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wagonwheel

Help, diseased cacti :(

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So i've had these 3 guys for 8 months or so, and about 4 months ago these white patches appeared on the cacti in a seemingly short period,

then just stopped spreading. Any ideas what disease might be causing this and how to combat it?

I normally don't water very often but they are next to some pachanoi that are seemingly healthy

(were quite pale when I bought them but are nice and dark green now).

They are south facing so get plenty of direct sunlight in the arvo.

The soil mix is probably something along the lines of 60% potting mix, 10% perlite, 30% sand.

Cacti No.1:post-7704-0-69132500-1362473405_thumb.jppost-7704-0-94514800-1362473156_thumb.jppost-7704-0-16671400-1362473357_thumb.jp

Cacti No.2:post-7704-0-40044100-1362473600_thumb.jppost-7704-0-78633200-1362473686_thumb.jp

Cacti No.3 on left, 2 on right:post-7704-0-68571000-1362473775_thumb.jp

Cacti No.3:post-7704-0-09946800-1362473889_thumb.jppost-7704-0-77126000-1362473953_thumb.jp

PS I know this isn't the right forum, but any help ID'ing these 2 varieties (unless all 3 are the same?) would also be greatly appreciated!

I also have this sad Scop cutting that's been sitting on my West facing window sill all summer.

post-7704-0-37033700-1362474625_thumb.jppost-7704-0-78900600-1362474655_thumb.jppost-7704-0-61637900-1362474674_thumb.jp

It gets a fair amount of sun in the late arvo (although not so much recently as 2 story units have been built right opposite the window),

I probably only water it once every 2 weeks max.

Here's a link to him when he was still attached to the mother plant.

Anyway, as you can see by this photo it's wilted and feels squishy, not firm at all. Could this be caused by

not enough water or could it be whatever the disease is that's made the ugly hole?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!

Edited by wagonwheel

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cereus peruvianus,

and it's looks like sunburn, move it to a shady position out of direct sunlight and see how it goes,

give it a drink as well, looks a little thirsty :)

the scop looks dehydrated and sunburnt as well, could probably do with potting in some new soil as well, i just use potting mix for mine, but i'd put sand in there (50/50 or so) if i had any available. i'm not really fussy about my soil for trichos but i know some people are. something nice and free draining. also looks dehydrated, water it more than once a fortnight, tricho's like a bit of water

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I would say the white patches/scars, were caused by a slug or snail maybe?!

I haven't seen you around wagonwheel, welcome to the Forum :)

Edited by Amazonian

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Send them to the leper colony, they're 'tainted' :(

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Does the scop have roots yet? It's almost unrecognisable due to being so dehydrated, and it's hard to believe that it could get like that if you're watering it every couple of weeks if it has roots, particularly because it's not facing north.

If it's only recently potted, you should leave it in a shady position for a few weeks so it has time to grow roots before it shrivels up completely. (Regardless of how often you water it, if it has no roots, it will not be able to drink.)

I also agree with qualia that watering more often in summer is preferable with trichs. But that said, I have neglected mine significantly this summer, and none of them are that dehydrated, despite being north facing and copping full sun for most of the day.

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^^

yeah good point, maybe best to just uproot it to see whats happening under the soil,

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I wouldn't uproot it. If it went into the pot and then straight into full sun, I think it's fair to guess that it doesn't have enough roots. If it's been in the pot for 18 months, then there must be another explanation. Either way, putting it in a shady spot so it doesn't get any more dehydrated isn't going to hurt it.

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i would re cut the scop, just above the white patch, calluse and place into seed raising mix.

re cut the old bottom bit aswell, and try to root the mid scetion.

i bet it failed getting roots and never will in the future.

regarding light levels, it seems the previous ownwer used far less light than you, you either have to stick to your new (more light) regime, or give them less light. but if you move them often from bright to shady, and reverse it will not help the cacti either.

give them just a bit less light.

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Thanks for the great replies guys!

I lifted the scop up and the soil came with it stuck to some big roots, so I think it's safe to say I

severly underestimated how much water trichs need. I also added some more potting mix.

The question now is to get him rehydrated should I try to keep the soil constantly damp until he

looks healthy or should I just give a good soaking once a week or something?

I forgot to mention that the Peruvianus' areole(?) are white and fuzzy (you can see this in the third

photo of Cacti No.1), is this normal?

Really appreciate the help!

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keep the soil constantly damp

definitely don't do that (thats a sure fire way to kill it).

i suppose it's hard to say as ballzac says if it has decent roots it shouldn't be like that, can you post a picture if the roots?

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oh and give that first one a feed too, it looks pale

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Ok i'll make sure not to keep the soil damp. Qualia, when you say feed do you mean with fertilizer or water?

Here's a pic of the roots:

scop roots

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Is that cacti mix that it is in? Is the soil wet because you have just watered it?

If you haven't potted back up yet I would ad some perlite or similar to the mix and pot it back up don't water for a week and then water when the soil dries out. If it still hot where you are the you would need to water at least once a week so it can rehydrate before winter.

