Vinegar and Cactus


I found your name on the internet some time ago and had asked you a question regarding a cactus I have. Thankfully you were able to help. I am wondering if you might be able to answer another question for me. I have an old man cactus that is about 25 years old. This morning I was watering it and realized that I used a container that had soap, vinegar and a small amount of peppermint oil mixed with a lot of water (I use this to clean instead of chemicals). Once I realized this I immediately took the cactus to the sink and poured the remaining contaminated water out. I also flushed clean water through the cactus (about a half a quart). Should I take the cactus out rinse all of the dirt off the roots and replace all of the soil, or would this be more traumatic than leaving it? Thank you for any information you might be able to provide.



What sort of concentration was the vinegar? Being acid it can be used as a weed-killer when mixed with soap. But if you flushed the soil with water and diluted it quickly I doubt that it will be a problem. We actually add a bit of vinegar to our water now and then to adjust the ph down, since a bit of acidity releases a lot of nutrients. The peppermint oil will just help kill any bugs in the soil.


The rest of the vinegary conversation after the break…

Hi Hap

Thank you for responding! I suspect it would have been a dilute solution probably around 10% or less vinegar and the rest water and perhaps 1 Tablespoon of Ivory dish soap to around a half gallon of water. I am relieved to hear about the peppermint oil as it was what I was most concerned about. I did flush pretty fast… within a minute or even less…only around a pint of water though so I hope that was enough. Thanks again for your reply 🙂



Sounds like you’re not going to have any problem. Keep an eye on it and let it dry out completely before watering next time.


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