book3 600x120 6

by Kayla
(South Pasadena, CA)


Small( about 2 1/2 inches), roundish, light green, “hairy” with long off white whiskers. Bought @ an OSH 2 days ago and noticing holes appearing on it’s flesh.

I really love it, but I realize I have no clue what it is or how I can properly keep it alive and thriving. HELP! WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Kayla, what you have is the ultimate desert plant – a cactus. This looks to be one of the Rebutia, which are some of the most commonly grown.

If there are holes appearing in it, there is a possibility that it’s rotting, in which case, there is no chance of saving it.

Plants bought at box stores and places where they may not receive the correct care (bright light, not much water) then they won’t be very happy.

Cactus grow in some of the most challenging climates on earth, and have adapted strategies to help them deal with this, by evolving spines, or hair to protect them from animals that might want to eat them, and the ability to store water for long periods of drought.

Their roots are specially adapted to seek out moisture, but that doesn’t meant they want more. They have very specific needs for water in certain amounts at certain times of the year.

Hopefully, your cactus will recover with care – like completely ignoring it for at least a month. They thrive best on benign neglect.

Good luck,