Too much water: Arizona cacti getting waterlogged due to heavy rain in the region

Arizona had a very wet summer in 2022, and that moisture has continued into the winter months.

While rain is good for a state in the midst of a megadrought, all that water is causing a problem for the state's native Saguaro Cacti.

At the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, crews are keeping an eye on the cacti, on a day when the Valley was buffeted by heavy winds.

According to Noemi Hernandez Castro, high winds are never good for the garden, and that is especially true when the cacti are waterlogged.

"They've been absorbing all of the water because they don’t know when to stop absorbing it," said Castro. "A cactus, like a saguaro, can grow up to 16 inches a year just by absorbing water."

Castro says the cacti will continue to absorb water to prepare for the dry months, when they will eventually use up the water at that time. She is hoping no other cacti fall victim to the high winds.

"We've had a few cacti fall over because of that. Another reason is because the roots are very shallow, and they are very spread out, so if they’re constrained to space where their roots can’t spread out, that means the roots is not going to be able to hold up all of this weight because of this water," said Castro.

Castro said people with cacti at home should putting up stakes to support the plant's weight.

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