Reader Question


I wanted to transplant this cactus but I am unsure if I should put the brown portion under the soil or if it is even worth replanting.  I meant to bring it in with me on Friday, but I forgot.  Please see attached photo.
Thank you for your help.


It looks like a case of “barking” (though I can’t blow it up to see detail… so it could be a pest but I don’t think so) but if it is barking the plant has been stressed and showing it’s age, the older green tissue has basically turned to a cork like bark to protect it from infection. To hide most of the bark you can repot it an inch deeper with a fast draining cactus soil and then add another inch of gravel mulch, we use 1/4 inch lava, but any crushed stone will work. Just stay away from smooth pebbles since they stay wet longer. The gravel will mask the bark without causing rot issues as long as you don’t over water. If you would like you can bring it by to confirm the barking and of course we do offer repotting services.

Take care,


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