I purchased a pencil cactus with 4 separate stalks approximately 6 months ago. Shortly after potting it, i noticed that they all began wilting, but one more so than the rest. The one plant died (became very soft and rotten) and I removed it from the pot. I have been struggling to keep the other 3 alive ever since. It seems like if I water them more frequently (every few days) it helps, but lately, they have all shown signs of wrinkling/wilting and they are not as hardy, or strong as they should be. The wilting begins at the top of the plant, farthest from the soil and in the thinnest part of the plant, but can spread throughout. Do you have any idea what the cause of this may be and how to avoid it? It seems like my frequent waterings go against everything I read about the plant, but it seems to be what's keeping it alive. Even now that it is winter, I have to water the plant every 3-4 days. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you
Pencil Cactus Wilting
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I'm sorry to inform you, but the frequent waterings are what caused the issue. They do not need water very often as they are suited for dryer climates. Moist soil for too long causes it to contract bacterial, and fungal infections.
You can try applying peroxide with the next watering once it dries almost completely. just mix 1 part peroxide to 3 parts water. I have a few of these, and They will only do well when neglected, it seems.
Unfortunately, it may be too late, and you may have to start over. But with a little luck, then you may be able to salvage these.
Here is an article that will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/pencil-cactus/care-pencil-cactus.htm