My beloved fairy castles cactus has been suffering for a while and I was wondering what could be happening now.

It looks like having several different problems... specially worried as it looks fragile all over, with those remarkables dark areas at the tops...

Hope anybody can help :)

With flash With natural light

enter image description here

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  • All those stakes make me think that you're not neglecting it enough. Too much water is deadly to these things. Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


If the coloring in this picture is close to natural then I see a less than vigorous plant that is in need of chemistry (nutrients) necessary with which to do photosynthesis to make its own food/energy. Have you given this plant any balanced fertilizer at all? If so what and when?

The other issue is the amount of light. What is the light source for your cactus? What window? Is your cactus indoors all of the time? Is out of doors some of the time?

This might have been better as a 'comment', they'll let me know. Please give us a bit more info about this plant's normal environment, the plant zone you live within, fertilizer, type of soil, have you taken it out of doors for a sun bath? Need to know the amount of light this guy gets on a regular basis in its regular spot.

  • Thanks for your reply, @stormy Well, lately it's all been kind of a mess I'm affraid. I'll tell you the long story. Like 3 months ago I had the brilliant idea to transplant it to another pot (yeah, in January) watering it and the like. The result, 2 weeks later found an arm had fallen, later found out it was due to be rottening. So after making my best (probably not to brilliantly) to save it, losing close to half the plant, then I was affraid to water it too much. Actually read it's better to lack water than the opposite so... but now is watered anyway, at least since a month ago.
    – user21392
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 15:23
  • But aspect is not good though, I don't see clear signs of recovery. Also: this plant is now a 3-year old one, always been inside, close to a window, in a plastic pot, with no fertilizer at all. What DOES change (again for worse) is the window orientation: before last october it was normally receiving about 2 hours of morning sun (9am to 11am or so), now unfortunately it has to resign to a couple of 5pm-7pm (when available: weather has been horrible lately, proper spring just started like a week ago here in Spain!)
    – user21392
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 15:29
  • I guess using some fertilizer next time I water it might be good. And also I may... lend it to a partner to place it in a S-E facing window or even outside... at least temporarily and now that is the best period. I added another picture with natural light (the other one was taken at night using flash), but signs are not clear, probably I'm not good with photos either XD :_(
    – user21392
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 15:31
  • 1
    Most potting soil is a mixture of non soil ingredients...like peat moss...which will, for a while at the beginning, turn the drainage water brown. Get some pieces of tile about 1/4 inch thick and lift the bottom of your pot off the saucer surface. You should not be watering so deeply until your plant grows better roots and is more established. Its roots are only an inch from the surface. Cactus roots are meant to grow shallow so watering only the surface right now makes sense. The rest of the soil stays wet and harbors fungus...and stuff. Still too much water I think. have patience.
    – stormy
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    Hi stormy! Long time no see :) just came back because the plant isn't improving but worsening actually. Looks even drier, thiner and weaker, though I obviously water it and meticulously fertilize.
    – user21392
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 11:33

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