While trying to stabilize my cactus, I accidentally caused it to fall a few inches, and it broke off from the roots. The roots are quite tiny. I suspect that this is because our apartment is relatively dark. I've had this cactus for 9 years and would like to replant it and save it if this is possible.

There is no sign of root rot, I think if anything it was underwatered. My question is, can the cactus be saved?
If so, would it be okay to replant it as it is, and if so how deep should it be planted?
I researched online but I'm still unsure on what to do.

Cactus with bare, broken roots

  • Do you happen to know what kind of cactus this is?
    – MackM
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 14:05
  • 1
    No question the cactus will reroot. I'd use rooting powder, sandy soil, bright indirect light, and skewers to support the plant. Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


I don't know where you live or what the temperatures are, they can be saved if the temperature is a little warmer. Though some species of them can tolerate harsh cold too.

Here is the procedure that I do when they accidentally get root-rot for overwatering or any other reason. They obviously grow root again and are saved. You can follow this and take a chance.

  1. uproot it immediately
  2. cut the portion that is already rotten with at least 1cm good portion with it or keep cutting it until you see a perfectly fresh part, else any tiny rotten portion can again start the whole process without you knowing it.
  3. put some fungicide on the fresh cut
  4. keep this in open air for 4/5 days so that it dries out properly
  5. after 4/5 days repot it in well drained media, don't water it immediately, again keep it like that for 2/3 days, no direct sunlight
  6. after 2/3 days water it thoroughly and place it in partially sunlit area
  7. after that you start your cactus watering schedule, i.e., don't water it unless the media dries out properly, keep it in sunlight etc etc.

That is my normal procedure with cactus with rot. enter image description here This is one of them which has to go through surgery twice in its lifetime. Last one was this year on August. Since then it has grown the marked area.

Good luck with yours.

  • Hi Spectra, Thank you for your wonderful answer! Since there is no root rot, should I still cut part of my cactus? Or just replant it as it is?
    – Sofía
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 10:54
  • I really can't understand what the black portion of the cactus is from your photo, it shouldn't look like that for a fresh part. It could be green, it could be white-ish, but black? I don't think so. If you are sure that it has no rot portion, then replant it. If there is any rot, cut that off, put fungicide and dry in for 3/4 days. Drying it is very much important.
    – Spectra
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 16:19
  • Ah I see what you mean. That's just dirt :D I should've cleaned it up for the picture Thank you so much for your help :)
    – Sofía
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 10:33

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