Why Is Your Cactus Leaning?

Outdoor Cactus Leaning

Cacti are hardy plants that are pretty easy to grow since they don’t require much of your time. However, besides very little water or maintenance, your cactus still needs some specialized care. If you noticed that your cactus doesn’t grow upright anymore, but is now leaning, it means its stressed in some way. This can happen to both indoor and outdoor planted cacti. If you examine your plant carefully to determine what is causing leaning, you can detect the problem early and save your cactus. To help you do that, we put up a list of usual causes of cactus leaning.

Leaning Cactus


Your cactus may lean even if its planted in full sun because plants naturally grow towards the sunlight. If your plant is otherwise healthy, this is not an indicator of a problem. However, if you planted your cactus in partial shade and now it started to lean, this can mean it needs more sunlight. Other signs you can notice are weak, flimsy, yellowish stems that look sick. If this is a case with your cactus, make sure you’re exposing it to stronger sunlight gradually to avoid sunburns.


If your cactus is leaning from the ground, you bay plant it to loosely in the soil. Also, it may be a sign of overwatering. As we know, the soil cactus is planted in has to be completely dry before next watering. Otheway, the soil cant hardens around the base of the cactus and the soil will become loosen. the solution for this problem can be replanting a cactus in dry soil or packing more soil around the base of the cactus. You can also help your cactus grow upright by adding a layer of small rocks or gravel the surface of the soil.

Planted Cactus Leaning


The cause of leaning of your cactus can also be insect eating the stem. For example, mealybugs can cause cactus to stop growing and get deformed. You can get rid of mealybugs with tweezers and a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Also, infection with ants nesting at the base of the cactus and eating away the stem can cause cactus to start leaning and eventually fall over. You can fight the ants by washing them away with strong stream of water. Cactus infected with insects can develop fungi and rot, so it will die if not treated.


Rotting can be caused by fungi and bacteria growing on the plant. The most common cause of rotting is overwatering the cactus. Youll notice the infected spot is slimy, watery and black. Rot begins at the base of the cactus and it works its way to the top of the plant. Eventually, rotting cactus starts to lean, collapse and die. If you detected rot early, just repot the cactus in the fresh, dry soil. If the rot is taken bigger part of the plant, remove the cactus from the soil and cut the healthy part away. After that, allow the healthy part to dry out for a day and dust the cut surface with some fungicide before planting it in sandy soil.

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