Nan's Nook : Archives : Botanicals : Cactus : San Pedro : Growing San Pedro

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 01 03, 04:25 PM GMT
Got my pedros today! 4, 8-10inch rooted cacti biggrin.gif

Got a quick question though, one seems to have been damaged in shipping.
THe tip is broken, what do I need to do to it? Just cut it off and make it a clean cut?
Any tips on gettin em going healthy?

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 01 03, 04:26 PM GMT
The broken tip sad.gif

Posted by: Samsara May 01 03, 05:28 PM GMT
You might wanna drop an email to the vendor and see if they will send you a new one. But, since it is already rooted, it will send out a new pup soon. Try getting a new one for free if possible, otherwise just wait untill some more intelligent people come to the thread to offer advice. wink.gif

Posted by: Malformed May 01 03, 07:44 PM GMT
if your going to graft to one anyway, that one might still work.
i guess it depends on how wide it ends up being after you trim it down to the break.
and how wide the 'button' is.

im not sure. wacko.gif

Posted by: Driador May 01 03, 09:32 PM GMT
You should just be able to cut it slightly past the break, as long as the tissue hasn't been masticated or crushed. Just make sure and cut it a slant so that water rolls off instead of collecting on a flat surface. And I would still call the vendor and see if there is anything they are willing to do. Of course I am by no means skilled in this area. You might want to wait for Bob, Nan, or ion to answer smile.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 01 03, 11:27 PM GMT
well that sucks, I thought it wasnt anything that was gonna be a problem sad.gif

Is it OK to plant all these in one pot? I got a big one to plant them in with plenty of room. I think. I also have sand, perlite, and some plain old topsoil, bone meal and bloom plus water souluble plant food. What else do I need?
I need to get these in some soil asap, plz help, QUick! blink.gif

Posted by: Malformed May 01 03, 11:36 PM GMT
i personaly would use seperate pots for each one.

and... dont worry. ive seen cactus with more damage than that and it did fine.

Posted by: Driador May 01 03, 11:40 PM GMT
I don't think you want to use the Schultz bloom feed bro. Right now, I would think a nice helping of activated charcoal covered by Nan's Dirt, again, covered by a light layer of sand (to help reflect the light back up to the cactus and keep the pests at bay) would do them well.

Ion should be around here soon to give you a hand in the meantime. Or Bob could probably help you too, but I'm not sure where he's at smile.gif And of course, Mal is much more experienced than I in these matters....

Patience bro smile.gif Everything will be okay, and the world will regain its balance wub.gif

Edited to say that I put all my cuttings in their own pots (terra cotta, approx 12" across).

Posted by: Malformed May 02 03, 12:01 AM GMT
QUOTE (Driador @ May 01 03, 11:40 PM GMT)
Mal is much more experienced than I in these matters....
Edited to say that I put all my cuttings in their own pots (terra cotta, approx 12" across).

not much.
i know a bit about cacti from living in phoenix for about 7 years.
and then right now i have a single pedro with a button grafted on the top. (originaly nans, then pixies)

so my knowledge is pretty limited.

i was going to say 12 inch terra cotta as well.
but i guess it depends on the cactus size.
10 inch should work fine for a while.

mine is about 23 inches tall and 10 inch worked fine for a while, it was just a little top heavy and looked kinda strange. laugh.gif
its happy in a 12 inch right now biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 02 03, 12:46 AM GMT
WELL Im about as knowledgeable about cacti as a deep sea fisherman.

They are all still sittin out like in the pics, waitin to be potted...

B00000B! BOB! BOBROBERTS! I know you are there. help.plz

Im going to the archives and gonna wing it...

Posted by: Malformed May 02 03, 12:52 AM GMT
there realy is no rush.
if you have to wait for someone more knowledgable to post...
they can wait another day or two before being potted. wink.gif
no need to rush things.

