Fact: Cacti have been around for 100 million years.
Fact: They contain special water, called a “hydrolyzed resin” which helps them survive in arid regions.
Fact: Many cacti, such as the small hemispherical prickly pear, are actually succulents – plants that store water in their roots.
Fact: Some cactus plants are slow-growing and require protection from the sun, while others are fast-growing and need more sun.
Fact: Cacti produce copious amounts of nectar, which they use to attract pollinators, including bees and hummingbirds.
If you don’t own a cactus plant right now, you’d be one of the few not joining the trend of filling your home with succulents.
Cactus plants are some of the most convenient plants you can own. They’re easy to take care of, and most people find that they make for a great first plant for beginners.
Cactus plants are different from regular plants because they’re highly independent. They also have several adaptations that make them stand out from all the rest of the plants.
These adaptations change cactus plants into Xerophytes, an entirely different class of plants.
Cactus plants are widely considered relatively easy to handle, and we don’t want to take away from that. However, just like any other plant, the Cactus plant also has specific requirements that you must fulfill.
Cacti need water, sunlight, and nutrients to function and grow like any other plant. If they don’t get these, they may start exhibiting signs of distress. One of these signs may be the slouching or leaning of the cactus plant. In the article below, we’ll discuss why this may happen.
Table of Contents
My Cactus Is Leaning: Possible Causes?
There could be many reasons for your cactus plant leaning and falling over. However, the most common reasons are overwatering, underwatering, damage, root-rot disease, or being placed in a pot that’s too big.
You will have to move the cactus to another spot when you feel the current pot isn’t accommodating enough.
A healthy cactus plant should normally grow at 90 degrees from the ground. It should be upright and erect, which is a way for the plant to show you that it’s growing at an average pace.
When the plant is vertical and looks normal, most gardeners will deduce that it’s getting the right amount go water, sunlight, and nutrients to grow.
There may also be other cases where it may be leaning away from the sun even if the plant looks healthy. If you find that a healthy-looking plant is now bending and turning away from the sun, you may want to figure out what is causing it and find a way to fix it.
There may be many reasons behind the drooping and sagging. However, when the plant droops, it’s unlikely to look healthy. We have listed all the possible causes for a dropping cactus.
Root Rot Disease
Root rot is a disease that occurs because of a fungal infection or bacteria. Fungal infections and bacteria are more likely to happen when the plant is overwatered.
Plant-like cacti are known for not requiring a lot of water. So, to determine if the leaning over is due to root rot, examine the cactus plant and identify any sore spots there. If you find any sore spots, there will be infection points.
If you look at your cactus and see it’s mushy with a dark coloration starting at the base, chances are you’re going to have to get the correct treatment for your plant.
If you don’t treat it immediately, a leaning cactus will eventually keel over from its weight, die, and then fall over.
Once the fungal and bacterial infestation forms, the only way to fix your plant is by applying a fungicide to it. We’ll explore more about how to treat your learning plants later.
Infestation by Pests
Many pests can invade your cactus. You may think this is improbable because Cactus plants already make up such a rugged exterior.
They have needles and spines that can warn any species to stay away. Some bugs like mealybugs and ants feed on the cactus sap for their nutrition. A plant eaten by these pests will look sickly and deformed.
Pests can also eat up your plant and lower its internal defenses, causing it to gain a fungal infection. The fungal infection may start to spread and cause your plant’s death.
You may want to look around the plant and see if you can find any bugs or insects around it. If you do, it’s a sign that your cactus plant has become infested.
You will then have to look at the different available options, including extermination and killing bugs using chemical methods. Cactus health and life should be your main priority.
The Cactus Doesn’t Get Enough Light.
Sunlight is one of the most important resources that a plant needs. It’s even more critical for cactus plants because their natural habitat is the desert. Deserts receive a lot of light and have high temperatures, making them ideal for cactus plants.
Cactus plants growing in nature prefer extreme sunlight and high heat, but this is not the case for homegrown cactus plants.
If your plants have always been in homegrown environments, know that it can lead to them not responding well to extreme sunlight.
If cactus plants have always faced mild sunlight, they will act differently when exposed to heat and sunlight for some time.
However, the alternate can also be genuine. Cactus plants that don’t receive enough of the light and sunlight they need may fall ill or start to droop. A plant that leans away from the sun could wilt even if there is no visible presence of illness or pests.
It’s Too Cold or Freezing Temperatures
Cactus plants have simply adapted over time to exist in the sun. If you place them in entirely different conditions, they will respond differently.
A drooping cactus may develop frostbite-like black spots due to it being too cold. The black spots form on the parts of the plants that are open to the cold air. When the blackening occurs, it can even exacerbate droopiness and wiltedness.
