Leaning Beavertail Cactus?


Help! This cactus has been thriving outside this summer in Colorado with a lot of new growth but started leaning over the past few days with no apparent changes in environment / conditions. It is watered infrequently and is covered from rain for the most part by an overhang from the garage.

q leaning beavertail cactus
q leaning beavertail cactus
q leaning beavertail cactus
  7 answers
  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Jul 18, 2020

    Hi Sarah, sorry you are having problems with you cactus. I hope this helps . How do I stop my cactus from leaning?

    the solution for this problem can be replanting a cactus in dry soil or packing more soil around the base of the cactus. You can also help your cactus grow upright by adding a layer of small rocks or gravel the surface of the soil.Sep 27, 2019

  • Janice Janice on Jul 19, 2020

    Hi Sarah, your cactus may actually be getting over watered from the recent rain. Be sure it has really good drainage so it dosesn't suffer from root rot.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 20, 2020

    I think it may be the weight of the growth vs. the room for roots. Try shoring it up with sticks.

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Jul 23, 2020

    You can try rotating the pot every few days. Plants like to ‘reach’ for the sun. Try turning the pot so the side that opposite of the leaning is toward the side where the plant gets the most sun.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 09, 2021

    This is the info I found. I also have cactus, and I find if I water too much this can happen. Growing Toward the Sunlight

    Even if your cactus is planted in full sun, it may lean. Plants naturally grow toward the sunlight. The barrel cactus grows southward toward the sun so much that it practically lies over on one side. If the cactus is otherwise healthy, this is not a danger.

    However, if a cactus planted in partial shade is leaning, it may need more sunlight. A cactus in this condition will look sickly and have weak, flimsy stems that are yellow-green. The plant should gradually be exposed to stronger sunlight to prevent sunburn.

    Improper Planting Issues

    If the cactus is leaning from the ground, it may be loosely planted in the soil. Improper watering may be the reason. After watering a cactus, the soil must be allowed to completely dry out before watering again. Watering too frequently prevents the soil from hardening around the base of the cactus and causes the soil to loosen.

    Provided there is no root rot, either transplanting the cactus to dry soil or packing more dirt around it is a solution. Also, adding a layer of small rocks or gravel on the surface can help to stabilize the cactus.

    Problems With Rot

    Rot is caused by fungi and bacteria growing on the plant. The most common reason for rot is watering the cactus too often. The infected spot will have a watery, slimy, black appearance. Rot begins at the base of the cactus and works its way to the top.

    Rotting plants start to lean, then collapse and die. If rot is detected early, dig up the cactus and replant it in dry soil. Otherwise, remove the cactus from the soil, and cut the healthy top away from the diseased part. Allow the top to dry and dust the cut surface with a fungicide before replanting it in sandy soil.

    Insect Problems on a Cactus

    Insects eating the stem of the cactus can weaken the plant and cause it to lean. A plant infested with mealybugs will stop growing and take on a sickly, deformed appearance. Mealy bugs should be removed with tweezers or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

    Ants nesting at the base of the cactus eat away at the stem causing it to lean and eventually fall over. Wash away the ants with a strong, lukewarm stream of water. A cactus weakened by insects may develop fungi and rot and will die if not treated.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 09, 2021

    Oh, no, so sorry, here are some possible causes for leaning: