Forum home Problem solving

Nopal cactus leaves drying up

Hi everyone,

I have a small nopal cactus that I got a few months back. I noticed today that some of its smallest leaves/arms are drying up and getting shriveled. What do you think is causing this? it's next to a window, but the sun is mostly blocked by another building, so while it gets a nice amount of light, it's not intense direct light. 

Could it be a lack of water? Still too much light? Too much water?



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,290
    Sorry, not many cactus growers here, it seems.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,896
    Could it be a lack of water? Still too much light? Too much water?

    Could you give more details about the soil, pot and watering regime? It's fine for cacti to use up their reserves of water like that but if they are then it might not be in idea conditions. Personally I don't mind seeing a cactus doing this as long as the rest of the plant is healthy.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121
    Your cactus looks OK to me ; the dried out pad (cladode) is possibly a result of slight damage at some time (accidentally being knocked)? It is quite normal for them to drop at any time .
    It poses no imminent threat to its well-being ; simply remove the dried pad with a sharp knife .
    Interestingly enough , Opuntias are classed as some of the most primitive of the Cactaceae ; those tiny green stems visible on the emerging new pads are actually simple leaves . These 'fade away' as the pad ages ; in habitat wind and rain take care of that .
    Some Opuntias have very sharp glochids (fine bristly hairs) within the wooly areoles (the white blobby bits) which can irritate the skin ; be careful !
    Apart from all that useless information , the plant looks good ! :)
    Good luck with it !
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121
    PS Chloe

    It's highly unlikely that too much light is an issue here ; just remember to cut out watering to almost nil during the winter ; soft-water if possible .
    More succulents are lost due to 'wet-feet' than to dryness .

    My own collection in the g/house don't get a drop from early October 'til April ; 6-months of complete dryness , but in cool airy conditions .

    Won't bore you any more ! :*
Sign In or Register to comment.