target for insects with munching tendencies. Bacterial infection may come about mainly in the cold weather or when the plant is not exposed to enough sunlight for the injured part to callous over time.

Such wounds cause the plant to start dying from top.

Wrong pot size

Getting the wrong size of a pot for your cactus is a sure way of kicking off its dying process. It could be too small or too large.

Small or large in this case will depend on the size of your cactus.

A pot that is smaller than your plant will choke up its roots as there is little breathing space. A larger than life pot on the other hand is bound to keep so much water sparking off rotting in both the roots and stem. Talk about a double tragedy… you’ll have to find the right balance that’s good for your specific cactus.

 

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@kelseyemstevens

How to Save a Dying Cactus

Whether or not your plant can be saved, depends on the extent of rot. For instance, as you’ve seen above, a foul smell emanating from your cactus is a sign that you’ve lost that plant.

But in cases where dying is just getting started, it’s possible to salvage the plant or part of it for propagation purposes.

If the rot is starting off at the top of the stem, cut away small pieces of it (the stem) as you move down to the base of the plant. You want to make sure the any rotten material is done away with for good. Only stop when you reach healthy tissue.

If the plant is taking a beating from the roots up, you’ll have to take the propagation route. Just as above, cut up the plant until you have only healthy tissue before you stop. Let the cut part dry and set it up in a well-draining mix.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@designs4seasons

Also, make sure to check other aspects like the potting medium, the size of the pot and your watering. Make the following changes if you haven’t already:

  • Repot the plant remnant in a pot that fits it exactly, leaving just enough space for the soil mix. Also, remember to use a commercial cactus and succulent mix or create one by mixing regular potting soil with coarse sand and pumice.
  • Water only when the top part of the mix is dry.

Additionally, if pests and diseases were a part of the problem, apply the appropriate chemicals so as the remaining part of the plant is free from these past ghosts.

Now you’re in the know about dying cactus plants. The signs, reasons, handling and preventing. Time to check around your cacti collection and do the necessary.

ALSO READ:

 

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@lucyonthego1

Have you learned how to tell if your cactus is dying or not? Let us know what we missed out and we’ll be sure to include it in the article, we want to help as many cactus lovers as we can.

REMINDER: We have an ~exclusive~ Facebook succulent group where you can join in on fellow succulent- lovers’ conversations and post your own experiences & photos! Check it out now!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, good soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Thanks for reading and happy cacti planting! (:

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