How to Fix Cacti

Native to the desert, cacti are typically extremely strong, sturdy plants. They need to be rugged to survive the dry, windy, barren environments to which they are accustomed. Along with their beauty, the low-maintenance characteristics of cacti enhance their attractiveness as decorative plants. Nevertheless, even if a cactus requires little attention and is easy to care for, the plant can become distressed, broken, bent or otherwise injured. Because they are so resilient, however, damaged cacti tend to be easy to fix.

Step 1

Know how often to water your cactus. During the warmer months, outdoor cactus plants should be watered only once per month. Indoor cactus plants should need to be watered no more than twice per month. It is recommended that cacti be allowed to dry thoroughly between waterings. Proper hydration and dehydration will allow your cactus to flourish again, if it is broken or looks distressed.

Step 2

Examine your cactus for fungal infection and injuries. If your cactus is broken, check both the plant and the detached piece for any soft rotting spots. These spots could be the telltale signs of fungal infection and need to be carefully cut. See if there are any breaking points of the plant and monitor their healing, while looking for soft rotting spots. If these spots appear, you should remove them.

Step 3

Dry out a detached portion of cactus on a clean cloth or paper towel. Allow it to rest undisturbed in a warm and dry environment for several days. When the exposed edge is no longer moist, you can prepare new soil, where it can take root.

Step 4

Re-examine the dried limbs for additional mushy spots. If you find any soft spots, remove them as you did before and let the cactus limbs lay out to dry for another few days. Make certain that your drying area is sufficiently free of dampness and moisture.

Step 5

Plant the newly dried cactus, stem down, about 2 or 3 inches deep into soft, sandy soil or pebbles mixed with potting soil, depending on your climate.

Step 6

Allow the cactus limb to sit in the potting mix, without watering it, for about two weeks or until the soil dries out altogether. Only at this point can you water it thoroughly. Wait for another few weeks until the soil is completely dry and then water again. With any luck, your broken cactus limb will bounce back to life.

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