How To Save A Cactus In Arizona

The stage of deterioration of a cactus will determine where it is possible to save your succulent friend. Sometimes, it will be very straightforward and easy, but in some cases, it might be a little too late. Still, you just need to know how to save a cactus once you determine the symptoms and choose what treatment to implement. Of course, a full cactus removal will be needed in some unfortunate cases, but these are very rare. 

Keep reading to learn more about cactus rot and other cacti problems and what you can do to help your plant!

How to Save a Cactus Easy and Fast

1. More Water

If you’re noticing that some parts of your cactus are wrinkled, shrunken, or wilting, it might be a good idea to give it some water. Water the plant thoroughly if the soil is fully dry. Still, make sure that the water can drain out the bottom of the pot. 

Sometimes, the problem could be a condition known as etiolation if the soil is not dry. When this happens, the stem-shaped parts will appear narrower. This condition indicates that your cactus lacks sunlight, so make sure you place it near a southern-facing window. 

2. Rotting Parts

Cactus rot is one of the most common problems with succulents. It usually appears as black or brown segments that need to be cut away immediately. Usually, the condition is caused by a fungus that grows in overwatered conditions. Tree services Arizona recommend repotting the plant if the soil is soaked throughout. 

3. Yellow Skinning 

Sometimes, people that are not sure how to save a cactus will rush and expose it to too much sun. This can also create multiple problems. One of the first signs that your cactus is getting too much sunlight is brownish or yellowish skin on the sun-facing side. Make sure to move your plant to an east-facing window if you notice this symptom. 

4. Insect Problems

Spider mites and mealybugs are the main pests that can damage a cactus. Spider mites are usually very small, red, and create sheet-like webs between the spines of a cactus. Mealybugs are also very tiny, but are white and tend to appear in clusters. 

To simply remove these pests, just soak a cotton swab in alcohol and rub it directly on the infested areas. If this doesn’t work, you may try using miticide to get rid of the spider mites. 

5. Soil Mixture

In most cases, a good mixture of soil for cactus consists of two parts coarse sane, one part peat, and two parts gardens oil. The main idea is to provide a soil mixture that can drain very well and keep it soft after it dries. Of course, you can always experiment or consult with your local tree service Arizona to get advice on the types of soil your cactus can thrive in. 

Bear in mind that this soil mixture should be combined with a clay pot. In addition, it will allow the soil to breathe while also preventing root rot. 

6. Room Temperature

During their dormant period in the winter, cacti actually prefer cooler temperatures. Still, you need to make sure they are not close to the floor near doors or leaky windows. In the winter, a healthy temperature at night would be between 45 and 60 degrees. With that in mind, you can store your plant in a room or a basement that gets less heat during this period. 

Most cacti can’t tolerate frost, so make sure that your plant is never in a room where temperatures drop below freezing. 

7. Use a Fertilizer

Low nitrogen fertilizer will work the best for most problems, including cactus rot. Just check the label since all manufacturers are required to provide numbers that indicate how much potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are in the fertilizer. Low nitrogen fertilizer will have the nitrogen content rates at a maximum of 10. 



Q: Can I save a rotting cactus?

A: In some cases, you will be able to save your rotting cactus in Arizona. However, if the roots are rotting, or if the cactus is rotting bottom-up, there might not be that much you can do. Still, you can try cutting off the brownish and yellowish parts and help the plant focus on the healthy spots. 

Q: Can a cactus come back to life?

A: A whole cactus plant can be regenerated even from a small portion of healthy tissue in Arizona. However, you have to make sure that no rot is left behind since it will continue to spread until completely eradicated. Leave your plant to dry for a couple of days before cutting. 

Q: How do I know if my cactus is dying?

A: Some common symptoms that your cactus is dying in Arizona include spikes falling off or even the whole cactus appearing loose. Common causes for these conditions are root rot and overwatering. In addition, brown or yellow spots on the cactus are also a sign that something is wrong. 

Q: How can I save my overwatered cactus?

A: The best thing to do to save your overwatered Arizona cactus is to completely remove it from the pot and re-plant it in a dry pot and soil mixture. Make sure that you don’t water it for a few days after re-potting. 

Q: How do I save my small cactus?

A: There are some rules of thumb you can follow to save your small Arizona cactus. Make sure that your plant is not overwatered, that it gets just the right amount of sun, and that the soil dries well enough. Regularly check for the root on the plant and the roots. 

Local Tree Experts Overview

Hopefully, this article will help you understand how to save a cactus from dying. Check regularly for any strange discoloring or overwatering. We recommend consulting with your local arborist if you notice any symptoms that are not specifically listed in this article!

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