Gardening Tips

How to revive a cactus

How to revive a cactus

Cacti are a whole family of succulent plants that are characterized by their great resistance and their thorns. They are very beautiful and unique plants, which are very commonly used to beautify gardens and interiors with their unique and exotic touch. Sometimes they suffer from health problems and wilt, but thanks to their extraordinary resistance, it is possible to recover a cactus that at first glance might seem insurmountable.

if you want to learn how to revive a cactus and save it from a bad situation, keep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will find a practical guide to recover it, whether it is drying out, becoming soft or has a disease or pest.

How to revive a dry cactus – tips

For those less accustomed to this type of plants, know when to water a cactus It may not be easy, and it’s easy to make the mistake of watering too much or too little. If you don’t know if your cactus is dry, see if it seems to lose volume due to lack of stored water and wrinkleor if you see your yellow or brown cactus. These are all common signs that your cactus needs a little more water.

To make sure, stick your finger or a wooden stick into the substrate or soil of the cactus, with a couple of centimeters you will see it, and check the level of humidity: if something wet comes out it does not lack water, worse if you take it out dry yes lack of water and your cactus is drying up. If you have made sure that it is dry and it lacks water, you have two options to revive a dry cactus:

  • If the lack of water is not very serious yet, it will be enough to water it, paying attention to the speed with which the soil absorbs the water. Never get to flood the substrate or you will cause the rotting of its roots.
  • If the drought is advanced and a large part of the cactus is wrinkled due to lack of water, it will be necessary to resort to something more drastic and risky: a transplant. Change the container cactus, being very careful not to damage it now that it is more fragile, and transplant it to one with a suitable and new substrate. Leave it for a few days in a lighted area but without direct sun, and water it trying not to overdo it. Learn more about How to transplant a cactus with this other gardening guide.

It is also possible that your cactus yellows visibly in the areas where it receives the highest incidence of sun. Not all cacti are prepared to be exposed to very intense sun, and some can turn yellow from receiving a excess light. If you see this, immediately remove them to a more protected location, a semi-shaded area, or the damage will worsen.

How to revive a cactus - How to revive a dry cactus - tips

How to revive a soft cactus

If your cactus becomes soft, it is most likely due to a excess watering or ambient humidity. This occurs because the roots of the cactus are sensitive to rotting when they are in a soil or substrate with more moisture than is appropriate. However, it is not easy to touch the stem of all cacti, especially due to their thorns. If it seems to you that your cactus has shrunk a little, has altered its shape losing smoothness or is becoming a black cacti, it’s probably getting soft. follow these tips to revive a soft or drowned cactus:

  • If this is the case, the first thing will logically be to avoid this excess moisture. Stop watering it and transplant it to a new area or container with suitable, porous soil that offers the best possible drainage. If you place it in a pot, make sure it has drainage holes, and place a base of coarse gravel at the bottom of it to later add the sandy substrate.
  • If, in addition, the pot has a plate underneath to collect the excess water from irrigation, never forget to remove it no more than 15 minutes after watering, or the moisture will return to the soil.
  • If the rotting process was very advanced, it is possible that some parts of the cactus’s body or its roots are unrecoverable. If you see that there is a rotten part of the cactus, fearlessly remove and prune the roots or affected parts, with a previously disinfected knife or scissors. This will forever leave a hole in the plant, but it will save itself.

So that you do not over-water this plant again, or do not reach the other extreme by watering it little, we recommend this other EcologíaVerde article on How often and how to water cacti.

How to revive a sick cactus

To finish, we tell you cases in which a cactus can be sick and dying and how to help it:

How to revive a cactus with fungus

Most of the time there is a sick cactus, is due to that excess moisture that we mentioned above. However, it may happen that there are other causes of disease, such as poor pruning with unsterilized tools, or an injury caused by something like a fall.

In any of these cases, mushrooms they can penetrate the cactus and attack it and you will see it white or black. If this happens, you should limit the watering of the cactus to a minimum, and it will be necessary apply fungicide, either specific or homemade with one of the many ecological products that can be used. As in the previous cases, if there is rot, you must remove it, and a transplant may be necessary.

Here you can learn about the best homemade fungicides for cacti.

Other problems in cacti and how to recover them

You may also see the white cacti, or with spots of this color. This may be due, apart from a fungal attack, to the plague of the cottony mealybug. If you suspect this plague, here we tell you how to eliminate the cottony mealybug: treatment and remedies. However, if you see it white, it could also be because you are watering the cactus with too hard water. If this happens, switch to using bottled water instead of tap water.

With all this, you should have enough tools to be able to revive the cacti in most cases where it is in danger or even when it looks like a dead cactus.

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