Why is My Cactus Wrinkled

The cactus is one of the most popular indoor plants simply because it is easy to grow and is linked to many benefits, such as improving indoor air quality and breathing. However, sometimes, a cactus might not look as healthy as it should. If you’re wondering, why is my cactus winkled, it needs a drink. But other factors must be considered to ensure these plants remain healthy.

Despite being desert plants, many cacti nevertheless require water to thrive. Although cacti require little upkeep, a narrow line exists between under-watering and overwatering this particular plant variety.

A cactus shouldn’t be overwatered since this might cause root rot and scabs on the plant. Rusty-colored corky patches on the stem of the cactus characterize Scabbing.

On the other hand, a cactus may shrink if submerged underwater. Your plant needs a soak-watering if you’ve ignored it and you see wrinkles on it. A cactus will absorb the water and swell up when you soak-water it, and the plant’s withered appearance will go.

It would help if you immersed your cactus in a tub of water to solve the shriveling-up issue. In a container with a drainage hole, put your cactus in some warm water (not hot) and wait until the water reaches the cactus’ roots.

Before taking your cactus out of the water, you must wait at least 45 minutes. Make careful to wet the cactus’ head with a little water.

Reasons for Your Cactus Plant Wrinkling

A wrinkling cactus could be the result of many things. Knowing what causes the cactus plant to wrinkle can help keep it safe and healthy for longer. The following are some of the reasons why a cactus wrinkles over time.

Wrong Fertilizer

A sufficient supply of fertilizers promotes the health and strength of cacti. Also, it aids the cactus in obtaining the necessary amounts of macro- and micronutrients for optimum development.

Certainly, insufficient fertilizer in terms of quantity and concentration may also be the cause of your cactus’ shriveling and wrinkles. The cactus prefers more fertilizer during the active growing season (summer) than at other times.

A fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content is the best for cacti. Use a well-balanced blend of essential nutrients with low NPK rates to feed your cactus gently. It promotes and enhances stem growth, beautiful blooms, vibrant color, and root development. For best development, cacti frequently prefer a low fertilizer dosage.

Fungal Infections

Cactus fungal infections frequently cause oozing and painful blisters on their surfaces, but occasionally, as in the case of cactus stem rot, the plants dry up. The cactus dries up and falls over due to fusarium wilt, crown and root rots, and other ailments that interfere with water uptake.

Cactus stem rot may be treated with fungicide if detected early, but crown and root rots are more difficult. Thus these issues must be addressed immediately. If the rot is not severe, you can salvage your cactus, but you will need to give it regular attention until new roots appear. Sadly, there is no cure for fusarium wilt.

Root Rot

Cactuses grown in containers may become so root-bound that they progressively wilt because they can’t absorb water and nutrients as well. Taking your plant out of the pot and looking at the root system may help you identify the issue if it doesn’t react to a thorough watering.

White, healthy roots that have developed into a tangled mass are present in root-bound plants. To preserve these plants, you must separate and prune the roots carefully. Your plants may have one of the various root rots caused by persistent overwatering if the roots are mushy, smell awful, brown, or black.

Despite being a low-maintenance plant, a cactus. It does occasionally need sufficient attention to guarantee adequate development. Any plant can experience major root-related issues, which is why cacti have them.

White roots that are in good health are indicative of a healthy cactus root. Cactus in containers frequently get root-bound and struggle to absorb nitrogen, which makes them shrink. Another problem might be root rot, which could interfere with the leaves’ intake of nutrients and water.


While the cactus often loves dry soil and low water content, overwatering it may also result in several root-related problems. It impacts the chain that transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the plant. Cacti, succulent plants that store moisture in their stems, roots, and leaves, can endure dry conditions for a long time.

As a result, we should refrain from often watering the plant to guarantee that it grows properly. Usually, cacti with strong stems are healthy cacti. An overwatered cactus may not experience this.

Moreover, excessive watering can cause the stem to become green (Chlorosis), a sign of restricted development and an inability to properly absorb nutrients.

Drainage Problems

Make sure that the drainage holes are clear. You will also experience issues if you utilize soil with inadequate drainage. Employ specific soil for barrel cacti. Moreover, inspecting your roots and cutting any tangled or damaged ones is a good idea.

Make a few tiny holes in the dirt to allow more air to reach the roots. The plants’ health will be maintained, and root rot will be avoided. The soil and cacti will be put in a south-facing window. To ensure that the pot receives adequate sunlight and air, which will speed up the soil drying, it will be set up on a wooden table or stool.

Too Much Sun

Both enough sunshine and well-drained soil are necessary for this cactus. This plant should be positioned throughout the home in low-humidity locations. Good settings are away from humidifiers, the kitchen, and restrooms, such as the living room or office.

Your cacti will experience shock if you position them in the yard’s sunniest areas, and the heat from the pots will also heat the cactus roots. The cactus will not be able to absorb nutrients or water properly while it is under shock, losing its water-retention ability and leading the plant to wilt and decay.

Cactus dislikes being relocated since it is unpleasant to often alters the environment, much like any other indoor plant. A greater transpiration rate caused by a higher temperature necessitates consuming more water.

While certain cacti cannot endure temperatures below freezing, cactus cannot live below -20°F. On the other hand, temperatures exceeding 90°F are too high for the cactus to endure. Cacti should grow and flourish at temperatures between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is Winter Dormancy?

Many people ask, “Why is my cactus winkled Stay calm if you find your cactus or cacti shriveling up in the winter. For cactus, this is typical behavior. Since they are being cared for in colder and more humid settings throughout the winter than in their natural habitats, many cacti require a winter hibernation period.

The cactus is kept in a dry, cold environment during this dormancy phase and is entirely stopped from receiving any water. In the meantime, the cactus uses up the water stored in its stem cells and roots, making it harder over the winter since the lower the temperature, the less water the cactus needs to survive.

Once this hibernation is over and you resume watering your cactus, it will be stimulated to produce blooms. Cacti commonly start their dormancy phase early, in the middle or end of the fall. Yet, you shouldn’t just assume this.

Once you’ve ruled out the likelihood of pests and root problems, only then should you make an educated guess. One other item to notice is that the epiphytic cactus, or Christmas cacti, still require minimal watering roughly once every 5-6 weeks instead of no irrigation. If not, they entirely shrivel up.

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Ending Note

Cactaceae plants, also called cacti, are low-maintenance plants that may be kept in homes and businesses. Depending on the species, some of these spongy, spiny plants can be grown outdoors in the U.S. In case you’re wondering, the Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones are 3b through 11.

Shriveling of one’s charges is one of the most frequent issues for cactus keepers; this symptom can be caused by several issues, many of which are easy to fix.