Why Is My Cactus Leaning?

Cactus is a desert plant that is widely kept as a houseplant due to its adaptable nature and low maintenance requirements. Sometimes, the cactus tends to start leaning. This essentially signifies a weak cactus that is undergoing some kind of stress.

Why Is My Cactus Leaning?

Some of the reasons that lead to a leaning cactus are as follows-

  • Inadequate Light
  • Improper Planting
  • Excess Moisture
  • Insect Infestation

1. Inadequate Light

Naturally, all plants tend to grow towards the light . So, if your cactus is bending and starting to look weak one of the primary causes may be inadequate sunlight. The cactus is trying to grow towards the light to carry out the essential task of photosynthesis.


Shift the cactus to a place where it has access to bright, indirect sunlight to help bring the cactus back to its original form. However, the cactus must be introduced to direct sunlight gradually as it would otherwise be sunburn damage.

2. Improper Planting

The cactus tends to lean if the plant was improperly planted in the soil. It happens if the cactus was planted in loose soil, due to which the cactus tends to grow in a leaning position. It can also occur if the container in which the cactus is planted is too big.


The ideal solution would be to re-pot the cactus in a new pot and packing it tightly with dry soil. You can also add a layer of gravel or dirt at the base of the cactus to ensure that the cactus doesn’t start leaning again. Ensure that the container size and the drainage are ideal for the relevant cactus to prevent it from leaning.

3. Excess Moisture

Over-watering the cactus often leads to the rotting of the plant. The stagnant water makes the roots of the cactus prone to fungal infections such as root rot. It weakens the plant causing it to bend. It causes a change in the direction of growth , causing the cactus to lean.


To avoid further damage, immediately alter the watering schedule. Only water the cactus when the soil has completely dried. Further, check the root for any fungal infections. If affected, trim the infected part and spray it with an effective fungicide before re-potting it with fresh, sterile soil.

4. Insect Infestation

Insects such as scales and mealybugs suck on the sap of the stem. It causes the stem to weaken and lean over. If left unchecked, the cactus would eventually die off.


If you spot an insect infestation, immediately isolate the plant to contain the spread of the pests. The most effective way would be to spray the plant with an effective pesticide or solutions such as rubbing alcohol and Neem oil. Continue such spraying in regular intervals to ensure that the plant doesn’t get re-infested by the pests.

Hence, these are some of the reasons due to which the cactus might start leaning. Unfortunately, growth is a permanent process, so if the leaning has become too extreme, the only solution is to cut the cactus and carefully start again.

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