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#367263 Mar 30th, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 442
DaisyM Offline OP
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It's about 5 years old. The kids knocked it out of it's pot a month ago, so I transplanted it into a slighter bigger pot. I believe the soil was regular potting soil. It stood about 18" to 20 " high. Today I seen the poor guy literally doubled over in half. The area where it is bent is no longer the width of the cactus, but looks like a shrunken area. Also seen some cactus juice coming out of the area. I straightened it out, and put a stick behind it to see if it will repair itself? Is there any hope of that? Does any one know if I can save it? There were times in the past it bent slightly to catch the light coming in the window. I watered it a few days ago, maybe I overwatered it?

DaisyM #369054 May 1st, 2013 at 01:20 AM
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When cactus collapse, it's usually a sign that the plant is rotted. This happens from being overwatered, even slightly, over a long period of time. One time I had a large cactus near the front door, where there was not a lot of light. I always checked the top of the soil, and watered it just a little every couple of weeks. It looked great for a couple of years. Then one morning it was collapsed, like a balloon that had been partially emptied of air. And, like yours, there was juice dripping out where it was kind of folded.

I have since learned, the secret to watering cactus indoors is to check the soil all the way to the bottom of the pot. Use a long wooden dowel, or a shish kebob skewer, and stick it into the soil as if testing a cake. For cactus, you shouldn't water until the skewer feels completely dry between your fingers, and has no dirt sticking to it. For more info, you might visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9fkseDb1Ys

In general, when you water any plant, you should water until you get a runoff. However, if the cactus doesn't have enough light to use all the moisture in the soil within 4 weeks, don't put that much water into it. It shouldn't stay damp, even slightly damp, for more than 4 weeks at a time.

Unfortunately for your plant, collapsed and rotted means dead. Don't be afraid to try again, and remember to check the soil, always, before you water.


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