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Philocacti

What are the signs of over-fertilizing Cacti?

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So once the spring came I fertilize my cacti (except Lophophoras on their own roots) every time I water them (2 times a week). I use a weaker dilution of 20:20:20. I dissolve 3 spoons of fertilizer in 5 liters of water, while the correct does should be 1 spoon per liter, but using it once every 2 weeks.

My cacti are loving it and they're growing nicely and most of them are pupping as well.

I just need to know what are signs of over-fertilizing so if it happens I can stop right away.

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Their color changes to a very contrast rich green Tone and they just tend to develop more fungal infections. A lot more at a certain phase of continuous overfertilization. And seedlings that are overfertilized melt away. But from what you said, you are far away from that! ;)

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Technically you could be over-fertilising without any immediate signs. If salts start to build up in the pot the stem could initially grow fine while the roots could be unhappy and won't develop as well causing problems a bit later on.

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Thanks for the input :)

So if salts build up, would I see it on top of the soil as well or would it be "invisible" to me?

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Ok so here what I'll do and hopefully I'll avoid this kind of problem...... I'll fertilize as I do and every 5th watering I'll flood the pots with water to wash out the soil

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Some other signs of overfertilization and/or overwatering, more immediate ones, can be splitting and uncontrolled pupping. Especially in grafts of slower growing species, IME, Ariocarpus just start pupping like mad, from every areole, and Astrophytums tend to split easily (Selenicereus rootstock as well). On the other hand, Trichocereus will love the same feeding regime, so you really have to adjust based on the species.

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All my trichos are pupping like mad, even my ariocarpus that's grafted to Stenocereus is having 2 pups emerged after it finished fruiting.

The only species I'm avoiding this fertilizing schedule is lophophora, however I'm watering them twice a week as well.

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'Pupping like mad' would to me be a clear sign of far too much nitrogen. Maybe try feeding them every other watering, or switch to a fertilizer with lower nitrogen content.

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i find my cacti hard to start if over fertilized. otherwize there nuts can just be continually turned without ever tightening up.

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Would you call this excessive pupping????

I've noticed some mineral/salts forming a crust on top of the soil in some pots, so I'll fertilize every other watering as suggested

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Edited by Philocacti
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Well, you can see they´ve been fertilized. But that´s the point of it. ;) Would slow down a little for a few weeks though. But i don´t see a problem with them. Looking good! :)

Edited by Evil Genius
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i would call that happy days! appart from the penis none of my plants are carrying on like that at such an innocent age.

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How often do you fert and what rates do you use it?

Totally dont know how I missed ypur first post lol!!!

You defs don't need to be ferting that often. I do my cacti about 5 times a year. And way less than the recommended dose.

Edited by jwerta

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How often do you fert and what rates do you use it?

Totally dont know how I missed ypur first post lol!!!

You defs don't need to be ferting that often. I do my cacti about 5 times a year. And way less than the recommended dose.

I believe most of my trichocereus have nitrogen deficiency, especially the bigger ones, so I'm trying to provide what they need in order for them to green up again..... But I'll surely cut down on the fertilizer now

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What makes you think there is a nitrogen deficiency? I always thought that was the one thing cacti dont need much of....

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Well I used hydrated lime to make my soil more alkaline a couple of years ago and since then all my trichos stalled. I read that it's not good to fertilize when you lime as it will form ammonia. So during these last 2 years my trichos turned yellow (which is a sign of nitrogen deficiency).

Last winter I transplanted them all to a new soil mix and I started fertilizing when the spring came and now all of them are growing a healthy green and are mad pupping :)

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nitro... uurghrahhhh!

ftr.

edit: btw. yellow trich... mmmmmmm!

Edited by wert

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IME too much nutrient can lead to rapid swelling and water retention which leads to cracks and splitting. Lophs by themselves are susceptible to over watering and splitting even without being fed fertilizer.

personally when i fertilize any of my cacti i do it once every month and a half that way i get in four good fertilizer doses before i have to bring in all my plants for winter.

Personally i like to use the product SuperThrive which promotes root growth and is super nutrient packed. it comes in a liquid form and the ratio of its use is one drop per gallon of water, personally i find several drops per gallon works better with my plants.

A lot of the signs you will learn to look for yourself. Color change is a hint but a vague one, I have had several cacti swell up and turn red like run burn(but not actually burned) before splitting. My grafts do it too, sometimes they swell up and turn red the first couple months.

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IME too much nutrient can lead to rapid swelling and water retention which leads to cracks and splitting. Lophs by themselves are susceptible to over watering and splitting even without being fed fertilizer.

I've never had problems with splitting except for one of my myrtillocactus and a few of my lophophora that are grafted to pereskiopsis, which I, personally like cuz they always split in the growing tip which made 6 of them go double-headed (unless it's a genetic trait in my lophophora mothers)

A lot of the signs you will learn to look for yourself. Color change is a hint but a vague one, I have had several cacti swell up and turn red like run burn(but not actually burned) before splitting. My grafts do it too, sometimes they swell up and turn red the first couple months.

Sure I can learn the signs for myself, but it good to learn from others experiences......that's part of why we made these cacti communities, right? Color change would be very tricky for me, as most of my collection gets full direct sun all day time, so my trichocereus are slightly more yellow than what I see online. That's why it took me some time to see that their yellowing was more of a deficiency. Cuz they faded from greenish-yellow to yellow over a period of time and I didn't notice this fading until it became very yellow ;) Edited by Philocacti

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Personally i like to use the product SuperThrive which promotes root growth and is super nutrient packed. it comes in a liquid form and the ratio of its use is one drop per gallon of water, personally i find several drops per gallon works better with my plants.

Superthrive is simply Vitamin B1 & Naphthaleneacetic acid

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I've hit trichos with full dose+ of 20-20-20 every 2 weeks during the growing season and they seem to love it.. I haven't pushed it beyond that, but the more the merrier is how mine respond..

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Superthrive is simply Vitamin B1 & Naphthaleneacetic acid

i wish that were true. But it is not.

Quote from Wiki on one of the other substances in superthrive here is one.

The primary functions of Polyacrylamide Soil Conditioners are to increase soil tilth, aeration, and porosity and reduce compaction, dustiness and water run-off. Secondary functions are to increase plant vigor, color, appearance, rooting depth and emergence of seeds while decreasing water requirements, diseases, erosion and maintenance expenses. FC 2712 is used for this purpose

It also has humic acid in it which has been used for plants for longer than time itself.

it also has Phosphorous acid in it, which seems to be some kind of anti microbial agent.

and for rooting it has hormones yea but its not just a rooting hormone mix.

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