I have this cactus that is slightly wrinkly and soft at the bottom part. It sits on a window sill with all my other plants and receives around 5-7 hrs of direct sunlight every day. I water it once a week. I actually have another cactus that is experiencing the exact same thing. here are some pictures of the thing:

UPDATE: As people were suggesting that this cactus has root rot, I have taken it out. Here's a picture of the rootball, it lookes quite healthy imo. enter image description here the cactus

the bottom (wrinkly, soft, mushy, discolored)

the top (appears healthy)

  • I do not believe there is anything wrong with your cactus. Just hard water build up also do not over water that can be bad and will cause your cactus to rot Jun 15, 2018 at 0:52
  • However, your phalaenopsis in the background of the first picture could use some fertilizer and you should stop watering it with regular water if you are doing that, orchids require distilled water. If you are using ice cubes those also kill orchids best of luck. Jun 15, 2018 at 0:55
  • thanks for the info about orchid, I think I over watered it and on top of that it got direct sunlight every day for around 6hrs. Definelty didnt like that.
    – Mihkel
    Jun 15, 2018 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


Your problem is that POT. I'll bet there are no drainage holes at all. Am I right? Your cactus has rotting roots, less ability to take up water and so it is not able to store enough water in the above ground plant...thus the wrinkling.

You have to transplant this plant and any other plant you've planted in a pot without holes into slightly larger pots WITH holes using only potting soil. No gravel or rocks beneath the soil and above the drain hole. Lift bottom of pot off surface of saucer or counter using 'pot feet' or pieces of 1/4" tile. Breaks the surface tension and capillary action of water.

You've got stagnant, stinky water and anaerobic decomposition happening in the soil below your cactus. Not healthy for any kind of plant. Even aquatics!

Dump that out, allow whatever soil falls off to be disposed, transplant into a shallow (versus tall) pot, clay is best (breathes)...6"diameter by 3"high" Potting soil. Don't water until soil is dry. Don't need to soak the entire pot of soil. Keep it in what ever space it is used to. Let me know if the water and soil in that pot aren't horribly stinky.

Or if there is a hole in this metal pot. Or if you had rock/gravel beneath the soil. I am only able to assume by your pictures and words. Cactus have shallow roots for shallow rain spells in the desert. Soaked soil with no outlet no air exchange... causes rot. Not only for cactus and succulents but all plants including aquatic plants.

  • Thanks for the advice. you are right, there is no drainage in that pot.
    – Mihkel
    Jun 15, 2018 at 7:53
  • So I just realized i'm completely out of pots with drainage holes. If I where to replace the soil in the pot with potting soil and then proceeded to drill some large holes into the bottom of the pot would that fix my problem?
    – Mihkel
    Jun 15, 2018 at 7:57
  • Yes. I normally drill extra drain holes in all my cactus pots. You can either put a circle of window screen or a circle of paper towel in the bottom before putting the soil in. Also, try to make more cactus-friendly soil, more pearlite, pumice or TurfaceMVP. Half and half with the soil you have.
    – Tim Nevins
    Jun 15, 2018 at 13:48
  • And yes again, drilling holes in pots is normal. That would be a good thing. If you can find 'cactus' potting soil already mixed that is great. Don't try mixing your own, defeats the purpose knowing what soil is in that pot and that it is sterilized. Just potting soil works well for any cactus/succulent. Drains just like the desert soils they are used to as they evolved. Clay pot, shallow, 3 to 4" any more than that is soil that stays wet too long. And do not use soil with water holding gimmicks and added fertilizer.
    – stormy
    Jun 17, 2018 at 0:20
  • If you are worried about soil coming out of the drain hole it only comes out during the first couple of waterings. Panty hose and screen works fine. Don't use a paper towel. Never use gravel or rocks or packing peanuts beneath the soil and above the drain hole. Causes a perched water table, and ruins drainage. The roots look great...new pot, potting soil, less water a tiny bit of fertilizer a bright south facing window...I think your plant will be fine.
    – stormy
    Jun 17, 2018 at 0:23

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