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Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

Titanopsis


Titanopsis calcareum is the knobbly little mesemb with the big dreams. They dream of living their best life in the city on a sunny windowsill in a small apartment where they can get the best care from you that your limited attention can give them. And nothing more! It’s enough!

 

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Not Looking Good


Hello,

I noticed my cactus browning. It looks like it’s rotting. Please see picture below. Is it something serious? What should I do?

Thanks,
Sophiya

It’s hard for me to know what happened, but it looks like it might be a virus. Whatever it is, it has encircled the cactus which means it is not going to survive. Sorry about that.
Peter
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New Cactus Cutting Issues


Peter,
Thanks for replying in response to my email request. The subject cactus, which I was told by its owner Tyler is Trichocereus pacnoi monstrose. It has this callous on the cut end but it also has some yellowish spotting that I am concerned may be a virus. Tyler bought this specimen, along with a bridgesii cutting on eBay, and the first pic shows the plants right after they were unpacked. The other pics are closeups of the cactus of concern. Please reply to me and Tyler as to what actions need to be taken to try to salvage both plants, if that is possible. Thanks so much for responding to my request in a timely manner. Tyler just recently got involved with cactus growing and reached out to Texas A&M Extension to get help with his cacti. I was asked, as a Master Gardener, to try to help him, and I decided to reach out to some cactus experts so I do not send him off in the wrong direction.

David

David,
I don’t think there is any virus. I think the cactus is just less than perfect, which cactus often are. It may be some active fungus or rot from the shipping process. You can spray with an organic fungicide like Neem Oil or use a systemic like Infuse if you are worried. After you plant it in fresh fast-draining cactus soil and wait 2 weeks to water, if you see any spots start to grow then you might have an issue. If the spots have rings then it might be a virus. But I don’t see anything like that now.

Species name is Echinopsis pachanoi fa. monstrose.

Peter

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Cactus in the Wet Winter Years


Good day –

I have purchased things from you over the years & need a little help.

Please see in the attached photo our fallen Eve’s Pin (I think that is what it is??) that we have had for years & is huge! The soil was too wet with all this rain & It just toppled over.

Can I somehow put it back in the hole – really don’t know how I am going to pick it up – those thorns are plentiful and large!

I think it roots easily – or should I just take pieces of it off & try putting the back in the ground to see if it will root?
Any advice would be appreciated & thank you for your time.

Thank you – Kevin A

This is definitely because of the wet winter. You can see that the root ball on the Eve’s Needles, Austrocylindropuntia subulata, is very small so it couldn’t support the large cactus above. If you want to try to right it I recommend some bamboo stakes, making a bit of a cage, and tie it all together while it is on the ground, and then use some fabric pieces to wrap around for a handle hold to lift it up. You might want to get more cactus soil where it is and mound up and get as large an area of faster draining soil and then replant upright.

You can of course also take it apart and plant the cuttings, they will root easily.

In the future I would water less, or to be more speicific this gets enough water in winter that after the first summer you should never water it, so that it groiws a bit slower and doesn’t get top heavy.

Peter

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