Drooping Prickly Pear Cactus Please Help!
March 22, 2022 at 4:11 am Reply
I have a prickly pear cactus that has quite a few pads on it, with new shoots coming. It was leaning horrible, recently, so I re potted (it was badly root bound). I thought that re-potting it would have corrected the drooping, but it hasn’t, even after cutting off a pad. I since staked it, and it looks utterly ridiculous. Should I keep it staked, or should I just let it do it’s own thing a flop?March 22, 2022 at 1:33 pm ReplyjeffrycopePrivate messageGreen Thumb
Hi, drooping on a cactus is often due to overwatering. Can you check if extra water can drain out of the pot? When you repotted, did you add lots of drainage in the pot?
Another reason might be linked to where it grows. Did you move it recently? like if it was in the sun and then moved to shade, less activity can lead to a “lower sap pressure ” and make stems less rigid. if it’s top-heavy the in might bend over.
Or my last idea is wind, if it somehow gets much more wind than before, perhaps the stem hasn’t adjusted to being so solicited, and it buckled.
Do you think you could share a few pics?March 23, 2022 at 2:39 am ReplyFatzoPrivate messageGreen Thumb
Maybe the soil settling down in the pot tilted the plant even more. Use gravel or large-ish pebbles to mulch atop the soil. It’ll press down and give the roots more stability. But you have to settle the plant in the pot so that its weight bears it straight down, not tipping over to a side.
Loving the season!March 23, 2022 at 4:43 am Reply
I always keep it outside in the summer, where it gets full sun, and have never had a problem with it ever drooping. This past summer, however, it grew quite rapidly. I brought it in, when the weather got cooler, put it on a south facing window, where is seemed to be doing good, until recently. The pot that I did have it in was clay with no drainage holes, but I watered so infrequently that root rot never concerned me. The new pot has drainage holes. It is firmly packed in, and still drooping (if I don’t have the sticks for support) I don’t want to fiddle with it anymore than I have to as I don’t want to stress it further as it pushes out new pads. Once the pads develop I think that I will prop them, or I may just put it outside again, as is, and see if it will fatten up.
Here’s a picture
https://apis.mail.yahoo.com/ws/v3/mailboxes/@.id==VjN-RNCa4TMUfhXQOk8E6-K3qxPF5r3cQIv7iLImI29tj7FQs2Qxn6TFCBs9QlnZb59OfvBjYg3F1bCbJZleEgvxxw/messages/@.id==AA5g2M8aWBvPYjpZFwtp4AXDPQU/content/parts/@.id==2/thumbnail?appid=YMailNorrinLaunchMarch 23, 2022 at 7:36 am ReplyFatzoPrivate messageGreen Thumb
Welp, the picture doesn’t show, I guess reading the link it’s like a link to an email picture or something. But anyways the way you describe it maybe the drooping is linked to the fast growth, @jeffrycope mentioned that. I agree with you that best is to not overdo things. For me, just keep it propped up because if you don’t, maybe the paddles will harden up in the “drooping position”. Better to keep it upright for the shape to stay when spring and summer come around.
Think it grew a lot because of the fresh new soil when you repotted? Or did you repot after the growth spurt?
Loving the season!March 24, 2022 at 4:15 am Reply
Yes, the picture was an email link, but Yahoo informed me, that they blocked it, which I understand. I was trying to right click, ”save as” a jpg, but for some strange reason or another my ”files have been moved or no longer exist” or something to that effect, which is why I tried another method, very nerve racking, to say the least.
Howsoever, I agree, after a few boughts of springlike weather, the PP got the new growth, and that is when I first noticed the drooping, resulting in a pot up size, and me noticing the root bounding going on…I was hoping that this would have fixed the problem.March 29, 2022 at 3:11 am ReplyjeffrycopePrivate messageGreen Thumb
I read up a bit and saw that sometimes repotting to a pot that’s more than an inch or two larger can lead to drooping. Is the new container much larger than the old one? Other than that I think you’re right to keep it staked for a while.
People seem to say prickly pear propagates on its own by falling over and taking root again, but I think that’s just the plant making the best of a stressful situation. It isn’t the normal way of growing.March 29, 2022 at 7:18 am Reply
My PP was drooping before the repot, which is why I repotted, hoping to rectify the situation, but it didn’t. The new pot is ceramic, not much bigger than the pot that I previously had it in, which was terra cotta with a funky design on it.
I still have it staked, and it must be working, because the PP is now standing straight without leaning on the stakes, for support. I will, however, still keep them there.
I’ve read that in their natural habitat, when the PP’s pads get too heavy, the plant tends to fall over, and propogate itself, while critters use it for hiding, and for making shelter.
In any event, the pads, that I propped, I chose to (prop) using the lay method, as they are way too floppy to stake. It’s an experiment, per se. I’m interested to see how things transpire
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