Grumpy Gymnos

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

Post by Phil_SK » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:45 pm

I think there is mileage in attempting to recover all of these if you want - I would, though I know others wouldn't.
For the ones with multiple fibrous roots or a stump where it's not altogether clear what's going on (GY 248, 252, 198, 031, 216) I'd attack them with a stiff paintbrush or toothbrush. You'll remove the last of the soil and any dead flesh. Like when you scrub potatoes, you'll take a bit of skin off the healthy root/stem and be able to reassure yourself that things are OK. Plants with multiple roots seem better at blocking the spread of rot through one root. If you don't see clean flesh you might need to slice through the body of the plant like you have for GY 217.
I think GY 217 may be the toughest to salvage. If you slice it higher and higher you'll risk having a thin sliver of plant that'll dry up before it roots. It might be better to chisel out a cone with the knife point as you might take the eyes out of a potato with a peeler (No more potato analogies now, I promise).
For the ones where there's sign of rot in the vascular bundles (GY 218, 075, 193, 224) it's worth digging these out with pointy tweezers or a needle. Often they will pop out remarkably easily.
You'll have to play it by ear a bit but those are my thoughts about where to start.
Phil Crewe, BCSS 38143. Mostly S. American cacti, esp. Lobivia, Sulcorebutia and little Opuntia
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Chris L
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Chris L » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:57 pm

Phil_SK wrote:I think there is mileage in attempting to recover all of these if you want - I would, though I know others wouldn't.
For the ones with multiple fibrous roots or a stump where it's not altogether clear what's going on (GY 248, 252, 198, 031, 216) I'd attack them with a stiff paintbrush or toothbrush. You'll remove the last of the soil and any dead flesh. Like when you scrub potatoes, you'll take a bit of skin off the healthy root/stem and be able to reassure yourself that things are OK. Plants with multiple roots seem better at blocking the spread of rot through one root. If you don't see clean flesh you might need to slice through the body of the plant like you have for GY 217.
I think GY 217 may be the toughest to salvage. If you slice it higher and higher you'll risk having a thin sliver of plant that'll dry up before it roots. It might be better to chisel out a cone with the knife point as you might take the eyes out of a potato with a peeler (No more potato analogies now, I promise).
For the ones where there's sign of rot in the vascular bundles (GY 218, 075, 193, 224) it's worth digging these out with pointy tweezers or a needle. Often they will pop out remarkably easily.
You'll have to play it by ear a bit but those are my thoughts about where to start.
Thanks. I'll have a go later. I'd like to save them if possible.

I know in the past I've chucked stuff out rather than trying to salvage. I've a bit more room to keep stuff separate from the other plants now, so I'll give it a go.
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Chris L
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Chris L » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:39 pm

GY 198, 248 and 193 are beyond saving. Rot has gone right into the plant body.

The others are now callousing over in the shade. Time will tell if they start to root.
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by TS Hakansson » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:48 pm

I don´t know that a substrate could be too gritty? I have all my plants in a blend of pumice, cat litter and a sniff of coir and the gymnos seems to enjoy that, they are growing very well and fowers from april until december. I use rainwater only and a test made a few years ago showed a Ph at 5,7. I am convinced that peat and leaf mould are superb media for growing mealies.....
Growing mostly globular,smallgrowing cacti north of Stockholm
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gerald
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by gerald » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:53 pm

There is a lot of info on this forum if you do a search, including some quite technical articles. But as a basic guide, the source of the water isn't as important as the pH, rainwater is often a lower pH than 7 although if it's been collected having run off a roof or passed through pipes then it could have collected impurities along the way that may affect the pH.

The only way to reliably make sure your plants get water at the ideal pH is to alter the pH AFTER you add fertiliser or insecticide etc but before you water the plants, by using vinegar or phosphoric acid etc. You will need a pH meter for this which you can get off ebay etc. I can't say how much for you to use, because it depends on the original pH value that you are trying to change, but in my personal experience I require about 10ml vinegar per 10l of water to bring it down to 6.0-6.5 or thereabouts.

For SOME plants, esp Gymnos, you might also want to consider using ericaceous compost instead of your JI2, which contains lime.

Since I started using acidified water I can quite honestly say the results have been simply astonishing, including some plants bursting into life that have been otherwise sat dormant for years.
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D^L
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by D^L » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:05 pm

I agree that acidified water has improved a lot of my older plants. I target a pH of around 5.5.

My only experience with vinegar cultivationally is acidifying tap water, rather than rain water. This often has a lot of calcium (or similar) salts. When I first added vinegar the pH changed immediately, but over the next hour or two it returned to where it started. The vinegar was being neutralized by the calcium salts. I had to do some tests to work out how much vinegar I needed to create a lasting change. After I worked out the right dose I didn't have to re-test but used that rate thence onward. My experience is that the tap water pH is fairly consistent and this is not a very precise process anyway. I use 45ml of 5% vinegar in 9l of water. For me, about 2/3 of this is needed to cancel out the salts. You need to do your own test, but with tap water wait to see if the pH changes with time.

I use a pond water pH kit to check the pH. Again it is not a very precise method.

As I said, acid has helped me, but I do wonder whether if I had just repotted them and changed the soil they might have got on just as well.

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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Hedge » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:18 pm

I think I'd be adding vinegar by the litre here if I were to use tap water, the water here is so hard that we have to use salt in the dishwasher even with combination dishwasher tablets. I have never tested my rain water's pH.
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Mal H
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Re: Grumpy Gymnos

Post by Mal H » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:20 pm

My couple of dozen Gymnos got relegated under the bench last year to make room for other genera. Funny thing is the Gymnos look way much better compared with previous years - they now get maybe 2-3 hours max. direct sun down below.

You could let yours root/reestablish in more shade to reduce the stress and see if that helps?
Wirral (Chester and District branch) - Collection mostly South American cacti.
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