Saving a Broken Cactus

March 29, 2018

I have had a cactus for a little over a year now. It has parts that stick out with fuzz and a fish hook on the end. It is barrel shaped, not very tall, and is in its own pot. A little while ago, it started to curve, and then the newly grown section fell off.


I replanted the top part it in a different pot, but I'm not sure what else I should do, and if it will die. How can I save it? Can I prevent this from happening? Thanks.


March 29, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cactus plants need a lot of sun and not a lot of water. If your plant is starting to drop off it is easy to plant them again. All you basically do is put them in a pot and allow them to root again. Cactus plants can easily root again as long as they have the right conditions to grow and root in. I cut off pieces of my cactus plants all the time and just put them in a pot. I give them a lot of sun and not so much water. If it rains a lot here, I don't water them again for about a week or so.

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5 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I just came home today to find out my cactus had been knocked over and broken. I don't now what type of cactus it is other than stating it is a desert gem. Is this guy a goner or can it grow back? Please help as I don't know much about cactus other than they need little water.

I had the cactus out on my back table outside to get more sun. It poured earlier today and I have feral cats and kittens that I think pulled it apart on me, this is how it was when I came home from work today :( Thank you for reading!


July 24, 20181 found this helpful

I'm not sure how much hope I'd have for this cactus but I always believe it's worth a try to save a plant. You might try gently repotting the pieces of your cactus and hopefully they will root. I've had animals tear up a prickly pear cactus and several of those pieces rooted after I put them back in the dirt. Good luck.

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July 25, 20181 found this helpful

I would try to gently tuck the pieces into the dirt or cover them lightly with dirt. Keep the soil slightly damp, not wet, while waiting and hoping for the pieces to root. I'm hoping someone else will offer you more advice. I'm just sharing my experience and hoping it will work for you.

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July 26, 20181 found this helpful

My dad, may he rest in peace, always had luck rooting broken cactus pieces literally by sticking them in the dirt and working some magic that brought them back to life. I so wish I knew exactly what he did but he was always successful and several of his repaired creations still live on at my mom's all these years later!

That said, cybergrannie mentioned in another post that she has been growing cactus (cacti ?) for years, so maybe she will see this post and offer you her expert advice!

Good luck!

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July 26, 20181 found this helpful

Put some rooting hormone on the end and place it back in the soil.

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My cactus fell and 3 leaves broke off. I'm so sad. Can the leaf regrow from the spot it broke off or could I grow the leaf? If I could, how do I do it.

Thanks. It's not mine, but my daughter's. She is on a holiday and I'm suppose to babysit it.


June 6, 20171 found this helpful

From Thriftyfun archives:
RE: Saving My Broken Cactus
I would really need to know how far up the cut was from the roots and how much was broken, like was there a 1/2 in cut in the side. If its almost in half best thing to do is cut the rest off, let the top half dry for about a month. Where the top half was cut will form like a big scab which is what we want. Then you can plant that again, leave the other part that was plant alone as it will furnish you with "pups" when they are of good size you can cut them and plant. Where ever you cut let it dry out before planting. (02/11/2008)
By Sally E. Greer

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June 6, 20170 found this helpful

Says you may even be able to graft the broken cactus back together.


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June 9, 20170 found this helpful

i love cactus and no matter how gentle I am, I frequently break off a piece and have to decide what to do with it. Generally I just start a new plant either in a new pot or if there is room, in with the mother plant. The biggest problem I have is keeping appropriate cactus soil on hand as I have never had good luck with a homemade mixture (I'm sure others have).
ThriftyFun has some very good articles on "fixing" broken cactus and I have used these solutions many times.

Here are a couple of links that I think will help you and your daughter have a happy cactus again.

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I have a 3 foot tall cactus that broke off two large shoots. This may be a very naive question, but can I attach the two broken shoots with duck tape (haha) and will it heal itself and grown roots back to the base. Or should I go back to just repotting them? I know you are all thinking this girl is crazy, but at least you'll get a good laugh, but I thought to give it a shot! Help anyone?

By pixieduster


May 14, 20080 found this helpful

Great picture, pixieduster and great info, yakaback (not to mention great names for the both of you!)!

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August 2, 20160 found this helpful

You can do whatever you want. Cacti can take anything except over-watering.
Out in the wild they get kicked apart by cattle or deer or tourists, and simply grow in multiple incarnations.

You can also duck tape or haywire them back together. That is usually done with huge, old cacti in hotel lobbies.

You can also graft them onto other cacti. Most cactus fanciers have one of those four or six sided column cacti sitting in a corner. They don't usually bloom, except for my dad, and are just plain and ugly columns. However, they are ideal bases for grafting. If you have a really delicate cactus, that just won't adapt to your soil, break a piece off that column, stuff it into the dirt and after a week cut it off a few inches above the dirt. Make a clean level cut on your delicate cactus, and set it on the freshly cut base. Take care to line up the central nerve bundles, and pin it with stick pins to anchor it. In a few days you will see that the hitch-hiker becomes lively.

Some of them can eventually, in a few years, be broken off and planted in dirt, but some will do better remaining on their host base.

Here is a typical example:

Have FUN!

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August 2, 20160 found this helpful

The base below that Vivipara is called Harisii Jusbertii. For fastest growth in new dirt you can cut the bottom into a point, let it dry 3-4 days, and then jam the point into the dirt. Cutting the bottom into a point shape also helps to identify which end is the bottom.
Have FUN!

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July 19, 2016

This is a page about rooting a cactus pad. Many types of cactus propagate in nature by their ability to have a pad or segment grow into a new plant. You can do this too, at home, and increase your cactus garden plantings.

Rooting a Cactus Pad

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 13, 2008

My cactus fell over and broke where the orange mark is (I was moving it a bit). It didn't completely get severed. Is there any way I can save it from dying?

Saving My Broken Cactus

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