Cacti are surprisingly durable and easily maintained. The succulents require little more than the sun, well-draining soil, and infrequent moisture. The pests and issues common to the succulents are minimal and typically easy to subdue. Cactus problems might range from sucking pests, such as whitefly’s, to general rots from bacterial or fungal diseases. One of indication of a problem is a soft, mushy cactus.
Why is My Cactus Going Soft?
A typical arid gardener might ask, “Why is my cactus going soft?”. Potential causes are disease, cultivation, and improper location and environmental conditions.
Cacti usually have low moisture requirements. They flourish in temperatures above 70 to 75 F. in sunny areas and require negligible supplemental nutrients. Potted plants require excellent drainage and a soil mix with substantial amounts of grit. In ground plants have likewise requirements.
Like with all plants, cacti can become diseased and/or damaged. Typical problems are soft areas in the flesh of the plant. These could be discolored or cork-like around the area and the center is smushy and wet. The reasoning for such areas might be disease or simply physical injury to the pads and/or stems of the cacti. Rot problems need to be dealt with sooner than later to prevent spread to the rest of the plant and severe loss of vigor, in which might become permanent.
Cactus Issues with Fungal and Bacterial Diseases
Bacteria and fungus are interposed to the plant from physical openings in its flesh. The open areas might be from insect and/or animal activity, injury from inanimate objects, or forceful weather, like hail. The injury itself is unimportant, but the physical injury from fungal spores or bacteria is vital.
Warm, moist conditions exacerbate the production of fungi spores and increases bacterial production. After the organism takes hold in your cacti, you are going to notice a soft, mushy plant. Symptoms to look for include small sunken areas, discolored blemishes, round softer areas surrounded by fruiting bodies, and black and/or other colored spots on the surface of the plant’s skin. You might even see some oozing of your cacti.
Treating Cactus Rot Concerns
Cactus issues that have got into the root usually results in a slowly dying cactus, whereas topical issues in the upper part can be treated easily. A lot of cacti respond well to remove the diseased areas. Use a sharp sterile cutting tool to cut out the damaged flesh and enable the hole to dry out. Do not water overhead as the wound itself closes.
When the damage has impacted the roots, there is minimal you are able do. You can attempt to re-pot your cactus, removing the diseased soil and putting in new sterilized soil. You need to wash the roots off well prior to replanting in a new potting medium.