Why is My Cactus Leaning?

If you’ve ever looked at your cactus and wondered why it’s leaning, you’re not alone. This is a common question that many people have about their cacti. In this guide, we will answer all of your questions about why cacti lean and how to solve the problem. We’ll also provide some useful tips on how to care for your cactus so that it stays healthy and upright!

Why is my cactus leaning or falling over?

There could be a few reasons for this. It might be that your cactus is top-heavy, or it might have been leaning too much to one side and has begun to fall over. Let’s check it!

Sloping surfaces and how to fix it

If your cactus is on a slope, the fix is simple: just replant it so that it’s level.

If the pot is too big to move, you can prop up the cactus with rocks or other materials.
Just make sure that whatever you use is stable and won’t fall over!

Sloping surfaces and how to fix it

Once your cactus is level, water it deeply and give it a little time to recover. It may take a few days for the roots to adjust to their new position, but soon enough your cactus should be back to normal.

If your cactus was already on level ground before it started leaning, there are a few other potential causes of this problem. Let’s take a look at them now.

Potting soil and how to fix it

One of the most common reasons your cactus is leaning is because of the potting soil.

If the potting soil is too dense, it can cause the cactus to lean over time.
The best way to fix this problem is to repot your cactus in a lighter potting mix.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your potting mix is light enough:

  • Add perlite or sand to the potting mix. This will help increase drainage and aeration.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix. Cacti need a lot of drainage, so make sure the potting mix you use has good drainage.
  • Repot your cactus every year or two. This will help to keep the potting mix from getting too dense. [1]

Once you’ve fixed the potting soil issue, your cactus should start to stand up straight again.

Pest infestation and how to fix it

Pests are one of the most frequent causes of your cactus leaning. Pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies can cause your cactus to lean over from their weight. If you see any of these pests on your cactus, you’ll want to treat it with an insecticide immediately. You can also try using a natural pest control method such as neem oil.

To prevent pests from infesting your cactus in the first place, make sure to keep an eye out for them when you’re watering or giving it fertilizer. Check the stems and leaves for any signs of pests and if you see any, remove them right away.[2]

Insufficient light and how to fix it

If your cactus is leaning, it could be because it’s not getting enough light.

Insufficient light and how to fix it

You can try one or more of the following:

  • Move your cactus to a sunnier spot
  • Get a grow light
  • Turn the pot around so the plant leans towards the light
  • Trim back any branches that are blocking the light
  • Move the plant closer to the window

If you suspect your cactus is leaning because of insufficient light, these tips should help get your plant back on track.

Pot sizing problems and how to fix it

The cactus leaning might be due to the pot being too small.

The roots need room to grow, so if they’re cramped, they’ll start to push against the sides of the pot.
This can cause the cactus to lean.

You’ll need to replant your cactus in a larger pot. Make sure to use a pot that’s only slightly larger than the current one, as you don’t want the roots to have too much space. Once you’ve replanted, water regularly and fertilize monthly to encourage healthy growth. [3]

Overwatering and underwatering problems and how to fix it

It’s possible that your cactus is leaning if you’re either overwatering or drought-stressing it. If the soil is constantly wet, it can cause the roots to rot, which will make the plant unstable and cause it to lean. On the other hand, if the soil is too dry, the plant will try to reach for moisture and end up leaning over. The best way to fix this problem is to water your cactus only when the soil is dry. Stick your finger in the soil about an inch deep-if it’s dry, then it’s time to water your cactus.

Don’t let your cactus sit in water-this will also cause root rot. Make sure you have a drainage hole in the bottom of your pot so that any excess water can drain out. If you think your cactus is overwatered, take it out of the pot and check the roots.

Overwatering and underwatering problems and how to fix it

If you think your cactus is underwatered, but you are not sure, there are a few things you can do to check. First, gently squeeze the plant-if it feels soft or spongy, then it’s probably not getting enough water. Another way to check is to look at the color of the plant. If it’s starting to turn yellow or brown, that’s another sign that it needs more water.

Underwatered cacti will start to wrinkle and their color will fade. So check the soil. If it’s dry, then give your plant a good watering. Be sure not to overdo it, though-only water your cactus when the soil is dry about an inch deep.

Damage from freezing temperatures

Freezing weather can cause a cactus to lean. If your cactus was exposed to freezing temperatures, it’s likely that the roots have been damaged. This can cause the cactus to lean to one side or even topple over.

If you detect that your cactus has been frozen, there are a few things you can try. First, check the roots for any signs of damage. If they look healthy, then the problem is probably not with the roots. Second, check the stem of the cactus for any sign of damage. If you see any cracks or splits, then it’s likely that the stem has been damaged and is causing the cactus to lean.[4]

If you think that your cactus has been damaged by freezing temperatures, the best thing to do is to bring it inside and put it in a warm, sunny spot.

Root rot disease

Root rot disease can cause your cactus to lean. This is a common problem caused by overwatering or poor drainage. If you think your cactus has root rot, the first thing you should do is check the roots. If they’re mushy or black, then it’s likely that your plant has this disease.

Remove the affected roots and as much of the potting mix as possible. Then replant your cactus in fresh potting mix and be sure to water it only when the soil is dry.

How to stop your Cactus from leaning?

