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Does my cactus have root rot and if so how do I save it?

I have a small cactus which I've only watered since I bought it 6 weeks ago, but it's started to go brown at the base. The base isn't soft and you can only tell that it is browning when you lift it up. I lost 5 cacti I had kept for 4 years prior to a mealy bug infestation and never saw this browning in any of them, so I'm confused at to what to do.
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  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,891
    Any chance of some photos so we can see the situation a bit better? Where do you keep the cactus, Is it sunny, frost free and well ventilated? What soil do you use, what kind of pot and is there a mulch of gravel covering the soil?

    Sometimes it can pay to take the cactus out of the pot and brush away all the loose dirt and stones from the top centimeter or so and replace with very free-draining soil with a  good thick layer of gravel on top.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • I haven't changed the soil, it's still in the soil I bought it in, but I don't think there's much gravel in it. I usually keep it on a shelf in my bedroom, where it gets a lot of sun, if the weather is good outside (but with all the snow and rain we've had lately, natural light has been a minimum).
    I will post a picture, the browning isn't very prominent but if it is something substantial I would want to catch it early. 
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    I don't think that is anything to worry about. It needs repotting so I would use a slightly bigger pot, clay if you can get it, and pot it so the soil is at the same level as it is now. Then put half an inch of grit on top. That will hide the brown bits and also protect the neck of the plant from sitting in moist soil. Use a very free draining compost - buy special cactus mix - or use equal parts sharp sand, JI no. 2 and grit/perlite.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • If the browning starts to progress up the cactus should I consider slicing it and waiting for new roots to come through?
  • Thank you guys
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,891
    If the browning starts to progress up the cactus should I consider slicing it and waiting for new roots to come through?
    Personally I'd get rid of the whole plant if that was the case as barrel cactus rot is pretty nasty and transferable if you're not careful.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • If the browning starts to progress up the cactus should I consider slicing it and waiting for new roots to come through?
    Personally I'd get rid of the whole plant if that was the case as barrel cactus rot is pretty nasty and transferable if you're not careful.
    Thanks for the advice
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