Overwatered Cactus: Tips on How to Save It!

Overwatering cacti can be a problem for many homeowners. Not only do they cause the plants to wilt and die, but excess water also leads to algae growth, which can cause an unpleasant odor. In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to save overwatered cactus and prevent future problems.

What Causes Overwatering in Cacti?

In order for a cactus to survive in an over-watered environment, it must have special adaptations. These adaptations include a thick skin that can withstand high levels of salt and water and a spongy interior that helps the cactus absorb water. Cacti also have a layer of protective mucilage that helps to retain water.

When cacti are over-watered, the first thing that happens is their roots will start to rot. This is because over-watering causes soil to become saturated with too much water and salt. The salt kills off plant roots, depriving the cactus of oxygen and nutrients which then hastens the rotting process. Once roots start to rot, the cactus is in trouble.

Cacti can tolerate a limited amount of over-watering before they begin to suffer, so it is important to monitor your plants carefully and correct any watering problems as soon as you notice them. If you see signs of wilting or browning on your cactus, it’s time to stop watering them and let them dry out for a few days until they are back to normal!

Photo by Hedy Yin on Unsplash

How to Save Overwatered Cactus

If you have overwatered cactus, here are four methods to save it:

1: Remove excess water with a hose.

2: Place the cactus in a paper bag and seal the bag.

3: Put the cactus in a plastic container filled with commercial root-pruning soil.

4: Remove the top one inch of soil from around the cactus and pour fresh potting soil over the top.

Common Cactus Diseases and How to Treat Them

1. Fungal Infections: Fungal infections can be caused by a number of different fungi, including those that commonly infect plants in the garden. Symptoms include wilting, yellowing, or browning of the leaves and a loss of plant vigor. Treatment typically involves systemic fungicides applied as a spray or systemic fertilizer applied around the root zone.

2. Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections can also cause problems for cacti, particularly when water is not properly managed. Signs include wilting, yellowing, or browning of the leaves and a loss of plant vigor. Antibiotic treatment is usually required for bacterial infections, though there are some exceptions; often if specific strains of bacteria are causing the problem, antibiotics may not be necessary.

3. Root Rot: Root rot is an infection caused by fungi or bacteria that attacks the roots of plants. Symptoms include wilting, yellowing, or browning of the leaves and a loss of plant vigor. The best way to prevent root rot is to water thoroughly and apply organic matter around the root zone (such as compost) regularly. If root rot does occur, treating it with antifungals or antibacterials may be necessary.

4. Mildew: Mildew is a fungus that causes white or yellow patches on the leaves of plants. It is most commonly caused by humidity and poor air circulation; keeping your cactus plants well-watered and humid-controlled can help to prevent mildew. If mildew does occur, treating it with an antifungal agent may be necessary.

5. Scab: Scab is a bacterial infection that causes green or brown patches on the leaves of plants. The most common cause is over-watering or overwatering; limiting water usage will help to prevent scabs. If a scab does occur, treating it with an antifungal agent may be necessary.

cactus diseases
Photo by Rémi Müller on Unsplash


In this article, we learned how to save overwatered cacti by providing them with the right amount of water and pH balance. We also discussed the importance of keeping cacti well-watered and explained why over-watering can be harmful to cacti. By following these tips, you can help your cactus stay healthy and happy. Thanks for reading!

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