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diamind

Sick looking Trichocereus bridgesii

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Hey there,

I have a cactus beleived to be a bridgesii. Its been in my care for for about a year and I've been slowly watching it deteriorate. I'm guessing it's some kind of rot happening so I've removed it from it's pot to dry. There also seems to be some fine white hairs growing on the roots, could this possibly be fungus growth?

If there is anyone out there that could help me save him and give me some growing tips would be very helpful.

Cheers

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Fully sick bro... One of the sickest I've ever seen!

Pot it up and try again. Try to avoid extremes :wink:

Edited by Halcyon Daze

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Have you tried watering it? and maybe take it out from full sun

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I haven't really tried anything, I'm really clueless.

I've rarely watered it because we have only just finished our winter months but unbeknown to me, my girlfriend took the liberty of watering while I was away. As for sun, it's been just sitting on the window sill which does get alot of full sun during the day, but just figured it would be ok. Any ideas of whats going on?

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I would move it further away from the window and stop watering untill it warms up. When its nice and warm put in part sun and water + seaweed fert.

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I can't really tell what those "fine white hairs" look like from the pic - but healthy roots will have something like that - they look like hairs sort of. That thing doesn't look too bad off to me actually - TMB's often get sort of scarred with age and develop that pale callous type thing on them.. What it needs is some fresh healthy growth - good water, soil, fertilzer.. How much sun does it get per day? It almost looks like too much sun but that would be pretty rare inside..

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It had been sitting on a very exposed east facing window sill, so plenty of sun from morning till midday. Avg temp for november would be 30-35 degrees. It had always had a little grey/brown dry spots but recently my girl friend said it looked unhealthy and had gotten worse along with it starting to turn an orange/yellow color. I wasnt sure if this was sunburn or rot or what was going on and I was away for work, so I had my girlfriend pull it from the pot till I got home to try and save it.

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That is mold on the roots. That is not good. That's usually a sign of over watering. Is it squishy?

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I wouldn't say it was squishy, theres alittle movement when squeezed but it's really dry, so it might quickly change if it was to be watered.

Edited by diamind

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Doesn't necessarily look like mould to me. Cacti roots do develop fine white root hairs that look quite like that. It's hard to tell with the low-res pics but my guess is that it's not mould.

If you're in WA you should be fine to pot it up now. And it's important to put it in the right soil mix. A general recommendation is a mix of 7 parts regular potting mix (Scott's Osmocote premium or Searles premium potting mix) and 3 parts coarse washed river sand - buy coarse sand from bunnings or wherever and wash it through a kitchen sieve to remove all the fine particles so it doesn't set like cement. And let the sand dry out before you use it.

If you have rot problems I'd be inclined to use more sand, maybe a ratio of 6.5/3.5

I'd say put it in a terracotta pot as well, not plastic, as this will dry out faster and provide a more stable temperature for the plant's roots. If you can find it, another good thing to add to the above soil mixture is Alroc, a granular mineral fertilizer. If you can't find it, maybe add a pinch of mineral fertilizer/rockdust...but not too much as that stuff can also set like concrete. A tiny bit of finely crushed charcoal can also provide some extra drainage/aeration, lock in nutrients, and discourage rot in some situations.

If the roots have dried out - do NOT water it in after planting. Cactus roots are actually rather fragile and if they're dried out chances are they're dead, and the plant will have to grow new ones. If you water it before it has a chance to do that it will only encourage rot. For this reason I would also say don't put it in direct sun - a plant without effective roots will just burn. Instead keep it in a place that gets plenty of diffuse/indirect light until it starts growing again.

So just plant it into the above soil mix, leaving it just with the moisture of the potting mix straight from the bag, and mulch over the top of that with some fine gravel, like they use in fish tanks - you should be able to pick up a small bag of this from bunnings as well. This is important to keep the plant dry and separate from the fungi and bacteria and moisture in the soil below.

Then leave it until it starts showing new growth at the tip, then give it a little bit of water, with a small amount of Seasol if you like. If you can't see any new growth after 8 weeks, you're probably okay to give it a tiny drink, but after that leave it until it does show new growth.

From then on water it only when the soil is just about dry. And moving it back to partial sun once it's growing again.

Hope you go well. I'm not sure what kind of rot/scarring that is on the surface of the plant without having a closer look. Others may be able to help more in that regard. But make sure you keep those parts dry at least.

Edited by gtarman
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Yeah. if there wasn't much watering then it probably isn't mold. Definitely need some higher resolution photos to see better. It looks very parched though for sure.

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Put that thing in a pot outside and everytime the soil drys out give it a good water and it should be fine!.. maybe not full sun to start with

and they are root hairs not mold

Edited by jwerta
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I think that is a sad TBM . it will probably pup new healthy segments when it warms up.

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Yeah outside is a good idea. Have you ever heard of morning sun? It's the best thing for just about every plant on the planet. just avoid all extremes. ie too hot , too dry, too wet, too cold, too much fretiliser, not enough drainage etc. It usually comes down to one or more of these problems.

Oh and get more than one bloody plant, don't put all your hopes and dreams into one lonesome specimen. Everyone has a few losses here and there,

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Hey thanks for all the reply's very much appreicated. So this is what I've done. I repotted the cactus in 1/3 potting mix, 1/3 course sand and 1/3 perlite, then covered the top with about an inch of small river stones and left for new growth to appear. I was looking today and noticed what looks like new growth, what do you think?

So will it be fine to water now? And how much water? Also is the pot too big? If it survives next year I will repot it in a teracotta pot like gtarman recommended. thanks again

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That's a new pup you have shooting through, great to see it is recovering :D a good rule of thumb is to water cacti once the soil is completely dry (stick a finger in to check if you're not sure)

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The little baby growths.

I'm so glad I'm not the only person that got confused by that when I got into cacti :lol:

My first cacti love was a TBM, and I freaked out about it for a while, it went really strange for a while, developed weird scars, got fat, got skinny, shriveled ect, I'd advise you to not panic - TBMs grow slow and strangely but any new growth is a wonderful thing!

The pot is bigger than one that I would have used - and I love terracotta, but I'm not sure if it is worth pulling it out of the ground again now that it's growing and there are new sensitive roots to worry about.

Well done on keeping this little guy alive :rolleyes:

Eatfoo's advice about seaweed fert is sound too; it'll do nothing but help!

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That's a huge pot for that little guy. Hehe. Glad it's growing again.

You will REALLY need to be carefull about watering with that pot and top dressing. The big pot, plastic material and top dressing will all stop the water from evaporating out of that soil. I wouldn't water more than once a month with that set up.

Or at least just make sure that the soil dries out inbtween waterings.

Edited by hostilis

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Yeah thats what I thought after I potted it up. :/ A little too late now.

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I'm sure it will be fine if you're weary about the soil moisture.

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