Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Help, is my cactus saveable?

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Apr 8, 2017 5:05 AM CST
Hello all,

I am new to cactus owning and I think it probably shows! I received my cactus in January as a Christmas present and I think I might have already killed it... Sad Could you take a look at the photo and tell me if you think it is saveable? If so how? And what you think I did wrong?

The whole cactus is very moist and the skin just comes away when you touch it....

I watered it once a month. It's in a bright room but doesn't get any direct sunlight... any tips would be greatly appreciated!!!

From a new cactus owner.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Apr 8, 2017 11:26 AM CST


It may be too late. Your plant is a Euphorbia and it looks like it has succumbed to rot. You may be able to rescue one or two of the still healthy branches by cutting and re-rooting them to start new plants. Be real careful if you choose to do this because the white sap inside the plant is a pretty potent irritant. So use a sharp knife and wear gloves and wait for any cutting to dry thoroughly before handling it.

I would guess the primary cause of the situation is the lack of light. These plants like hours of daily sunlight if they are indoors, like sun hitting the plant through a window. Really bright light is good for the overall health of the plant as well as a nice compact form. If you try to restart your plant, be sure to give the cuttings good light from the start. Just be careful if you choose to move the plant outside for spring because outdoor sunlight is a different beast entirely from the indoor kind (much more UV) and it can easily shock your plant into oblivion if you are not gradual about the introduction.

Good luck and Welcome! !
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 8, 2017 11:38 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Apr 10, 2017 3:18 PM CST
Hello Few20, you can maybe try to salvage the upper part as suggested. The lower part closest to the soil is done for..but if the upper part with branches still somehow feels firm, try to do a clean cut, just be careful with the sap, it is toxic, so better wear gloves. Set it aside, and let the fresh cut callus.

You will have to use smaller container (wide and shallow preferably) and a new porous, well draining soil. The one you have may already have pathogens that will be detrimental to the new cutting. Use cacti mix with lots of pumice or perlite when you repot and a container with drainage holes.

Euphorbias prefer to be on the warm and sunny side. When it is actively growing in summer it enjoys good watering, but got to make media very well draining.

Keep us posted how it goes!

Apr 14, 2017 12:55 PM CST
Thanks for your help, unfortunately it was too late and the cactus collapsed when I tried to cut the top. Sad Your advice is invaluable however, I will try again hopefully with better success!

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