I'm hoping someone can help me but I'm afraid it's too late. I've had a cactus for about 3 years and he suddenly started losing color, turning brown, and getting a little droopy (see pictures) a few weeks ago.

I moved to a new apartment 1.5 years ago, where I put the cactus at a northern facing window. It was doing ok there and I watered it the same amount as my other cacti, which is once every few weeks. I also have him in a pot with a hole at the bottom and use a cactus mix as the potting medium. My other cacti are doing perfectly fine.

Then a few weeks ago I noticed this one was starting to lose its dark green color, which led me to believe it wasn't getting enough sunlight. So I moved it to another space where it could get more direct sunlight in the mornings, which happened to be next to an open window. After I moved it, it started to get noticeably worse- looking a bit 'shriveled' and turning brown at the bottom! The brown part is not mushy, although I can tell the cactus seems a bit weak because part of it is starting to wilt. I really don't think it can be root rot because I don't water it enough for that to happen.

Any ideas what's wrong with it and if I can still save it? Thanks!!

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    You might have been watering too much. Evaporation would have gone down with a north facing window. I've killed these before, and it's usually the roots degrading. That stuff on the bottom looks like cell death. It may not go too deep yet. You might save the plant not watering for a couple months. -That happens in deserts. Oct 2, 2018 at 16:55
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    This is not a cactus, but it is a succulent (most likely Euphorbia). I am not sure if the plant will make it, to be sure to keep some of it alive I advice to take some cuttings from still green healthy parts and use it to propagate.
    – benn
    Oct 2, 2018 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


Two things: it's not a cactus and it's dead. As mentioned above, this is a Euphorbia, a succulent. The main body looks too far gone to save. Could be too much water, it's hard to tell for certain.

Take the brightest green segments off with a clean, sharp knife. Let them dry for a couple of days and place them in some dry cactus soil. Don't water for a couple of weeks, keeping it out of direct sun.

Hopefully, you'll get some roots and can make a new plant or two. AFter a couple of weeks sprinkle some water on it (don't wet it through). Then over the next few weeks give it more sun and more water sprinkles. Once it has roots, treat it as a normal plant.

You've got this one in a nice pot and good job on the top dressing (the stones/pebbles on the top of the soil).

DO NOT use the existing potting soil again unless you can sterilize it.

Don't worry about it, part of raising cactus and succulents is dead plants. Sometimes for obvious reasons, sometimes not. It is a drag to lose a favorite, though.

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