The first step is to check the container your cactus is in. If it’s too small, your cactus will start to lean as it grows and search for more space. The sides of the pot should be at least an inch (two and a half centimeters) wider than the diameter of the plant’s crown. If you can see that the roots are starting to come out of the drainage holes, it’s definitely time to transplant your cactus into a larger pot.

How to stop your Cactus from leaning?

If you think your cactus is rootbound (the roots have filled up all the space in the pot and are growing in a circular pattern), gently remove it from its current pot. Loosen up the root ball before replanting in a pot that’s only slightly larger. Be careful not to damage the roots in the process.

If your cactus is top-heavy, it might start to lean over time.

The best way to fix this problem is to remove any dead or dying leaves and stems from the plant.
This will help reduce the weight and make it easier for your cactus to stand upright. You can also try stake it with a wooden dowel or metal rod if necessary. Just make sure you don’t damage the plant while doing so.

Tips to prevent cactus from growing curved

It’s important to understand the reasons behind your cactus’ problem in order to find the best solution. There are a few things that can cause a cactus to grow curved:

  • If the plant is not getting enough light, it will start to lean towards the light source in an attempt to get more light. This is called etiolation and it’s a common problem with indoor plants. The solution is simple: move your plant to a sunnier spot. If you’re growing your cactus outdoors, make sure it isn’t shaded by other plants or buildings during the day.
  • Another reason for curving could be that the plant is not getting enough water. If the soil is too dry, the plant will start to wilt and lean over in an attempt to reach moisture. Make sure you’re watering your cactus regularly, especially during the hot summer months. If the soil is too wet, on the other hand, the plant may start to rot. In this case, it’s best to let the soil dry out before watering again.
  • If your cactus is leaning but otherwise healthy, you can try staking it up straight with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. Just insert the stake into the potting mix next to the plant and gently guide it upright. You can also try repotting your cactus into a deeper pot so that it has more support.


What does it mean when a cactus leans?

There are a few reasons your cactus might be leaning.

The first possibility is that it isn’t getting enough light. If your cactus is leaning towards the sun, it’s probably because it’s trying to get more light.

Another possibility is that the pot is too small. If the roots are cramped, they can’t support the weight of the plant, and it will lean to one side.

The last possibility is that the plant is top-heavy. If the leaves are large or there are lots of them, the plant might lean over from the weight.

How do you fix cactus tilt?

The best way to fix cactus tilt is to remove the plant from its pot and carefully straighten the roots. Once the roots are straight, replant the cactus in fresh potting mix. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to repot the cactus into a larger pot.

If your cactus is leaning due to too much sun, simply move it to a shadier spot. If too little sun is causing the lean, gradually increase sunlight exposure until the plant perks up.

If your cactus isn’t receiving enough water, it may lean. Water thoroughly and frequently throughout the growing season (spring and summer), then wait for the soil to dry before watering it again. In winter, cut back on watering to give the plant a rest.

Can you straighten a bent cactus?

The answer is yes, but it depends on the severity of the lean and how long the cactus has been leaning. If the lean is severe, then it’s possible that the cactus has suffered root damage and will not be able to stand upright again. In this case, your best bet is to start fresh with a new cactus. [6]

How do you tell if a cactus is over or underwatered?

By examining the tone of your cactus, you may quickly determine if it is overwatered or underwatered. If it’s green, it has enough water. It’s not receiving sufficient water if it’s brown or yellow.

If you’re still not sure, you can touch the soil to see if it’s moist or dry. If it feels dry, then your cactus needs more water.

What does a dehydrated cactus look like?

A dehydrated cactus will often have wrinkled or shriveled leaves, and its stem may appear sunken. The plant may also be discolored, with brown or yellow patches on its leaves. If your cactus is showing any of these symptoms, it’s time to give it a drink!

Dehydration is one of the most prevalent issues that houseplants confront. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to fix. Simply water your cactus more frequently, and make sure that the pot has good drainage so that the roots don’t become waterlogged. You should see a noticeable difference in your plant within a week or two.

Should I spray my cactus with water?

Try spraying your cactus with water once a week and see if that doesn’t help it perk up. [5]

How often should you water a cactus indoors?

The frequency of watering a cactus indoors depends on the type of cactus, the pot size, the time of year, and whether the pot has drainage holes. A good rule of thumb is to water your cactus about once a week. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

If you’re not sure how often to water your cactus, check the soil before watering. If it’s dry several inches below the surface, it’s time to water. If it’s still moist, wait another day or two before watering again.

Useful Video: How to Fix an Etiolated Cactus with Plant Surgery

Final word

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. Remember, the key to a healthy cactus is proper drainage and not overwatering. If your cactus is leaning, make sure to check the roots and see if they are rotting. You can also try staking your cactus or repotting it in fresh soil. With a little love and care, your cactus will be standing tall in no time! Thanks for reading!


  1. https://cactusway.com/how-to-make-your-own-cactus-soil/
  2. https://cactiguide.com/cactipests/
  3. https://home.howstuffworks.com/cactus-care6.htm
  4. https://cactuscare.com/survive-freeze/
  5. https://bloomingdesert.com/tips-watering-cacti-succulents/
  6. https://www.jardineriaon.com/en/how-to-straighten-a-cactus.html