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Why is my Cactus shriveling up and wrinkling?

If you notice your cactus is wrinkling and soft, it needs a drink!

Buy Potted Bloomscape Candelabra Cactus Euphorbia Succulent

Incredibly dry soil


While cacti are known to require very little water, they do require some water, so don’t forget about them completely! Both under and overwatering are incredibly common issues among cacti. Keeping the proper moisture level is a delicate balance, but Cacti are very forgiving. 


Overwatering can lead to root rot and to scab, which appears as rusty-

colored, corky areas on the stems. Cacti should be allowed to dry out completely between watering. In well-drained soil, your Cactus requires water every 10 to 14 days during summer

months. If you’re unsure whether to water or not, check the root zone 2 to 3 inches below the surface of the soil. If the soil is even a little bit damp, do not water until it has dried.


If you’re noticing wrinkles on your cactus, particularly towards the base of your plant, your plant is very dry and a soak-watering is in order. It may seem counter-intuitive to give a cactus a large drink, but you’ll be shocked at how your cactus will absorb the water and plump back up again.


Here’s how to soak-water your Cactus:


  1. Place your plant in your sink or tub without the saucer. Fill your basin up with about 3-4″ of water. Make sure the water isn’t hot! 
  2. Allow your plant to soak up water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot for at least 45 min. 
  3. Feel the top of the soil after your plant has been soaking–has the water reached the top 2-3” of soil?
  4. If not all the soil feels saturated, water your Cactus slightly from the top of the soil to help speed up the saturation.
  5. When your plant’s soil is evenly damp, drain the sink/tub and allow the plant to rest while it drains thoroughly. Place the plant back on its saucer and back in its proper spot.

Need more help?

We're confident your Cactus will be back to normal in no-time, but if you've followed the steps above and things just aren't improving you can contact us here.