The Q&A Archives: Tilting Cactus

Question: We got a cactus from a nursery in December. It is about 7" tall and it was tilting. So we transplanted it into another pot, but it is still tilting. What can we do to prevent this? It's growing lopsided!

Answer: If you recently repotted your cactus, you know how small the root system is compared to the size of the plant. Roots help anchor a plant in the soil, but they need time to become established. Your cactus may just be naturally top-heavy, or it may be leaning toward a source of light because it's not getting as much as it needs. Until your cactus develops additionals roots to help keep it straight, you may need to provide support in the form of stakes. Use two or three sticks and place them equal distances from one another next to the rim on the inside or outside of the pot. Then use a soft material to tie the cactus upright. Old nylon stockings cut into strips are great garden ties. Allow the supports to remain for several months, until the plant straightens up. Once it has developed a more extensive root system, and is not straining to receive bright sunlight, it should grow upright.

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