Hi there,

I am hoping you can help me identify what is going wrong with my boyfriend’s cactus….

I accidentally knocked it over and it snapped half. My boyfriend really loved this cactus and it was quite a situation as he has owned it for 8 years. After reading online that I could plant the top I did so. I potted it into cactus/succulent mix dipping the broken end in rooting hormone and planted it about an inch and a half in the soil. This was over a month ago and Ive been watching the little guy and things aren’t looking good. Today it was tipped over in the pot and i could see the end. I picked up the little guy and it looks like it has been decomposing slowly. there was a hollow hole with just the external layer going up about 2 inches. I’ve replanted it again but I don’t know what to do! It would be really great if this little guy did not die. Do you have any recommendations? Attached is a pic so you know what kind Im talking about :) It used to be very tall and is now a nub.

Thanks!

Jennifer

Jennifer,

Some types of cactus are harder to root from cuttings than others. This Cleistocactus is one of those that is harder to root. What you need to do is take it out of the soil, cut off the parts that are rotting so that you get all the way to clean tissue, and then spray with hydrogen peroxide to help the cut end heal. Let it heal for about 1 week. Dip in rooting hormone and then plant it dry into dry cactus soil. The plant will need bottom heat if it is to root, so you will need to get a source of heat below the pot. We use an under-tank heater. Wait 2 more weeks before watering.

Then hope it takes, but the truth is that these are difficult and even under the best of circumstances the percentages aren’t with you.

Peter