Cacti are suited to grow in dry, desert-type climatic conditions, however, over time they have become popular as houseplants. However, simply because their environment has changed, doesn’t mean so have their needs. Cactus still needs minimal water to grow well. So, if you see your cactus bulging and becoming mushy, it can be a sign of overwatering your cactus. Overwatering can essentially make the cactus turn soft and squishy.
Is the cactus turning squishy a dangerous sign?
Yes, the cactus turning squishy is generally a sign of over saturation of the plant tissues. It prevents the plant from absorbing the required nutrition and weakens the immunity system of the plant. It makes the plant susceptible to fatal infections such as root or crown rot. However, in some cases, the reason for your cactus turning squishy could be fungal infections caused by a wound or infected soil.
So, these are some of the preventive measures to avoid the plant from turning squishy –
- Proper Watering
- Rot Control
- Injury Care
Overwatering is the primary cause of your cactus turning squishy. Since cacti are desert plants, they need minimal water. So, ensure that you water the cactus only when the soil is dry and needs moisture.
Avoid watering the plant regularly during the winter season when the plant is dormant. You also need to ensure there is no stagnant water left in the plant after watering to avoid fungal infections.
If the soil retains excess moisture, replace it with a type of soil that is coarse and absorbs minimal water. Also, remember to ensure that the pot has proper drainage.
Rotting is one of the main fatal consequences of overwatering. Rot can occur both in the roots as well as in the stems. So, if you see your cactus starting to rot, immediately check the roots of the plant for fungal infections. If spotted, immediately isolate the plant, prune the infected parts and spray the plant with an effective fungicide. Continue the process until the plant has completely healed.
Once healed, replace the soil with fresh, sterilized soil that is free of any form of fungi or larvae to ensure the healthy growth of your plant.
Cactus can be damaged due to various reasons such as hailstorms, sunburn, and freeze damage. So, if your cactus has suffered any injury, it essentially makes it prone to infestations and rotting due to the presence of dead tissues. Since the cactus is already weakened, infections can occur very easily.
Similarly, if your cactus is injured, avoid subjecting it to humid conditions. Warm conditions make the cactus an ideal breeding ground for pests which can further deteriorate the health of the cactus and cause it to start rotting, making the cactus turn soft and squishy.
If the injury starts to worsen, prune the affected parts to stop the infections from spreading further. As a preventive measure, ensure that your cactus is kept indoors during days when there are excessive fluctuations in the weather.
Thus, these are the steps to help nurture your squishy cactus back to its original form.