Posted by: ion May 02 03, 09:17 AM GMT
laugh.gif Geez... I leave for one night... tongue.gif

That fertilizer should be ok... it's a bit heavy in the phosphorous, but it shouldn't be bad for the first few weeks. P helps promote root growth, not just blooming. smile.gif
Bone meal would be overkill if using that fertilizer. To be perfectly honest, I don't like using things with such incredible variation in the N-P-K levels... you want those ratios to be pretty close, actually. Something like 5-10-7 would be perfect for starting new pots, but it is unlikely you'll find one that still has chelated micros. Peter's All Purpose 20-20-20 with chelated micros is some good stuff, though the nitrogen is a bit high for new pots (it still works just fine... Peter's really knows their stuff when it comes to plants wink.gif ).

The cacti don't need to be potted immediately. In fact, it is best to gently wash the roots with cool water to remove all the old soil, and then let them sit out to harden off a bit before re-potting. It's not too important, but I must say I've had better initial luck (no problems starting out) with "hardened" roots. Sometimes soft, wet roots can get scraped, bruised, or broken... these wounds can be vectors for nasties and/or can attract insects more readily (it must be like a "fresh meat!" smell for bugs). If any roots are damaged, just put a light sprinkling of sulfur on the wounds.

Definitely put them in their own pots. Those things get incredibly heavy as they grow, man... I had one pot with five in it (about 5 feet of total mass) and, because the pot needed to be large for all the separate plants, it weighed over 70 pounds... you may not think that's so bad, but just try lifting it while avoiding a thorough face-spiking! Large pots are not just heavy, they are very awkward to carry. Just put them in single pots, and put the pots close together. If any of them want friends, trust me, they'll just grow pups. wink.gif

Those thin spots are likely due to insufficient light during the off-season. Check out my response to Samsara's question:
You can cut that broken end smooth, wash the removed plant material, and freeze it for later... it's prolly too small to make another cutting out of it (after cutting it properly). The top of the cactus will scab up and continue growing through arms just fine. wink.gif

Make some Nan's Soil :

1 part topsoil
1 part compost (derived from manure or not)
1 part crushed limestone (finest grade)
1 cup of pelletized dolomitic limestone per gallon of mixed soil

1 cup of sand per 2 gallons of mixed soil (check your topsoil for clay... sticky balls that squish rather than break up, often orange or grey on the inside, coated with black dirt. If there is a great deal of this clay, then mix in some sand and break up the clay balls as much as you can.)

Hint: Use an empty gallon water jug with the top cut off... this works as a large "measuring cup" for your dirts, so you know more precisely how many parts you have.

About limestone: I've seen folks say to use oyster shell... don't do this. It may be OK, but drainage kinda sucks due to the particle shape of crushed oyster shell. The little plates orient themselves in the soil such that they form a dam, almost. I made some of this soil once, tested drainage, and the drainage got worse and worse with each watering! Soil structure is horrid, not to mention that the shell is sharp! If you ever want to repot your cacti, it can cut the roots up! So...

There's some stuff called "Paver Base" at Lowe's. There are all kinds of sands and crushed stones in this category... the stuff you want is grey crushed rock. Some bags have larger rocks, and some have smaller rocks! Look for bags with the smallest particle size. A few big rocks can be picked out (and they don't hurt the soil, anyway). The best stuff will have many pinky-nail size rock chips and smaller, sand-like material, as well. It doesn't say limestone on the bag... it warns about silica dust (there is some silica in most limestone), though the sands say the same thing.

If you're worried about identification of the mineral, bring some vinegar with you. Get a bit of the finest crushed (sandy) "limestone suspect", and pour some vinegar on it. Fizzing indicates limestone for your purposes. Watch it closely for bubbles... sometimes not much fizzing happens, due to the weakness of vinegar. Better yet, use a bit of the muriatic from the other part of the store! devil.gif

Good luck, Max! wub.gif

*I changed that sand ratio. Must have been sleepy when I wrote that. smile.gif


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 02 03, 12:03 PM GMT
Thanks ION your a lifesaver wub.gif wub.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: Samsara May 02 03, 01:48 PM GMT
Thanks Ion, use my poor neglected Pedros as examples! mad.gif

JK wub.gif

Posted by: ion May 02 03, 02:56 PM GMT
Ya know I love ya, gal! wub.gif


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 03 03, 12:23 AM GMT
Hey so can I use lawn and garden hydrated lime to adjust the PH?

