3 Reasons Why Your Cactus Might Be Shrinking

I am well aware that cactuses are not the most desirable plant among all the plants that exist, but some people adore them and like to have them as a part of their plant collection, indoors or outdoors.

Truth be told, cactuses are not that hard to be maintained, and they are good-looking plants, so I see no reason why somebody wouldn’t want them as part of their little garden.

However, not every time things go as they should. For instance, even though you try to do what’s best for your plants, sometimes they just lack viability.

If you happen to have a cactus, and the same cactus is shrining for some reason, then you have come to the right place. Continue reading this article to find out something more about the plant of cactus and a few reasons why your cactus might be shrinking. Here I go!

Cactus – What Does it Represent?

A type of plant adapted to hot, dry regions. Xerophytes are plants that live this kind of lifestyle. Most are water-storing succulents.

Cacti are plants that belong to the order Caryophyllales and the family Cactaceae. There are about 1750 recognized species spread throughout 127 genera. From Patagonia in the south to sections of western Canada in the north, almost all of them are indigenous to the Americas. In addition to Asia and Sri Lanka, the species Rhipsalis baccifera thrives in Africa.

The term “cactus” first appeared in writing by Theophrastus: It derives from the Ancient Greek word κάκτoς or kaktos. Its exact identity is unknown, although Theophrastus used it to describe a spiky plant. In arid, hot areas, cacti play a significant role in the food chain. Cacti are now common around the world, and many people grow them in gardens or containers.

Deserts and other arid environments are home to many cacti. The majority of cactis have thick skin and pointed thorns (stickers). Cacti comes in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Some are small and chubby, while others are tall and lean. Big and lovely cactus blossoms are abundant.  Some flower at night and are pollinated by moths and bats.

Shrinking Cactus – What Could be the Reason?

Let’s go through a few reasons why your cactus could be shrinking.

Overexposure to light

Most cacti are naturally attracted to bright light and the sun. Most cacti receive a lot of sunlight in their natural habitat all year round. However, you won’t get much sunlight if you live somewhere with a chilly winter. even at any time of the year. Every plant has the capacity to adjust to a new environment.

Therefore, if you suddenly expose a cactus that has been receiving little light during the winter to a lot of bright light, it may burn easily. Allowing your cactus to go dormant in winter is necessary if your winters are particularly cold (below 60–65 F/15.5–18 C).

You need to gradually reintroduce bright light to your cactus once winter is past. Put your cacti in direct sunlight, but cover them with gauze or another semi-transparent material. Remove portions of the cloth over the next weeks to enable greater exposure as summer approaches.

Cacti doesn’t like sudden changes in temperature or light, so avoid drafts and air conditioning. Shrinkage, burns (which eventually transform into brown corked patches), and spike loss can occur as a result of abrupt changes in light and temperature.

Little light

Conversely, a lack of light can have you wondering “why is my cactus shrinking?” You’ll notice indicators like shrinking, thinning, discolouration, and elongation if your cactus has been deprived of sunshine for a long time. This process, known as etiolation, is typical for a wide variety of cacti and succulent plants.

Your cactus must have access to light in order to photosynthesize. Your cactus will develop slowly without this technique, and you might even notice that it is shrinking. This is a result of your plant not receiving the right amount of nutrients and energy.

Because plants need Chlorophyll, the substance that gives them their brilliant green color, a lack of light will also lead your cactus to become pale or discolored.

To ensure that your cactus receives the most natural light possible, you should always place it in a south-facing window. If you are unable to do this, I suggest investing in a grow light with a fluorescent LED bulb that replicates natural sunlight.

There are many option on Amazon for you, they all have has several settings and a timer feature. They offer the ideal lighting conditions for cactus plants to prosper. If you only have a few plants or miniature cactus in your house, this is excellent. You could spend more money on something larger if you need illumination for a sizable number.

Insufficient watering

A long-term problem may arise because underwatered cactus plants have a tendency to shrink. For drying out between waterings, they typically prefer fast-draining soil. When determining the soil’s moisture content, a soil moisture meter is suitable.

Cacti should only receive mild irrigation during their winter dormancy, once every four to six weeks, according to plant experts. Some cactus owners refuse to water at all, however since transpiration still happens while the plant is dormant, it is advised to water it only minimally.

Cactus plants may shrink during this time, but once normal watering schedules start, they will recover to their previous health.

A sort of rot on the surface of the plants makes fungal illnesses visible and can cause the cactus plants to shrink. Cacti that are overwatered may develop root and pythium rot. Fungal infections in cacti can cause them to shrink even before the fungus is visible from the outside.

Cacti should be grown in drainage-holed pots, and plants should only receive the optimum amount of water necessary to prevent them from drying out and shrinking.

Final Words

You must attempt to save your cactus if it appears to be rotting. The healthy part if the cactus would need to be clipped off and replanted in a new container.

Hopefully this article will come in handy and help you save your cactus.

Further Reading

Spider eggs can be troublesome at times, read the article to figure out how to get rid of them. Additionally, I have some of the fastest-growing succulents for impatient gardeners.

Alternatively, you can check out broccoli plant growing stages and cucumber plant stages if these two succulent family plants are your future plans.

About Us

FlowerPictures is a website dedicated to the most beautiful things in life - PLANTS!

Its run by enthusiast gardeners that have years of experience.