hi! someone gave me this little guy a year or two ago as a “petting cactus” and he started growing this noodle arm after I had him about 6mo. he was indoors for the past two years in a north-facing window. I just repotted him and set him outside in the sun (and gave him a tiny friend). do you know why he’s been growing like this? I am worried that the noodle is getting too long and fragile and want to correct his shape. also, do you by any chance know what species he is? thanks so much for any answers you have 😊 I love your blog!
He’s a rebutia muscula!
A north facing window is the WORST for cacti. They require bright, direct sunshine to grow big and strong — the skinny noodle arm is the result of not enough light. I’m glad you put him in the sun; he will be much happier and grow nice and fat.
You can cut the skinny part off and replant it if you wish. Here are the steps:
– Make a straight, flat cut with a sterile blade.
- Dust the wounds (on the adult plant AND the skinny noodle) with cinnamon powder and let dry and callous over for at least a week.
– The wound on the adult plant will scab over eventually. In time, new growth will make it less noticeable.
- Plant the noodle in very fast-draining media, like pumice or coarse sand. The more grit the better. Plant deep enough that the little guy doesn’t fall over.
- Keep out of direct light and water just enough so that media doesn’t dry out completely. Keep it out of temps below 50 degrees.
- WAIT. New roots can take weeks or months to form, and with winter coming growth will be even more slow.
- Pull *gently* on the cactus every few weeks to check for root growth. If you feel any resistance that means your cactus has rooted. YAY!