Little One

Hi I bought this little guy from a small plant store and it looked fragile to begin with. Thinking I could save it I brought him anyways and put it in a south facing window but it started to get a little sunburn so I changed it to a east facing window instead. I don’t know is name and I would like to but lately all it’s leaves have been shriveling up and falling off. Since I know is a succulent I barely give it water so I thought it was because of under watering so I gave it a good soack three days ago but when I checked on it today the leave had fallen off and another one was starting to shrivel up. I took it out of its pot to see if it was rot and it has so many roots but the stem is starting to look a little bit brown. Should I be concerned is it rotting ?



In reference to the leaves dropping, are they squishy with a almost yellow transparent look to them? Is the stem feeling soft like a overripe avocado? If so, the plant is suffering from overwatering.

If the leaves are crispy or hard when dropping on all areas of the plant, the plant is probably seeking a bit more water. Some succulents get a bit more thirsty than other species.

If the leaves are getting crispy and drying only on the very bottom area of the plant, then there is nothing to stress over as the plant is preforming it’s natural cycle for renewing and producing more leaf growth. Gently remove the expended leaves and continue to watch it grow.

Watch the watering and make sure the soil is fast draining. If needed, amend the soil with peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, or pumice. Possibly put it back in the south facing window with a sheer curtain to diffuse the light as you said sunburn is a concern.

Hi!! I bought a tiny (1.5 inch or so in diamet…

Hi!! I bought a tiny (1.5 inch or so in diameter) barrel cactus about 2 weeks ago. He was wrinkled and yellow at the base so I didn’t water him. But he stayed like that so I decided to repot, his roots like nice but I am still worried?? I have him in a slightly shaded south facing window and he was outside at a market (hardiness zone 7) before I got him. Hesitant to cut the yellow part off because he is so tiny. Thoughts ?? Thank you !


There are many shades of yellow that have many different meanings when it comes to cacti. If you could provide a photo, it can assist in identifying what is ailing your cactus.


Barrel cacti and many other cacti in general have their flesh turn yellow when they are receiving too much water/sit in water lodged soil/dont have adequate drainage/don’t receive enough sunlight/receive too much sunlight/exposure to cold temperatures beyond a it’s zone limits.

Make sure your cactus has a light, but fast draining soil and sits in a pot with drainage holes. Peat moss, pumice, perlite or vermiculite allow for quick drainage and can be used to amend your soil. Place it in a southern window. If sunburn is your concern (causes very pale yellow markings), you can diffuse the light with a light sheer curtain. Keep cactus away from any drafts or cold windows.

Get your cactus on a water schedule. If the problem persists you will be able to cross that off your list of suspicions. I water my barrel cactus about once every 3 weeks. I water just enough until it starts to drip out the bottom.

If after a period of time has passed and the cactus isn’t looking even slightly better, I would start preventative mesuares for fungal disease, specifically Pythium rot.

With Pythium rot there is, sadly, no “cure”. The only steps you can take is prevention. Pythium rot is specifically fatal to the Golden Barrel Cactus and is usually noticed until it’s into its last stages. Prevention methods include the following:

  • Making sure you use sterile tools and soil when working with your cactus.
  • Avoid letting you cactus sit in soggy soil.
  • Don’t “mound up” your soil so it’s touching the base of the cacti’s flesh.
  • If your cactus gets a flesh wound, make sure you let it callous over before letting any soil or water touch it.

However, do not jump to the conclusion that this is Pythium rot. Since you looked at the cacti’s roots and said it looks fine, it leads me to believe it is one of the other common issues listed at the top (Pythium rot starts in the soil and works it’s way up into the flesh).

Long post, but I hope any of this can assist you!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!