The plants will get stressed in the months of winter simply because they’re not used to the freezing temperatures.
Once the temperatures rise, you will find that the plant will grow out of the problem. You no longer have to wonder about the freezing temperatures because chances are once the temperature return to normal, your plant will be fine too.
However, if you want to avoid any damage from freezing temperatures, you may consider bringing your plants inside for the winter.
The Plant Has Too Much Real Estate
You may not think having too big of a plant would be a problem. However, it can be. In ideal cases, your cactus needs a plant that isn’t too big or too small.
The cactus plants’ roots will struggle to get the required nutrients in a bigger pot. In contrast, in a smaller pot, your cactus plant will not have enough room to grow.
Therefore, you need to ensure that the cactus plant’s pot is the right size and allows it to grow.
If you have a large container, you’ll find that it prevents the cactus from taking in enough water. It can even cause the cactus to lose rigidity and become more droopy.
If you want the right kind of pot, you’ll need a pot that allows for 1-2 inches at the bottom. To ensure the plant keeps growing, repot it every 1 to 2 years.
Too Much or Too Less Water
Cactus plants generally don’t need a lot of water to exist. Ideally, you want to water cactus plants twice a month during summer. In winter, you can water the plants even less.
All you need to do is water the plant once every month. The first sign of an underwatered cactus is that its stems will be fragile. The stems will droop, and the cactus will turn from green to purple as it turns less oxygenated due to a lack of oxygen from water.
You have to be extra careful to ensure that the cactus gets enough water to survive the cold. We know that cactus plants are unlikely to thrive in the winters due to low temperatures and a lack of sunlight. In these conditions, water them every month to help them survive the harsh climate.
The soil can get waterlogged if you add too much water to a cactus. The plant may droop and keel over because root development may stop.
The first sign is that stem will become soft, and the leaves will become bright green. If you want to avoid overwatering, put your plants in a pot with many holes and avoid slow-draining soil.
How to Fix the Leaning of a Cactus Plant
The following ways will help you keep your cactus plant erect and prevent it from bending.
1. Water the Plant Appropriately
You don’t want to overwater or underwater your plants. Before watering your plants, do a soil dryness test. Stick your finger in the 1-2 inches of the topsoil and try to find out if it’s dry.
If the soil feels dry, you can give the plants water. However, if the soil is damp, wait for a while and only water once it’s dry.
2. Remove all the Pests
Whenever you spot something like an ant or mealybug near your plant, you want to take immediate action and start tracing its origins.
You want to use things like insecticidal soaps and rinse off all the insects, so they don’t cause any further damage to your plant.
3. Repot the Cactus
You want to ensure that the cactus pot you’re using is enough to allow the growth of the cactus but not large enough that getting the nutrients becomes too much for the cactus.
An ideal container allows for a space of 1-2 inches from the sides and the bottom of the container.
Repotting is necessary because cactus roots need air to breathe. Also, the roots need to be staked to prevent them from growing into the drainage holes in the container. One way you can repot a cactus is to water it thoroughly, then use a sharp knife to cut away the old soil from the roots.
4. Give it Enough Sunlight
Cactuses grow best in full sun, but they can tolerate some shade. They will not thrive, however, if they are grown in full shade.
If you’re placing your cactus in a dark room, remove it from such an environment and place it in direct sunlight.
Like most succulents, cacti need at least six hours of sunlight each day. When deciding where to place your cactus, look for a spot that receives full sun, or as much direct sunlight as possible.
You need to know how you can go wrong with providing the right resources to a plant. Once you know why a plant is drooping, you can take measures to get it back to a healthy place in its journey.
It seems that Cacti are real plants, which grow naturally in houses. This can be because Cacti are easy to care for and don’t need a lot of sunlight.
The cactus is not actually growing out of the ceramic pot but is just supported by the ceramic pot. Cacti are from South America and Mexico and are related to the family of the rose plants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is my cactus leaning away from the sun?
A healthy cactus does not lean towards the sun. It is common for cacti to lean away from the sun because there is a greater chance of getting burned.
It appears that the cactus is leaning away from the sun because the plant is succulent and its spiny leaves store water and also help protect the plant from predators. The leaves are also able to close to minimize water loss.
Why is my bunny ear cactus leaning?
When a cactus started leaning to one side it grows an arm on the other side to right itself
The saguaro cactus is the largest species in the cactus family. It grows slowly, often taking 20-30 years to reach maturity. The cactus grows an arm on the side that is leaning towards the ground and grows another arm on the side that is leaning away from the ground. This ensures that the cactus retains its balance.