Meaghan greco added on April 7, 2018 | Answered

My husband and I have inherited a 40 year old cactus. The bottom half was brown and parts of it almost look like a tree trunk. The cactus is almost 6ft tall. Is this normal for a cactus of this size, or is it a disease of some sort? The cactus also will not stand up on its own, I want to report it into a large container to help it stand, but will too much dirt kill it? It recently grew a new piece on the top, should we cut that off and root it to start a new plant, and forget about the rest of it? I'd feel horrible throwing out such an old plant if I didn't have to.

Share this Question:
Log in or sign up to help answer this question.
Check here if you would like to receive notifications every time this question is answered.
You are subscribed to receive notifications whenever this question is answered.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 8, 2018

The soil that it is planted in is likely the culprit here. This was a vigorous fungal infection that was likely caused by remaining too wet for too long. This is due to the low porosity of the soil that is is in.

I recommend taking that growth at the top, and starting it as a new plant. Start this in a cactus soil mix, so that you can be certain that there is proper drainage. Only water this mix when it is almost completely dry, and the piece will root itself over time.

This new offshoot is, sort of, like a last ditch effort to save itself. This will easily propagate to ensure that the cactus stays alive.

They will normally get this tall over along period of time but keeping peaces of the new growth will allow you to start fresh with a new plant.

Was this answer useful?
Looking for more?
Here are more questions about Cactus

You must be logged into your account to answer a question.

If you don't have an account sign up for an account now.