While cacti are supposed to be low maintenance plants, it technically doesn’t mean that it does not need any maintenance at all. So, if you see your favorite cacti turning brown and hollow, it essentially means that it is time to give the cactus some care and attention.
Why is my cactus turning hollow? One of the main reasons for your cactus starting to hollow from the inside is rotting.
Cactus Turning Hollow Causes
Rotting can be of several types and can happen due to the following reasons –
While the cactus is a succulent plant by nature, it doesn’t need constant watering to help it keep in shape. The succulent leaves are only meant to store water in cases of a drought-like situation. So, if you are watering your cactus too often, it would essentially lead to overwatering the cactus. Overwatering the cactus can create very serious issues for your cactus by over-saturating the cells and making the plant turn mushy and soft. It makes the plant unable to absorb the essential nutrients required to carry out photosynthesis and makes it weak. Thus, it makes the plant prone to issues such as root and crown rot which causes the plant to decay from the inside.
What to do – If your cactus starts to rot due to overwatering, immediately check the plant for damage. Immediately cut off the parts that have been severely affected. Regulate the watering schedule of the cactus, especially during winters when the cactus needs minimal water. Ensure that the soil is porous and well-drained.
2. Atmospheric Humidity
Your cactus may start to turn yellow during the seasons of high atmospheric humidity. It is especially dangerous if your cactus is wounded as high humidity accelerates the infestations and infections. The yellowing is the first sign of a rotting plant and, this problem needs to be addressed immediately to ensure that the damage caused is minimal.
What to do – Cactus tends to thrive in low humidity levels of 50-60%. So, use a hygrometer to measure the humidity and remove your plant from sources of high humidity such as refrigerators or air coolers. In the rainy season, place the cactus indoors; under bright light, and preferably in a de-humidified environment. A dehumidifier can be used to ensure that the humidity levels are controlled, especially in cases of injured cacti.
Pests and bacteria can be very damaging to the health of the cactus. Certain types of pests and fungi devour on the sap of the plant for survival. It causes the insides of the plant to start rotting and becoming hollow from the inside. Some of the pests which cause such a problem are scale bugs, spider mites, and mealybugs.
What to do – You should always keep a lookout for pest infestations and if detected, immediately quarantine the affected plant to ensure that the pests don’t spread. You can spray an effective pesticide or a diluted rubbing alcohol solution to help you deal with the pest infestation.
Thus, rotting can cause severe damage to the plant. So, the only way to prevent your cactus from rotting and turning hollow is to maintain an active lookout and take immediate steps to curb the problem before it reaches an advanced stage.