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Oct 25, 2017 1:12 PM CST
My boyfriend had gotten me a cactus last fall and I have watered it and taken care of it as I am supposed to. It’s already been a year and I’ve started to notice that the top of its “head” is growing upward, almost to a point. I’m not exactly sure what it could mean. Any suggestions?
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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Oct 25, 2017 1:14 PM CST
It means it doesn't have enough light. It is becoming what is called 'etiolated'. Can you move it to a brighter window, or use a grow light for it?
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Oct 25, 2017 6:05 PM CST
I agree Dog-gone-it ! Karen ! You beat me to the punch !
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Oct 25, 2017 6:54 PM CST
Thank you! So putting it by a window is ok? Since I live in GA, it’s getting really cold out and my room is cold because it’s in the basement. Is the cactus alright in cold temps? Confused
[Last edited by leah96 - Oct 25, 2017 6:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Oct 26, 2017 12:09 AM CST
To avoid the stretching due to low light, try to provide hours of daily sun (your cactus should "see" the sun for hours a day, ideally). The stretching is irreversible once it has happened, so try to find the brightest spot you have in order to prevent it.

If temps are in the 50s during the day then cut back on the watering until it warms up again. Otherwise, given daily highs in the 60s or 70s, water as normal (when the soil goes dry). The combination of cold and wet is generally to be avoided since it presents the greatest risk of rot.

Your cactus may slow way down in the winter due to the cold (and infrequent water) and that may actually work to your advantage. Some people park their succulents in a basement or garage for the winter, since these places are cool but do not freeze... The plants will go to sleep under cool, dry conditions and wake up when moved to a brighter, warmer location in the spring.

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