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The <a href=";entry_id=1619" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Las Vegas Review Journal</a> takes a question about cactus.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: In my neighborhood is a house with three large saguaro cacti. They are at least 30 feet tall and very big around. One of the huge ones is splitting. What should be done?<br />
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A: Splitting of saguaro cactus is most likely due to frequent overwatering. These cacti have ridges and furrows running vertically along with their trunks and stems so that they can expand and contract like an accordion.<br />
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When water is available, saguaro cactus stems expand with stored water. When water is no longer available from the roots, stored water in the trunk and limbs is used for survival, ultimately causing the trunks and stems to contract.<br />
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Applying water frequently never gives the trunk and stems a chance to contract. As it grows, the already-expanded trunk splits.<br />
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Water these plants less often. They are shallow rooted, so water them deeply and apply it quite a distance away from the trunk. This will help keep the trunk sturdy and prevent it from possibly falling over. Watering this large cactus close to the trunk could be dangerous.<br />
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Another possibility is bacterial necrosis, but the split would be foul smelling with ooze coming from it and flies attracted to it.<br />
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There is nothing you can do about a split saguaro. It should heal on its own if you follow good irrigation practices.</span><br /></div><br />

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November 2023

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