Jun 5, 2020 3:06 PM CST
Thread OP

I think this cactus needs help (I don't know what kind it is). It started turning a purple-ish color. I assumed I over-watered so I repotted it.
I was wondering if anyone can identify a problem-- is this root rot? Something else? Is it salvageable?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

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Last edited by jonesyboy Jun 5, 2020 3:32 PM Icon for preview
Jun 5, 2020 3:45 PM CST
Name: cheapskate gardener
South Florida (Zone 10a)
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The roots look good to me. Purple could be its stress color, which would mean too little water or too much sun if you don't want it to remain purple.
I have found that coffee, tea, and rose can all agree on one thing... water everyday.
Jun 5, 2020 6:50 PM CST
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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It is a cereus sp. monstrose.

I actually find the root mass rather small for the size of the plant - was this a cutting that was recently rooted? Or did you recently repot this? If not, time to up end the pot it was in and see what if anything is left behind in the soil. The roots left on the plant may not be in that bad shape, but if this was growing before and now it is not, I suspect that you had a case of developing root rot and you might find quite a bit of root mass still left in the soil in various stages of decomposition.

It is probably the lighting of the photo, but the look of the cactus itself really concerns me. Any chance of getting a better picture in slightly brighter light so we can see the true colors, but your pictures do not give me any sense of the color purple at all, which would indeed be a sun stress color. To me the shades of the plant as shown in picture look way more like - I have a rot issue going on, which obviously would be bad, but could be due to the lighting in the pic.

If the pot it was in, is in one of the pictures, I think your soil is pretty rich and possibly water retentive. When these plants are growing and have a solid root mass they can deal with quite a lot of water, but given the amount of roots this plant currently has, it could be sitting too wet too long in that pot with that soil.

You need to try and find something to add to your soil that helps it be less water retentive and more aerated. Pumice is the obvious suggestion, but that is not always that easy to come by. So people use lava rock or other coarser grained gravel, which while not as good as pumice will certainly help.
It is what it is!
Jun 5, 2020 7:49 PM CST
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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I would agree that the roots are kind of insubstantial for the size of the plant (like maybe it was a cutting that hasn't properly rooted yet). It looks like a lot of stem has been buried too, and fairly recently because some of the buried stem (it looks like) is still green, or whatever you want to call that olive gray color... it would be brown if it had been under the soil for a while.

Thijs has given some very helpful advice about care.
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