My cactus can't hold itself up anymore

jluke104April 17, 2014

Hello. Does anyone know what is happening to this cactus? It seems to be growing too fast and isn't able to support itself anymore. It is in an east facing window, also with plenty of south light. I turn it frequently so one side doesn't get too much direct sun. When I repotted it about 2 years ago the main root was at a 45 degree angle, I couldn't straighten it out, but it seems healthy. Could it be the soil? I used a general cactus mixture. Also, could anyone give a specific ID to it? Thank you.

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I don't know if this is what you have (even squinting, I can't tell), but there is a cactus called Mammillaria matudate and its nature is prostrate, which means it grows across the ground like a snake.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Ok so I had a cactus like that and we tried to always put it with a stick to support it, but then i found out that its nature is prostrate! :) Here's a picture

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:13AM
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And a close up! just took this picture now :) I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:15AM
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Yep, that's a ground-crawler. Those are difficult to house in pots due to their nature. At some point this becomes an issue with all mammillarias but the ones that are columnar and from fast tend to get larger and therefore harder to manage. Those do best in some set of outdoor rock garden.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Well, that's a relief! Here I thought I was being a bad mother :) It's comical if you can picture my husband and I spending hours trying to figure the problem out. Even with internet research it's difficult to determine the exact type of species due to many of them looking the same. It would sure be beautiful if it would flower like that though. What are the chances of it surviving outdoors, west coast BC, being so wet in the winter? Thank you very much for the help.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Sorry I wouldn't know⦠I live in the middle east and it's pretty dry here during spring, summer, and fall⦠It does rain during winter here though and it snowed for over a week this year, this cactus still survived and it flowers every spring. I just checked in my book for you, apparently it starts flowering when it's 4+ years old and the minimum temperature that it can take it 5c (41F)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:35PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I've seen some growing in hanging baskets, where they seem to do quite nicely! I don't know if that is the one you have, though. I don't think they would survive a BC winter outdoors.

Probably the best thing to do is to ID it for sure. When it flowers, that will help with an ID.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:55PM
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