How to Revive an Indoor Cactus

Miss Chen

Unlike other indoor plants, cactus can live for generations when properly cared for. If your indoor cactus looks wilted or shriveled up and needs reviving don't despair. Cacti are hardy plants accustomed to harsh conditions and periods of neglect or no water. Although exact the methods of reviving your cactus will vary based upon your exact type of cactus and its current condition, you can bring life back to your indoor cactus by checking for — and fixing — a few common cactus-growing mistakes.
Step 1

Inspect the roots of the cactus by gently removing it from the soil. Healthy roots look white and fleshy. If the roots are brown and mushy the plant is suffering from root rot. Cut off the damaged roots with a sharp knife.

Step 2

Repot the cactus in a slightly larger pot than before, with well-draining potting mix specifically for succulents. If you don't have succulent mix, you can combine 1 part sand with 2 parts traditional potting soil instead.


Water the soil until the top 1 inch of soil feels moist but not soggy. Keep in mind that cactus needs brief dry spells in between watering. If the plant receives too little the leaves may shrivel up. Too much water may cause the plant to go limp.

Step 4

Place the cactus in a location that received bright indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight may burn your cactus.

Step 5

Position plants away from drafts such as from vents or windows. Stressed plants may become shocked from hot or cold drafts from vents. Although your plant may do well with some brief exposure to outside air, it may also expose the plant to insects.

Step 6

Fertilize the cactus monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer during the plant's non-blooming months.
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