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Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:26 pm
by Mal H
Looks like Stenocactus vaupelianus to me?

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:06 pm
by RWW
Hi Rod,

Thanks for your thoughts. It has been in the pot about 6 months. I appreciate you saying the pot may be too big and I might reduce the pot size slightly when I come to re-pot it later in the year.

Things have taken an interesting turn.

I have been off on holiday for a couple of weeks with the plant left on the window sill. Upon return I was faced with this!
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I have now turned the plant round in the hope it will straighten itself up. It is clearly slowly getting better.

Hopefully, in 4 - 6 weeks time we will see a big improvement.

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm
by Julie
Poor light bulb cacty. :(

It seems as though its roots are not too strong and healthy. I would unpot the plant and see if there seem to be enough roots for its size. If not, there could be some rot setting in.

If healthy looking, repot in a sandier mix in a smaller pot as Rod suggests, and don't water for a fortnight, to let any tiny injuries to the roots heal up. It's inevitable that roots get a tiny bit of damage when potting up, and if they get wet, rot can get under the plant's skin. They don't see these bacteria in their native environment and so haven't developed resistance to them.

If the roots look bad, cut the base of the plant off, and see what it looks like. (I know this can be awful the first time, but you are doing the best thing for your plant.) Healthy plants would be cucumber-coloured inside, any yellow or brown is an infection. If it can be stopped, the plant can regrow new roots (which is a pretty amazing thing to see). Cut off successive slices, while sterilising the knife each time. Use your sharpest kitchen knife, and put it in a candle flame.

Then cut another slice off for good measure. Dust the cut with sulphur powder or root hormone powder, as these are plant-Savlon. Leave it in a cool dry place on a saucer of sand or cat litter (no water - it will survive a long time on its reserves).

And be patient. Cacti can sulk a long time before putting out a root. I had one which took 6 months, a friend had a cactus on a cool dark sill for 2 years before it rooted.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:08 am
by RWW
Thanks for the replies and advice.

I've decided to leave him in the pot he is in as he has only been in it about a year and I am seeing signs of improvement. Additionally, life gets so busy that my cacti aren't always a priority!
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However, he is getting better. He is starting to straighten up and the stem is returning to its green colour. There is still some way to go but it is much healthier than it was at the start.

I'll post another picture in about 6 weeks.

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:15 pm
by RWW
Blimey...doesn't time fly.

I can't believe I started this thread almost 2 years ago.

The cactus is still alive and is slowly getting better. As mentioned below, I still don't know what I am doing but keep it dry and add some soil from my compost heap in the spring. I think it is going in the right direction!!

I'll keep posting in this thread (hopefully a bit more regularly) as I want to get it to flower and then someone will need to help me collect some seeds....
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Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:34 am
by daniel82
Well done, he's looking really good now.

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:30 pm
by Greenlarry
I might be tempted to cut the very top off, the bulb part that looks like a cactus, allowing to callus over before planting. The stem would also produce new plants.

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:35 pm
by RWW
Another update.

Things are going well now! It is due a re-pot but I thought a final picture in this pot would be nice.

Even though it was at death's door it is remarkable what a bit of time can do....

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:00 pm
by juster
This has made a really good recovery, well done!

Re: Poorly plant

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:16 am
by BrianMc
Well done in getting your plant back to rude health. I think you have developed good cultivation skills in the process.

Why do you say the plant needs a repot? I think the pot it is in is still plenty big enough.
To be honest, as Rod said, back in 2014, from your early pics it looked like the soil was inappropriate - too water retentive and mostly organic. I am surprised the little seedling recovered. Then the pot was way too big and the soil way too wet for the plant's tiny root system.
All credit to you your plant has overcome the odds and now looks as if it is happy. Its roots will be much more happy in the space it has.
If the plant was mine I would perhaps repot it, but back into the same pot with fresh, less organic soil. I am sure your plant will prefer it, however, a change of soil components may require a change in your watering regime, so stay alert!