The Q&A Archives: Night Blooming Cereus Cuttings Turning Black

Question: My Night Blooming Cereus Cactus was getting too tall to fit in my house (8 ft.). When taking it outside and onto my front porch it broke in two. I let the ends heal over on the broken piece and the planted piece. I planted the broken piece in a loose soil mixture. Over the past week the plant and the start have turned greyish black and what also looks like it is starting to rot. I water only when the soil is dry. The plant is exposed to morning sun only. The plant part discoloration has not reached the soil level yet. What do I need to do to save the plant and the start?

Answer: Oh, what a shame to have your huge cereus break like that, and now start to rot! This often happens to cacti that are wounded - the big, juicy leaves are very inviting to rot fungi and bacteria. I know your situation was an emergency, but usually it's best to allow cuttings to heal for 2-3 weeks in a shady place before potting them up. You can try to remove the infected leaf pieces, then place the plants in a cool, shady area with minimal humidity (I hope you can find such a place, in the Georgia spring!) to aid healing. Sterilize your knife before making each cut by wiping it with alcohol or 10% clorox solution. Good luck!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"