Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Is my cactus dying?!

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anita211
Oct 22, 2017 2:11 PM CST
Hello all!
I’m new to this forum and to gardening in general. I’ve recently (6 weeks ago) bought a cactus but it doesn’t seem to be doing well. I water it once a week and keep it beside a West facing window.

About 1 week ago the tip of the cactus started turning white and their looks to be a cut on the side of it (not sure how that got there).

Any advice on what I can do to save it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance Smiling
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Oct 22, 2017 2:27 PM CST
I would say the white tip is new growth, but new growth from a cactus that wants more light. Not sure where you are located, but it definitely would like a lot more light if you can provide.

The spot on the side is definitely not a good thing, it looks like it could either be damaged spots that have started rotting a bit or just some fungal rot spots that are developing. I think your are overwatering the cactus. In cool low light environments cacti do not want a lot of water. Not nothing, but less than what you are doing.
I suspect the pot has no hole in the bottom, so the pot is probably not drying out very quickly which is a really bad situation for most cacti.

For now stop watering a provide more light if you can. If at all possible put it in a pot with a hole in the bottom and put the pot on a water catching dish, which is not ideal but a step up from a pot without a hole. The damaged/rotten looking spots might dry out and that way you may be able to save the cactus without defacing it. If those spots keep growing you will have to cut them out till you see only healthy looking cactus flesh.

I would water that cactus once every 3-4 weeks, but other indoor growers might be able to chime in with better watering advice.
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Oct 22, 2017 2:34 PM CST
Thijs beat me to it. I agree, make sure the pot has drainage, provide more light, and water a lot less. Hopefully that damaged area will dry out, callous over and be ok. Once a week is too much for an indoor cactus. Good luck with it!
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Oct 22, 2017 2:35 PM (+)]
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anita211
Oct 22, 2017 5:07 PM CST
Thank you both for your advice!

The pot it’s in does have a little hole at the bottom for drainage so I’ll keep it in that pot for now. I’m located in southern Ontario so there’s limited sun this time of year. I’ll definitely water it a lot less and keep an eye on that spot. If the spot doesn’t improve within a week I’ll cut out the damaged area.

I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress Smiling
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Oct 22, 2017 5:07 PM CST
Thanks, Anita. Good luck!
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Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
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Frenchy21
Oct 22, 2017 6:07 PM CST
Hi Anita. Welcome to the forum! Smiling

anita211
Oct 23, 2017 6:19 AM CST
Thank you both for your advice!

The pot it’s in does have a little hole at the bottom for drainage so I’ll keep it in that pot for now. I’m located in southern Ontario so there’s limited sun this time of year. I’ll definitely water it a lot less and keep an eye on that spot. If the spot doesn’t improve within a week I’ll cut out the damaged area.

I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress Smiling

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