How to revive a cactus which is (almost) died?

afaustasOctober 26, 2011

Hello there. Firstly I'm sorry for my poor English, but I will try to tell you about my problem.

About 5 or 6 months ago I get a simple cactus as a gift. So nevertheless it is simple and cheap, but it is very valuable to me. Because I don't know anything about gardening but my grandmother knows, I decided to ask

her to care my cactus and to replant it because I tought that there was only a little space left in the pot for the roots. I believed that she will do everything correctly, but sometimes I checked how she cared. Almost everytime ground of the cactus was wet (now I know: that was very bad, but at that time I tought that she knows what she is doing).

On the 11th of October I saw a little bit mold on the ground (not on the cactus) and like grandmother adviced me, I kept it on the warm air for about 1 or 2 hour. Next day I noticed that one side of the cactus was becoming brown and was begining to wrinkle (probably a day before I simply didn't noticed that). And everyday it became worse and worse so in case to get a good advice, at 15th day I bringed it to the gardener. She looked at my cactus and gave me anti-rot fertilizers and told me to put them into water (1l:1spoon) and then to dip a cactus into that solution and to keep it there for about 30 minutes.

After doing that, my cactus stopped to go worse and began to keep stronger on the ground. I looked it everyday until 21th. Next time I watched at it was on 23th day. Then I noticed that bad side began to rot very quickly. I noticed mush on the top of cactus. Second day I brang it to another gardener. She told me that it is imposible to revive my cactus and that the gardener, which I visited before wanted only to make money by selling fertilizers to me.

Then I went home and searched for solution on the internet. I found an advice on the FAQ of this website ( http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/cacti/2001015919010511.html ). After reading I sterealised a knife and cut out a rotten side. Then I saw that a HALF (1/2) of it was rotten. After this work I added a fan next to it, because it is not easy to find airy place with good conditions at autumn season. And now is another very big problem: my cactus became to dry very quickly and, I think, after some days it will die if I will not find any solution. On the FAQ adviced not to water cactus after cuting, but I see that it is going to dry and die. So could you tell me what to do? How to make it stronger?

Here are some photos:

http://imageshack.us/g/824/dsc0955uc.jpg/ - album of the last photos. NOW IT LOOKS HORRIBLE, I don't know what to do.

http://imageshack.us/g/847/dsc0927h.jpg/ - (album) how it looked after cutting.

Most important (2011-10-24):

After cutting:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/847/dsc0927h.jpg/

~24 hour later:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/811/dsc0946qz.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/805/dsc0947m.jpg/ - it begins to dry. Bad?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/dsc0952yh.jpg/ - Before cutting there was OK, but now it is drying. Why?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/716/dsc0953s.jpg/ - from the top

-----------------------

12 days before cutting:

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/6493/dsc0889g.jpg - bad side.

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/6718/dsc0894wc.jpg - bad side.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/7717/dsc0898oe.jpg - on the left side is bad, on the right - OK.

http://img804.imageshack.us/img804/9785/dsc0907a.jpg

http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/9944/dsc0908s.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: Album of the last photos. NOW IT LOOKS HORRIBLE, I don't know what to do.

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I think the cactus might be a goner since the growing point on top has been compromised. I might be wrong about that but I have not had luck without that top portion.. Use some cinnamon or sulfur to keep the rot from spreading.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 12:04AM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

Cacti can make new growing points. The problem here is that not all of the rot was removed (there's still some orange visible in the photo of the plant after cutting). The wound is also massive, and a cactus with that much exposed flesh would probably die even if healthy.

On the 11th of October I saw a little bit mold on the ground (not on the cactus) and like grandmother adviced me, I kept it on the warm air for about 1 or 2 hour.

This is useless, sorry. It's not the mould that's the problem, it's the conditions that encourage it, and a couple of hours in warm air isn't going to change that. Even if it did, where is the cactus going after the couple of hours are up?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 9:20PM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

i can't help but notice the "soil" what is it? is it dirt from the backyard? you should buy some perlite, and some kind of cactus/african violet/citrus mix. you want it to have good drainage. maybe add in some small gravel.

it definitely can be saved, here's mine when a storm came and blew over my 3' tall barrel cactus about 6 months ago.


top half, stuck it in dry mix and after a few months it rooted and is now several inches taller.


made a clean cut to the top half and the bottom half, the left piece started growing, the right piece just dried up.


planted the left piece in dry mix also, the new growth is much larger now. it is in the right, smaller pot.


this is the bottom half, when it got blown over, it was in a smaller 2 gal pot and was top heavy. it was repotted in a larger 5 gal pot, very stable now. the new growth is about 9 inches tall now.

i use a 50/50 mix of perlite and miraclegrow garden soil. give it plenty of sun and don't water too much. please repot it asap.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 12:35AM
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afaustas

Thanks for advices and photos very much.

Today I had bought special soil for cactus and perlite then replanted it. Now my cactus looks very bad. Is it still possible to revive it? Or is it still any way to take a part of it and to grow another one?

When I was replanting it, I saw that roots are still OK in my opinion (I didn't notice a rot), but dry. As you can see in photos, body had wrinkled and become not so strong. I noticed that its green surface is wet. Does it mean that another side began to rot? Or is it drying? Now I turned a wet side to fan.

As I read, after replanting I should not water it for three or five days. But, in my oppinion, without watering and being in such bad condition, it can dry at all and die. What do you think about that? The last time when I watered it was 14 days ago.

Here are some photos, how it looks now:



Another photos you can find by visiting the link which I attached to this post.

Thanks for help!

Here is a link that might be useful: All photos of how it looks now

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:37PM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

as long as the roots aren't rotten it has a good chance to survive. just keep it dry for another week. then water lightly around the outer rim of the pot.

just took a better pic of the middle section. it sat on the window sill outside in 90+ temps for a few weeks, then sat in dry mix for another few weeks. they are designed for severe drought conditions. as you can see, my mix has a good amount of perlite (white chunks).

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 6:20PM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

oh, what are the outside temperatures?

are you giving it plenty of light?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 6:24PM
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afaustas

In the room it is about 22 degrees of Celsius (about 72 in Fahrenheit). Outside most of time is cloudy and there is about 0 - 10 degrees of Celsius (32 - 50 in Fahrenheit).

My cactus can't get so much light like your's, because now there is autumn season which is cloudy most of time in our country:

And this photo shows how my cactus looks now:

It looks dried, without life.

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 4:09AM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

It does look dead. If the mix is dry, I'd leave it where it is and take another look at it in the spring. Maybe the roots will still be good and there'll be enough life in one areole to get the plant growing again, but it's very unlikely and will be very slow if it does happen.

If you're going to keep it around and see what happens, buy another cactus so that you've got something to mess around with.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 8:53PM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

It does look dead. If the mix is dry, I'd leave it where it is and take another look at it in the spring. Maybe the roots will still be good and there'll be enough life in one areole to get the plant growing again, but it's very unlikely and will be very slow if it does happen.

If you're going to keep it around and see what happens, buy another cactus so that you've got something to mess around with.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 5:49PM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

picture quality isnt very good, could you get a better shot of the top where the white puffy stuff are growing?

give it a little water around the outer rim of the pot.

and you can probably remove the fan now.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 9:03PM
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afaustas

I watered it like you told me and took more photos:


I hope that these are better quality. And its good that today and tomorrow will be sunny

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 8:58AM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

give us an update in a few days. looks bad, but the only thing to do is wait and see.

check the soil every 3-4 days, don't let it get too dry, water lightly around the edge as necessary.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 4:34AM
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