If your rabbit ear cactus is drooping, leaning, hanging, or falling over, it could be caused by something as simple as the wrong amount of water.
If you are a beginner gardener who has just brought your rabbit ear cactus home and placed it in a pot, you may not notice any issues right away.
But if you have been growing this plant for some time already, there’s a good chance that after all this time something is amiss.
Fortunately, this can usually be corrected if it is noticed and addressed early enough before this plant is fully stretched to the point of no return.
The most common causes of bunny ear cactus drooping are:
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The Lack of Water
Even though the bunny ear cactus is succulent, it still needs plenty of water. Like other types of cacti, the bunny ear cactus thrives in hot and arid desert conditions, so it’s best to let this plant dry out between waterings than to give it too much water at once.
Bunny ear cacti are known to droop when they’re not getting enough water—the drooping is often accompanied by the formation of long green or red spines on its uppermost leaves. It’s important to note that the droopy appearance of your bunny ear cactus isn’t caused by an insect infestation or disease; the plant simply needs hydration. If you notice that your succulent has started to droop and you want it to perk up again, try giving it a good drink of water before you put it back in its pot, but don’t overdo it on the watering—you’ll want to avoid giving this plant too much water at once.
Too Much Water
If you notice that your bunny ear cactus has drooped or the hedge is badly sagging, you may have overwatered this succulent. The stems of your plant may look limp or feel squishy if they’ve been sitting in water.
Which leads to the question: Why is it so common?
It can rot and completely destroy this cactus if left too long.
So if you suspect you’ve overwatered, stop watering for a while until the soil has completely dried out, then only water fully again whenever the soil really dries out, a good rule of thumb.
If you feel like you’ve been watering at regular intervals, the soil you’re using may not be draining fast enough or well enough. In that case, try using quality cacti and succulent soil for best results and to prevent the water from sitting too long!
Not Enough Light
The most common reason that your rabbit ear cactus hangs, wilts, or protrudes is that it doesn’t get enough light.
Lack of light causes the cactus to lean, bend, or stretch, which is also known as etiolation. This means that your cactus will literally stretch toward the nearest light source to get as much light as possible, and this can lead to a permanently stretched cactus.
In order to prevent this from happening (and if you have a well-established plant), try moving the plant in closer proximity to the window.
Some cacti and succulents, like the bunny ear cactus, are very sensitive to variations in light levels. The plant is a strong grower in full sunlight but will droop or tip over if it is not receiving enough light.
“You will need to provide this plant with at least 6 hours daily of full or partial sunlight to provide strong growth and not let it droop or tip over.”
If you find that one side of your bunny ear cactus is steeper than the other, you can simply rotate the plant to ensure that the entire cactus receives the amount of light it needs.
If you find that your bunny ear cactus has tipped over and is no longer upright, support it with a stake or a small pot while it regains its strength. I recommend a quality light grow like This if you grow indoors to help avoid these issues.
When growing rabbit ear cacti you should know that this variety requires constant bright direct sunlight. When grown indoors, this usually means it should be placed in a south or west-facing window, or fitted with a grow light. If grown outdoors, make sure the cactus is not planted in a shady spot during the day.
Rabbit Ear Cactus Pests
There are a few types of pests or insects that can damage your Bunny Ear cactus and cause this plant to droop, wilt, or sink. While there is a lot that you can do to prevent these pests from harming your cactus, there are things you can do to help it if they attack.
Meal bugs and aphids can drain moisture from your cactus, causing this plant to not only droop, wilt or shrivel but can even destroy your cactus if it gets bad enough. These bugs are easy to get rid of using soap and water, but if you don’t see them on the surface of the soil then give the plant a good misting with some water because it’s likely that they’re hiding in the soil.
The best way to get rid of these pests is by removing any affected leaves immediately and washing them off in the shower.
To really get rid of any pests on this cactus, you can use a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol to remove any bugs you see by hand, then spray the plant with some quality neem oil or just use neem oil yourself.
If you leave your Bunny Ear cactus outdoors over the winter, it will probably never recover. It can handle lighter frost, but too much cold weather or even just very cold weather, in general, can cause your cactus to droop or wilt. This can also happen if your Bunny Ear cactus comes into contact with a frozen window, even if it’s indoors, so keep that in mind.
So bring this plant indoors as soon as winter approaches and make sure it gets enough sunlight or set up an indoor grow light for it to get the best results.
If you normally grow outdoors, you’ll want to bring your Bunny Ear cactus inside as soon as the temperature drops a few degrees below freezing and decide whether you want to keep it near a window.
Maintain a temperature between 21 to 37 degrees Celsius. Avoid excess moisture by making sure the soil drains well and the container has drainage holes.
While a cactus may not be the first thing you think of for a house plant, the rabbit ear cactus makes an excellent addition to any room with its unique and beautiful shape. These cacti prefer dryer soil, so if you’re planning on bringing it indoors, it’s a good idea to check your potting soil first. For best results, add equal parts coarse sand, perlite, and your regular potting soil to create the perfect potting soil for your cactus.
The cactus is known to do well in poor quality soil and needs little help to thrive. However, a quick application of fertilizer can be helpful in encouraging the optimal growth of this plant.
We recommend that you consult a fertilizer expert before applying any fertilizers to your plants. In addition to an initial consultation, they can also advise you on how to apply these fertilizers. The most important thing is to follow their instructions carefully.
Fertilizer should be applied early in the growing season, from March through May depending on where you live. If it is applied too late in the growing season, the plant may not have enough time to absorb all the available nutrients. Also if it is applied after August, you run the risk of burning your plants with a fertilizer that is too concentrated in nitrogen. It’s also important to know if your cactus requires liquid or granular fertilizer because different applications work better for different types of plants.