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Big cactus rotting top down. Should I cut?

I think I've over watered my new cactus as it's turning brown in several places. Should I cut the stems off? I've ordered a soil moisture tester but fear it may be too late? Thank you for your help. 


  • Difficult to tell from your photos - perhaps it's just the colour that isn't showing up but it looks dreadfully pale.
    You say "new" cactus - have you repotted it and if so what soil did you use ?  From what is visible in the last photo the soil looks rather dark and wet.
    You wouldn't really be watering cacti at this time of year as you are more likely than not to rot the roots.
  • Thank you philippa. It's a euphorbia ingens variegata and it's been quite pale since I bought it a few months ago.its still in the soil I bought it in. Would you recommend reporting? Thanks so much for your help 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,881
    Does the pot have drainage holes?  If not, then you could try re-potting it into one which has.  Use a cactus/succulent compost which you should find in a garden centre.  Pots without holes in the bottom are probably the biggest killer of house plants as nearly everything will die if the roots are constantly wet.  Hopefully, it's not too late but if you find the roots have rotted then you could try to propagate new plants by removing new undamaged growth from the tips, waiting a couple of days for the wounds at the base to heal and placing just deep enough in dampened cacti compost to hold them upright.  These plants need full direct sunlight to do well.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I think Bob has covered most points - I'd suggest the first job is to tip cactus out and check it's roots - if all are rotted then you will have to start again - either by trying to propagate as suggested or buying a new cactus.  If any roots are still good, I'd think about taking off the top growths at each growing point and concentrate on the "base" plant.  If you can keep that happy over the winter, you should find that new sections will begin to form once it has warmth and sunlight.
    Just try and remember - good drainage and less water. Here's hoping you manage to salvage it one way or another.
  • Thank you so much for your help both of you. Very much appreciated :) 
  •  :) 
  • Update: I've repotted into a pot with drainage holes. Soil was dry and roots look fine. I've moved out of my kitchen and into a lighter spot. I fear the brown is spreading... New pics attached. 
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