My poor cactus was under-watered and I accidentally left it outside during the Big Southern Freeze in February. I had forgotten all about it when I was freezing my butt off in my house. I feel awful about it!

Have since brought it inside. Been watering it here and there, but don't want to risk rot. Used a little cactus fertilizer.

It has a dramatic lean and looks shrivel-y. It looks like the top is going to break off. There are some damaged spots from the freeze.

Does it look like a goner? Do I need to cut it and let it regrow or do I need to just let it be?

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Cut my cactus open and it looks like death :'( Is this goodbye to the cactus I've had for 20 years?

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1 Answer 1


I think the best way to save this cactus, is to cut off the top and use that as a new cutting. You can cut off where it starts to bend and let that cutting dry for one week or so before you put it in a new pot with soil. The cutting will then make new roots and you'll have a new cactus.

There is a lot of info online on how to do this, this here is just one site I found where they describe how to take cuttings.

  • Thanks for the tip! I ended up cutting the top off, but it was bone dry :( No juicyness to it at all. And the bottom part still had some moisture but the inside was kind of just soft puffy sponge. It looks like it's going to die. Should I cut it all the way down to very near the bottom?
    – BSM
    Apr 9, 2021 at 22:25
  • I'm sorry to hear this, just too bad! The new photo indeed shows black tissue, which is probably dead tissue. No wonder the tip dried out. I am afraid there is no saving this fella. But maybe you can buy a new one, 20 years is pretty good, you have green thumbs. If you like the long columnar ones I can recommend a cactus from the San Pedro family (which also includes Peruvian- and Bolivian torches), they are very fast growing.
    – benn
    Apr 10, 2021 at 7:21

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