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the learned the hard way thread

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the idea to this thread, jumped at me just minutes ago, when i did my morning inspection, in my garden.

post, if you know a story, where you learned something the hard way, maybe something where, it took you a long time to change you convictions.

i'm sure we could learn a lot, of those stories, and one does learn better, if there is a good story attached to it! :wink:

here is two of mine:

one year ago i noticed some sunburn on one of my lophs.

this year, i noticed, that other lophs aswell showed signs of sunburn, but i took no further action, because, the loph in question, in my mind had to "just toughen up", and aswell, for most of the year, the aspect where my lophs are kept, is save, and will not cause sun burn.

but yesterday, IT SUDDENLY CLICKED, i mistakenly thought that what, is in fact mite damage, was sunburn aswell.

from the right,

almost healthy, with mite damage, sunburn.


so my ignorance did hurt my plants!

i treated 3 of my lophs effected with the mites, with pyrethrum yesterday, and if they show no damage, i will treat the others aswell. note, i rinsed the pyrethrum, off after 3minutes, hopefully it was long enough. one has to repeat treatment anyway, i saw one mite running down the outside of the pot for example, i get you next time, you bastard. :uzi:

another thing is, we humans hardly want to change our teks, (even worse if, you have ocd, hehehe)

so i would always obsess, about the perfect look of any given plant cutting.

sure how you prepare a cutting is paramount, but obsessing about it, is not.

i would sometimes re cut cuttings, to make them "perfect", or worse i threw away, quite few cuttings, because they did not look perfect to me. :unsure:

now, i just stick them into the soil, even if they are not perfect, and YES THEY BLOODY GREW ASWELL! :blush:

maybe you have a similar story, you could share, we sure could learn from it. :P

Edited by planthelper
69 typo mistakes
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I have this terrible habit of waiting too long to graft sick cacti.

I recently lost a several year old astrophytum caput medusa and a mature koheresii because i kept hoping they would just get better on their own.

By the time i grafted the caput medusa all the tendrils had shrivelled and drooped & it was on its last legs, i touched it a couple weeks later & it was literally an empty shell.

I went to graft my koheresii today, completely rotten throughout, not even worth attempting.

Moral of the story = if things are going downhill, act right away so you have a chance to save something from it, even an aereole graft.

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Don't plant approx 400 spach seed in the one takeaway container, even when you doubt they could all sprout. When they all do all sprout you'll be left with what appears to be more than 400 seedlings that are so tightly packed together that they're like a blanket and you could spend days separating them...

Pic related


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LOL^ sorry but that's hilarious! I sow heavily at the best of times but wow! Hopefully people see this and take your advice! Maybe just break then into 1 inch cubes and group plant in their pots!

My biggest mistake is sowing seed at inappropriate times! Make sure to thoroughly research your future babies! Even growing under cfl etc, has a major impact if not inside the plants energetic periods (ie natural time clock dormacy). I've fecked countless hard to find varieties because of this! But since correcting am able to grow most things correctly :)

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Wow, spach-moss lol. That looks like a mental breakdown in the making :S

Dont put lots of cuttings in the same jar of water, if one starts stem-rot you'll likely loose them all.

And watch out for cats trying to use freshly tilled garden soil for their toilet, you can get a horrible & un-curable disease if cat poo gets into any open cuts on your hands.

Not that i have learnt this the hard way myself but my friend's dad has, he went grey then lost his hair at 30 and had non-stop diahhoreah & vomitting for 2 years.

Also i am quite nervous about legioneers disease (also un-curable), which can occur when you breathe in dust from potting mix.

I have wanted to draw attention to this danger here before, considering we are a community who uses alot more potting mix than other subcultures.

The simple act of wearing a mask and gloves while potting up could save you alot of suffering.

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Learned the hard way this morning, to not give our chickens the benefit of doubt...

I've been on a wattle sowing rampage lately. I transplanted some seedlings a couple of months back, and while moving them onto a shelf outside I placed one tray on a milk crate, then turned around for literally 2 seconds, turned back and found one plump seedling magically vanish, and a chicken proudly bok boking..

Oh well, I thought, that's a shame but I've sowed beyond my capacity anyway.. I'll just make sure to keep them all high on the shelf.

A few weeks go by, a bit of rain here and there, some reorganisation of seedling trays, and along the way the trays end up on the second shelf from the bottom. I strategically position several small heavy cacti in front of the shelf, and another couple of weeks go by, no damage. No stress.

Go out this morning, two trays are completely trashed, seedlings gone or pulled out and dried crisp, pots cracked, and wet chicken crap all over.

Chickens were in the coop still, so must have gone down late yesterday and I didn't notice. :ana:

For the curious, some phlebs, confusa, hostillis, leiocalyx, obtus, all casualties..

I wanted to trust the chickens, now I cannot.

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never trust chickens or goats! I learned that a few times the hard way

and cats & some dogs.

who was it, who latly shared with us, the neighbours cat, used the fresh sown out seedlings tray, as a kitty box,.

happend to me aswell, and they disturbe all of the soil.

even if you place the tray higher up, it will not help, as cats are acrobats....

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I bump this thread, as i'm pretty sure if somebody else would have started it, it would be more successful... :scratchhead:

i'm pround of the next trick, which I learned only after a long time trying, to solve said issue.


many seeds (for example iboga) will poke through the soil, with there seed coat still on.

a lot of ideas got suggested, to overcome this issue, planting deeper, leaving the flesh around the seed intact, scraping with a scapel, the coat, re burying the seedling deeper, and probably a few more.

but all this ideas have downsides as well.

the solution:

jam or say squeeze, the downwards pointing head of the seedling with the intact seed coat, between two stones!!

the stones or as well wood, need to have two, nice flat surfaces in a 90 degree angle, that's all.

you use the stones or wood, like a vice, holding the seed head!

as well keep the moisture up to the seedling, by either using a dome, or by misting frequently.

after a few day's, the embryonic leaves will pull them selves out of the seed coat.

this planthelper moment was brought to you by planthelper, hehehe. :)

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Oh Teh Stories.

Used a metal-core twisty-tie on a young macadamia nut tree. girdled it and killed it.

Told my sister to water the lychee while I spent the Summer in Japan. She didn't, and it died.

My father cut down my gorgeous cherimoya to have a place to park his Mustang. Grrrr.

Have lost three P. v. leaves to the leaf drying out before the little plants get going. NOW KNOW to keep the humidity high THREE MONTHS after new shoots appear. Also, built Jungle Box to keep temp & humidity high.

As far as grafting, that's a real thousand-hour project. Your first 20 grafts are doomed to fail, DEAL WITH IT. You just have to DO THEM and DO THEM and DO THEM until you get a feel for how the tissues go together.

Got fungus gnats in my "cactus mix" I was starting seedlings in. Used Steinernema feltiae to get rid of them!

Ordered fancy grafted cactus from POLAND in the winter. Arrived destroyed by cold.

Ordered cuttings of Ban. cap. in summer. They died soon after arrival, doubtless due to heat.

Ordered echinopsis and planted them out during Nov-March cold wet winter weather. EVEN THO I had a dry-winter tent set up to keep the rain off, many of the winter arrivals rotted off anyways.

Bragged on FB about a choice plant, a grafted echinopsis hybrid, stunning, imported from Germany. Next day my collection had been cherry-picked, they got the choice one and about 8 others.


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