A thief in the night cleanly amputated two arms off my 4 ft (1.2 m) tall cactus. What do I do?

  • 2
    Can you add a picture? Jul 24 '18 at 4:19
  • Depending on the type of plant. Most of cacti can heal from such wounds.
    – J. Chomel
    Jul 24 '18 at 5:53
  • 1
    Please add some visuals. Answering questions about plants is very tough and without pictures we are at a disadvantage. Is this out of doors, in doors, in a greenhouse, how big is your cactus, what kind of soil have you used, I am assuming your cactus is in a pot?
    – stormy
    Jul 24 '18 at 9:27
  • Welcome! I'm so glad you got the advice you needed. I know how special a plant is, and what happened to you is sad. We'd still really like to see a picture though. On our site, questions and answer stay for years, and seeing the pictures will help a lot of viewers! Now that you've been here, I hope you'll share some more questions and answers about gardening! Aug 6 '18 at 23:38

The cut part cannot regrow a top to look like it was before, but the remaining portion of the arm can make more arms and continue growing that way.

Depending on your climate, it may take a few days or a few weeks for the wound to dry out and form a callus. If you think it'll take a while to dry out, you can dust it with some anti-fungal powder (commonly available at nurseries) so that the wound doesn't get infected. Some people have luck using cinnamon as a fungicide, but I have not tried it.

What angle was the cut made? If it's just a flat cut straight across, it will allow water to collect during rain. Standing water on a cactus can lead to rot, so you might want to cut it at an angle to allow water to run off.

As others have mentioned, photos of your cactus would be very helpful. You might be able to remove the entire arm and re-plant it if you find the injuries on the original cactus aesthetically unpleasing, but photos would help us give advice for your case.

  • Thank you all! I grew that 4 foot fellow from a 4 inch baby someone gave me, and I was devastated that someone would vandalize it. Jul 25 '18 at 5:30
  • Probably taking cuttings to grow their own cactus. Jul 25 '18 at 23:29

Succulents often can root themselves from a leaf, or more, so bury the leaves in the ground a little bit, and it should root.

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