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Top heavy cactus

Hello. I hope someone can help. I've had this cactus about 10 years having bought it when my daughter saw it dying in a shop and wanted to save it. Since then it's gone from strength to strength, getting almost too big and heavy. I've been trying to support it's weight the last few years as it appeared to be toppling over due to its weight. Then one morning I came downstairs to find it had completely toppled over. I don't know what to do now as the vase has split. Do I just repot it in a bigger pot and put it deeper into the soil? I don't want to think there's nothing that can be donimageimagee. 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,253

    It looks like the compost is too wet. i would repot it into a very gritty free draining compost, not multipurpose. There are some gritty cactus composts available, or you can mix sand, grit and a bit of garden soil together.  You will probably need to put sticks in to support it.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I may not be looking at this correctly but is the green bit at the bottom the bit that was under the soil originally? If so, it looks as though it has been grafted and the graft plant (the bit at the bottom) has rotted. Does that pot have drainage holes?  If rot is the case then the only thing to do is quite drastic surgery to see if you can reroot the top bit. It is a long shot but.....

    Take a very sharp knife and cut off the brown looking bit up to the fresh green growth. Leave the healthy green bit somewhere warm for a few days for the cut to callus. Then sit it on a pot (with drainage holes) full of a mixture of sharp sand and compost (70:30 mix). Support the plant carefully so it stands upright. Place it somewhere warm, not in direct sunlight or on a sunny windowsill, and mist it lightly every 4-5 days. You want the green bit to root. If it is going to root it will take weeks. You may be lucky.

    Or you may think its not worth the effort - in which case, bin.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053


    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • I agree with hogweed - the plant does look like it is rotten where it has broken off/out of the soil. The compost looks too rich, you need grit  - a mix just as fidgetbones has described.  Don't let the plant sit in cool or damp conditions, and if you are going to try to repot it, do this before the longest day as cactus need plenty of warmth and daylight hours to survive any upheaval.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    During the 1980's I worked at a then well-known cactus nursery in N.Yorkshire ; we used to root exceptionally dry imported S.American plants by planting in a sterile hydroponic gravel-medium and standing in trays of pH neutral to acidic water .

    The growing medium would absorb enough water continuously until the plants rooted naturally .

    Thankfully the importing of specimen cacti from habitat has now been banned by most countries , as most species are under one threat or another .

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