You don't want the soil to be constantly damp that is why it is best to add a third to a half perlite so it is a free draining mix that will dry out within a couple of days. All my trichs still get water every two days but the are in a realy fast draining mix. All that said we always talk about letting the soil dry out but the they all sit out in the rain all winter with out a problem and they can be wet for weeks at a time and hardly growing at all. :)

From my experience with Trich's the main thing is a free draining mix and the give it plenty of water and some fertz and you cant go wrong.

Cheers

Got

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I have a scop that looks just like that has many decent roots it's just lack of water!!

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Got, I can't remember whether I used pre-made cacti mix, I think I most likely threw some potting mix and sand and a bit of perlite together

but i'll take your advice and bump up the perlite ratio. I have a bunch of perlite from a mushroom shotgun terrarium that should be free soon,

know if i'd be fine giving it a good rinse and dry out in an oven on low heat or is there a good chance nasty contams could be in there and hurt

my poor little scop?

Good to hear Jwerta, hopefully he'll be a vibrant little cacti in no time!

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Thats a combination of lack of water, sunburn and not enough nutrients. You´ll need to give it some fertilizer or it might even die at a certain point. I´ve seen plants like this suddenly turning brown and die.

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might be a good idea to bottom water it - stick it in a tub of water and leave it for a day or two, if the soil's really dry it's probably hydrophobic and wont wet properly.

Qualia, when you say feed do you mean with fertilizer or water?

yep, fertiliser. half strength fish emulsion or seasol should see it green up in no time.

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wagonwheel, ignore my input to some degree, as it will further confuse otherwise...

but to you others, i don't agree, to make ww add a lot of perlite, as he is hardly watering at all, right now.

a water holding mix would suit him much better.

pedros grow better, in normal mix, than cacti mix. pedros can hardly die from lot's of water.

you are assuming he will water more often, from now onwards, but most people can hardly change there watering habits.

he might water more for a few weeks, but than it's back to the old habits. probably he is working hard and has not a lot of time to water....

i hope you don't take that personel, wagon wheel, we all have our own watering habits, some of us water heaps others less.

it's easier to change the water holding capacities of a medium, than change our human behaviour.

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Thanks everyone, i've got some seaweed concentrate that i'll get into them tomorrow.

I gave them a good watering today so maybe tomorrow i'll check the soil to see if it's

retaining the water.

Planthelper, whilst I agree with your assumption in general I feel that my lack of watering

was more to do with me not realising how much watering the trichs need. I have a big

veggie garden and lots of pot plants that I water just about every day so it won't be any

hassle watering the trichs once every couple of weeks now that I know what I was doing

wrong. After the horrible white patches appeared I resigned myself to believing

that it was a horrible disease causing them to look so ill!

Edited by wagonwheel
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might be a good idea to bottom water it

I agree totally, that organic stuff can really repel water once it has been baked dry. I will often water twice with a 10-30 minute gap in between. The first watering mostly runs through the pot, but a lot more will soak-in during the second watering.

Also some wetting agent will help in this situation and also a layer of mulch or pebbles will make a big difference. It seems to help the water soak into your potting mix rather than run straight off down the inner sides of the pot.

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They all look like they need more water, with the summer we've been having you should be watering it whenever the pot is dry, if the soil is dry after a day, water it.

With my soil mix when the temps are above 35 I can water mine each day as the soil dries out so fast, I use about 50% perlite though, the topsoil of my cacti is very ugly.

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Also some wetting agent will help...

Not good advice IMHO. You can do more damage than good unless you're really careful.

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Not good advice IMHO. You can do more damage than good unless you're really careful.

Why's that Ballzac ?

I use wetting agent on all my potted cactus with no problems - even Lophs. I only use it in the active growing period and only every second month or thereabouts. I must admit I'm a bit slack when it comes to watering cactus, when the mix stays dry for so long it becomes very repellent & without wetting agent it would be a full day job to soak them all to get them wet.

I have an ant problem too, when they move in to a pot the mix becomes repellent and no amount of soaking will break the surface tension around the pockets of air they create.

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I agree totally, that organic stuff can really repel water once it has been baked dry. I will often water twice with a 10-30 minute gap in between. The first watering mostly runs through the pot, but a lot more will soak-in during the second watering.

Also some wetting agent will help in this situation and also a layer of mulch or pebbles will make a big difference. It seems to help the water soak into your potting mix rather than run straight off down the inner sides of the pot.

the watering twice or better 3 times methode, i do aswell, as i think it makes a big difference.

i try when i water the first time, not to have too much water running out of the pots, because this will maybe lead to leaching.

the second time i water, i use mostly more water, and it will not run out much this time, aswell this will save water.

if the soil turned hydrophopic, i would replace the soil with good new soil, like in case of the scop.

re wetting hydrophopic soil, can take a long time, even if you put the whole pot in a bucket of water, and often, the soil will dry out soon again.

i would like to know more about wetting agents vs no wetting agents.

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Why's that Ballzac ?

It's basically soap, and can dissolve the glaucous coating on the trichs:

Severe tissue damage caused by wetting agent

I can appreciate that people use them carefully with no ill-effect, but it's probably not the best advice to someone already having problems with their trichs, and without including serious qualifiers in the advice.

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