Cactus help

BettaFishObsessed

Hi, this cactus ive had for a few tears and i was repotting it and i noticed the root was kind of squishy, not like rotten and i can put my finger through it, but sort of like one of those foam squishy things, but a bit more firm. I dont know if this is normal, and i didnt see any clearly rotten looking parts, it also looks kind if weird for a cactus root, but maybe i just havent seen enough cactus roots. When i shake its new pot, it falls out of the soil, but that could be because its 80% sand. The cactus itself isnt showing any signs of sickbess, but j ie that forsbt mean anything since its a cactus and it can take a while to show up. Just want to make sure everything is ok eith this cactus. I water it about once a month and i dont know what species it is. I got it as a gift and it was sold as one of those “desert gems” cactuses (so dyed, thats why its pink and the new growth is white), and i think the company said they are in the family mammillaria but they dont say the species (i know the company is very sketchy because they “dOnT wAnT aNyOnE sTeALiNg tHeIr sEcReTs”). Anyways, i digress. Is my cactus okay?
 

mimo91088

Idk how active ElysiumPlants still is, but this seems like something they'd know so tagging for you in hopes they see it.
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

I am sure Kribensis27 can help you with this.
 
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Kribensis27

Sorry I'm so late, today wasn't the best day.

Are you talking about the base of the plant, or the actual roots? It's normal for the spot where the plant's base & the roots meet to be a bit spongy, but not much. If it's very soft, it's likely either rotten or dehydrated.

Could you include a picture of the cactus? It would be good to know the genus for sure. Some cacti need a winter rest period, and won't do well if watered more than the bare minimum during winter. Others, however, prefer a bit more water than just once a month.

Falling over when newly potted is normal. Cacti, especially taller ones, can be very top heavy. They also don't have very large root systems. Add that to the fact that they require loose soil and take a while to root, and it makes them very prone to tipping.

If you're sure it's not rotten, it could be dehydrated. When you water, do you water it deeply & make sure the soil is soaked all the way through, or do you just dump water on to the root ball? When soil is kept dry for long periods of time, it often becomes hard to rehydrate. When you only dump water in, that water will just flow around the root ball. It will leave the center dry. This can cause the outside roots to seem healthy, while the inner roots are suffering.

It's likely fine. Maybe a bit dehydrated, or maybe not at all.
 
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BettaFishObsessed

Sorry I'm so late, today wasn't the best day.

Are you talking about the base of the plant, or the actual roots? It's normal for the spot where the plant's base & the roots meet to be a bit spongy, but not much. If it's very soft, it's likely either rotten or dehydrated.

Could you include a picture of the cactus? It would be good to know the genus for sure. Some cacti need a winter rest period, and won't do well if watered more than the bare minimum during winter. Others, however, prefer a bit more water than just once a month.

Falling over when newly potted is normal. Cacti, especially taller ones, can be very top heavy. They also don't have very large root systems. Add that to the fact that they require loose soil and take a while to root, and it makes them very prone to tipping.

If you're sure it's not rotten, it could be dehydrated. When you water, do you water it deeply & make sure the soil is soaked all the way through, or do you just dump water on to the root ball? When soil is kept dry for long periods of time, it often becomes hard to rehydrate. When you only dump water in, that water will just flow around the root ball. It will leave the center dry. This can cause the outside roots to seem healthy, while the inner roots are suffering.

It's likely fine. Maybe a bit dehydrated, or maybe not at all.

Sorry, I tried to upload pictures, did they not show up? Let me try again here

It is the actual root that is spongy, its spongier than the actual cactus
I cant be sure its not rotten, but it doesn’t look rotten to me at all
I usually soak the soil and then wait until it’s completely dry to water it again.
(Also if the photo shows up, the lighting and angle makes the roots look a lot shorter than they are, oops)
Thanks for your help!
 

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Kribensis27

I think your issue may be dehydration. This often causes the root area to feel soft, but not rotten, like you describe.

Another big indicator is your photo. A normal Mammillaria should have some smaller, finer, more delicate roots alongside the larger & thicker ones. When it is dehydrated, however, these more delicate roots will die off, leaving you with only the thick ones.

I would water it a bit more often, maybe twice a month, and make sure the soil gets soaked all the way through each time. It probably won't grow many new roots until it gets enough top growth to photosynthesize properly (which might be a while, these are slow growers).
 
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BettaFishObsessed

I think your issue may be dehydration. This often causes the root area to feel soft, but not rotten, like you describe.

Another big indicator is your photo. A normal Mammillaria should have some smaller, finer, more delicate roots alongside the larger & thicker ones. When it is dehydrated, however, these more delicate roots will die off, leaving you with only the thick ones.

I would water it a bit more often, maybe twice a month, and make sure the soil gets soaked all the way through each time. It probably won't grow many new roots until it gets enough top growth to photosynthesize properly (which might be a while, these are slow growers).

Okay, thanks for your help!!!
 
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