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#367263 Mar 30th, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 442
DaisyM Offline OP
OP Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 442
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
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 56
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 56
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

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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