Grumpy Gymnos

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
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Chris L
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Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Chris L » Sun May 29, 2016 9:48 am

These Gymnocalyciums seem a bit grumpy to me. They seem to be sulking. Are any beyond saving? Any tips to make them perk up?

Thanks.
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Gymnocalycium occultum JS196
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Gymnocalycium schroederianum ssp paucicostatum LB960
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Gymnocalycium chubutense WP151-233
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Gymnocalycium schuetzianum FR430
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Gymnocalycium mazanense v polycephalum LF21
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Gymnocalycium delaetii PC199
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Gymnocalycium pungens
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Gymnocalycium ritterianum
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Gymnocalycium piltziorum P38
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Gymnocalycium vatteri v longispina
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Gymnocalycium vatteri v longispina
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Gymnocalycium buenekeri
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Gymnocalycium mesopotamicum
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Gymnocalycium spegazzinii
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ChrisR
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by ChrisR » Sun May 29, 2016 10:19 am

Scorched? The roots may have died, but they certainly look very dry. I'd start by taking a few out of the pots to check, then repotting in fresh compost, put in shade and water after a week or so.
Chris Rodgerson- Sheffield UK

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see http://www.conophytum.com for about 1250 pictures of Conophytum, 370 Adromischus and 430 Crassula in habitat & in cultivation.
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SimonR
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by SimonR » Sun May 29, 2016 10:24 am

I can sympathise Chris, some of mine are in a similar state. What I will say is that some have responded well after repotting - I removed all the old soil from the roots (well blasted it of with a preventative Provado spraying) and then replaced it with fresh soil. I know Gymnos are meant to like slightly acid soil, so perhaps this is some sort of mineral deficiency? I saw Graham Charles the other weekend - he had some beautifully-grown plants with him. I'll have to dig out his gymno book to see if it offers any advice.
Interested in hardy cacti, specifically the few that will thrive outside in the UK.
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Chris L
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Chris L » Sun May 29, 2016 12:31 pm

Plants now unpotted. Apart from the top one all seem to rather lacking in the root department.

What is there seems to be either very dry or very soft.

I think I am going to have to leave them a day or two to dry out and then start investigating properly.

My plan for this year it to really get any problem plants sorted once and for all. There are a few mealy bug infestations on other plants and I've had the hose pipe to them as well this morning.
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by rodsmith » Sun May 29, 2016 12:36 pm

I've found some Gymno's to be very slow growing, eg vatteri. I'm never sure how often to water that one. I tend to leave long gaps between waterings as I'm afraid of rotting the roots. One or two of yours in the pictures could have suffered cold damage, although this doesn't usually stop growth in my experience, aso long as the compost has been dry.
Rod Smith

Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by makleodss » Sun May 29, 2016 3:19 pm

To me this looks like a combination of issues. First of all I suspect nutrient deficiency. second overwatering before rest period and third especcially on spegazzinii looks like frost damage to me. Gymnos like slightly acid soil as well. My advise is to repot them in soil with PH 5-5,5 let them recovr for some time in slightly shaded location. Most of gymnos grow in grassy areas or on mountain slopes where half day shade is available. Spraying plants in full sun may lead to burns as well as drop of water works like lenses.
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by cactuspip » Sun May 29, 2016 3:28 pm

Gymnos definitely require an acidic potting mixture in my experience.

In his book Graham Charles recommends a blend of: 1 part sterilised loam (or JI3); I part peat or substitute (I use ericaceous compost); 1 part grit. These are all by volume, not weight. I use Westland JI as I find this the best.

Having carried out a lot of repotting last year into this blend I am seeing much happier plants.
I also water with rainwater as our local tapwater is extremely hard.
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Wilk » Sun May 29, 2016 8:34 pm

I am "glad" that I am not the only one who finds Gymno's more difficult than any standard textbook would suggest. I am less than convinced they are good beginners' plants. Mine tend to mark a lot which I put down to keeping too cold in winter but they don't flower well either which is probably due to growing in a rather too gritty mix. A local member told me he always uses an ericaceous based mix so that's what I will be trying this year.
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Mike P
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Mike P » Sun May 29, 2016 9:27 pm

I also find some of them prone to entering into a kind of long term stasis where they neither grow nor die. I currently have a ritterianum which has been like this for three years - it has roots and was given fresh compost but seems to have lost all vigour. I also have a saglionis I bought at a branch auction a couple of years ago which I cannot start back into life.
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Tina
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Tina » Mon May 30, 2016 9:37 pm

Hi
They look like they need a very good water, when Graham gave us his Gymno talk he said they like more water, I even give mine a light water in winter.
Tina

varied collection of succulents and cacti but I especially like Euphorbia's and variegated agaves.

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