How to Save Overwatered Cactus (Step by Step Guides)

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Cacti are generally low-maintenance plants due to their low feeding and watering requirements, but many believe that cacti are indestructible. However, because cacti require very little water to survive, some owners face the challenge of overwatering their cactus without even realizing it.

As a result, most owners accidentally kill them with kindness by overwatering them. There are some signs of overwatering, and if a professional can identify the problem early on, it is possible to help your plant recover with proper care.

The first step is to identify the symptoms and then provide the necessary immediate care for a beginner. After completing this process, take some steps to ensure that it receives the regular care required for long-term survival.

The symptoms of overwatering cactusThe symptoms of overwatering cactus

First, overwatered cactus may appear healthy and happier, but the underground roots may suffer from rotting when they are waterlogged. So, here are some common signs of overwatering that you can quickly identify.

1. Colour change

When the color of your cactus begins to change from green to yellow is the symptom of overwatering. This is caused by the plant’s inability to absorb enough nutrients from the soil and deliver them to the leaves due to overwatering.

2. Brown Spot

Overwatering can cause cactus roots to rot, and brown spots on the outside of the cactus are signs affected by this problem.

3. Tends to die

Because the roots die, the whole plant may starve to death because it will not absorb as much water from the soil. The question is how dying cactus appear. The dying cactus feels shakier in its potting mix and might seem like a drop.

4. Bad root rotten smell

If the root rots due to overwatering in the underground, you may notice a sulfurous or compost smell. Rotten roots cause that smell, and it is caused by bacteria that grow somewhere without oxygen in the bottom of the pot.

5. Leaf drop

Even when the plant is unhealthy, cactus-like Christmas leaves will begin to drop. One of the first signs of overwatering on Christmas cactus will be limp leaves that begin to fall off.

How to save an overwatered cactus How to Save Overwatered Cactus

If you find any of the included signs, you can take the necessary steps to save your cactus from this problem. So, what should you do if you realize you overwater your plant and read the process.

1. Cut all the rotten part

After confirming this problem, remove your cactus from the old waterlogged soil and cut away all the dying stems and leaves. If you notice that the large proportion of the roots are still white, don’t be concerned; the damage has not progressed. Even so, removing rotten parts will help the plant save energy and direct its resources to recovery.

2. Repot the cactus in a new pot

It is not a good idea to keep the treatment in old soil; instead, re-pot your affected cactus in new soil, and it might be more essential if the soil is dry. Fill the pot after gently placing the cactus in the new soil without disturbing the root.

3. Water carefully after repot

After repotting, wait for at least one week and maintain light watering before watering your cactus regularly; Cactus prefers to grow in dry soil rather than wet soil. So, before watering, make sure the top two inches of potting mix are completely dry.

4. Ensure proper sunlight

After you’ve finished everything, find a spot in your home that gets more sunlight for a more extended period. On the other hand, cactus don’t need direct sunlight to survive; place them on a south-facing window to help them access bright light.

Read also: Why Cactus Turning Purple?

How to care of a new report cactusHow to care of a new report cactus

After finishing the problem-solving process, proper caring is must be needed to stay healthy of your cactus. Keep reading the tips that you can care for your cactus properly.

1. Mix the soil with the proper item and ensure drainage

Because cactus prefer dry soil, the correct type of soil must dry quickly after watering the plant. A sufficient amount of nutrition is also required in the soil for them to increase.

You must maintain a proper drainage system, consisting of one part washed sand, one part soil, and one part pebbles. If you do not want to use particular soil, you can use regular potting soil or African violet soil for your cactus plants. After you’ve arranged those items, drill some holes in the bottom of the pot to drain the excess water.

2. Give them the right pot

Cactus plants typically do not require large pots; however, small pots will constrict the roots, leaving no space for the soil, and large pots will take time to drain.

The question here is how to select a pot for my cactus. So, if your cactus plant is four inches across at its widest point, choose a container that is 5 -5.5 inches in diameter. Don’t forget about drainage. Choose Terracotta containers. It allows water to evaporate faster than other materials.

3. Ensure proper light ad Temperature

These plants prefer bright and sunny locations; however, direct sunlight can cause the plants to turn yellow, so it is best to place cacti and succulents in a sunny location.

Cacti require warm weather to survive, and the ideal temperature for them is between 45oF and 85oF. In the winter, any temperature between 45oF and 55oF will suffice.

4. Right watering

Watering is necessary for plant growth, and many people believe that cacti only require a small amount of water. You may believe that more enormous cactus require more water than more miniature cactus, but this is entirely incorrect.

More enormous cactus can absorb a large amount of water and use it when necessary. However, the smaller ones have a faster growth rate, which means they require more water. So try to give more water to the smaller than bigger.

Cacti require regular watering and fertilization from the middle of March to the end of September. However, in other seasons, when the plants require less water, it is good to check the soil for moisture before watering.

5. Fertilize your cactus

Most cacti and succulents do not require a specific blend. Still, a low-nitrogen content, water-soluble fertilizer is best suited for the job, so when shopping for fertilizer, look for high phosphorus but low in nitrogen.

There is also potting mix on the market that has already been mixed with fertilizer. We recommend Hoffman Cactus and Succulent potting mix because it contains girt and sand for proper drainage. This potting mix also contains the proper amount of nutrients, which aids in maintaining the cactus’s healthy appearance.

Black Spots On Cactus? Here is a solution

Some Important FAQ

Here we listed some questions with their suitable answer and answers that are very important to understand the discussion above. Go through it; we hope it might be of great help.

  • Is it better to propagate succulents in water or soil?

Succulent plants in wet soil are exposed to fungus and pathogens in the soil, introducing diseases into the plant and cause root rot. When plants are propagated in water, they are not exposed to the pathogens that are usually present in the soil medium, and as a result, they do not rot.

  • How long does it take a cactus to cut to root?

Most cacti take four to six weeks to root, but some can take months. When it has rooted, look for new green growth, which indicates that the roots have taken hold and the plantlet receives nutrients and water.

  • Can you regrow a succulent from a leaf?

Simply take a fallen leaf from your succulents or gently remove one from the stem. Give the leaves bright, filtered sunlight and mist them with water whenever the soil dries out, which should be about twice a week.

  • How long can a Cactus live without soil?

Typical desert cacti can survive without water for up to two years. This is because it has thick stems that store a lot of water and a protective layer that prevents water loss. This, however, does not apply to indoor cacti because the conditions are very different.

  • How long do indoor cacti live?

Indoor cacti plants can live for ten years or more on average. However, with the proper growing conditions and care, an indoor cactus plant’s lifespan can be significantly extended.

Final Word

The Cactus plant is mainly known as a hard killing plant, but the overwatering issue is a complicated issue for another indoor plant. 

Different plants prefer different amounts of moisture in their soil, and if you talk about cactus moisture requirements, they want minimum dryness in their soil. But dryness doesn’t mean that frequent watering is not needed them.

In this article, we have discussed the normal caring process after treating an overtired issue. We believe that if you follow what we say, you can keep your Cactus healthy.