I got some pavers sand, its a bit more course and has some nice sized pebbles in it. I mixed up a batch of soil and Im wondering what the PH should be if ideal?

Im reading it at 8.3 now, I think it may be a bit high. Is it?

And here is the broken tipped cactus. I cut the tip off with an xacto knife flame sterilized it first.
Is this a proper cut?

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 03 03, 12:23 AM GMT
huh.gif huh.gif

Posted by: ion May 03 03, 01:10 AM GMT
Most soil meters for pH aren't very accurate, but I'm sure you're fine. Around 8 is good.

You shouldn't need to use the lime for probably a couple of months, and even then only if you are feeding heavy. But, yes, that lime will work.

That cut is probably ok, except that you will probably notice a bit of shrinkage at the thin tip area. You might just want to go ahead and cut it flat (it is possible that the shrunken portion could die and get infected). Get some sulfur (if you're a meticulous freak like me) at your local pharmacy (not wal-mart), and sprinkle it on the cut surface.

Am I overstepping any implied boundaries, here? I've noticed that I'm the last poster on on something like the last 10 threads in here! I don't want anyone to feel like they can't post here without ion stepping all over them... sad.gif


Posted by: Malformed May 03 03, 01:24 AM GMT
"I don't want anyone to feel like they can't post here without ion stepping all over them."

fuck it! if your helping WHO CARES! biggrin.gif

Posted by: Voodoo May 03 03, 10:25 AM GMT
QUOTE (ion @ May 03 03, 01:10 AM GMT)
Get some sulfur (if you're a meticulous freak like me) at your local pharmacy (not wal-mart), and sprinkle it on the cut surface.

Do they keep the sulphur behind the counter? I looked for it and couldnt find any. BTW, Im gonna give the construction paper idea a shot on one of my center cuttings. biggrin.gif

Posted by: ion May 03 03, 10:45 AM GMT
Nope. Just go to Eckerds, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, or the local "hometown drugstore". Ask the pharmacist. It should be in the same place as the other straight chemicals (boric acid, epsom salt, ipecac, oil of camphor, etc.)... It might be called "Flowers of Sulfur" or some archaic term like that. Just read the label and look for the words "pure sublimed sulfur". It's there. I promise. wink.gif

Good luck with the center cut! biggrin.gif


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 03 03, 04:34 PM GMT
OK, I whipped up some of Nan's soil, lemme show ya what I used.


Limestone Chips
Most "chips" were smaller than this. These were from the top of the bag

user posted image

Horticultrual Charcoal
I used as the instructions noted. bout a half inch on the bottom to help drainge and keep the soil sweet.

I used some plain old topsoil( the cheap stuff ) and some coir, only a little coir was used though.
I used some cow manure that was dried, rehydrated and then pasturized
added a bit of hydrated lime to sweetin the whole mix since it was low.

here are the pedro's roots

user posted image

filled and lightly packed the pot and gently set the pedro into the soil and filled to the pedro's yellow line, and tamped the soil at the base to support the weight.


Posted by: Malformed May 03 03, 05:01 PM GMT
looks good.

but i strongly recomend terra cotta (clay) pots when/if you repot them.

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 03 03, 05:53 PM GMT
why terra cotta planters? So should I repot this one again?

Posted by: Malformed May 03 03, 06:14 PM GMT
terra cotta is natural, it allows it to breath? and helps distribute moisture?

i forget the reasons, but terra cotta is definitly the way to go.

im not saying you should repot it.

im saying, that if you end up repotting it, next time you might want to try terra cotta pots.
i personaly think they look nicer too biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 03 03, 10:04 PM GMT
Well mal I went and repotted it anyway.
They look allot cooler in these pots too, I like em biggrin.gif
I used white beach sand on top of Nan's soil mix to help reflect light. Its only a very thin layer of sand, is this ok?
Here are my babies wub.gif wub.gif

Posted by: Samsara May 03 03, 10:26 PM GMT
Yep, looks good to me! Nice work FM, if your skill with plants is anywhere near what it is with fungi, you'll be just fine! biggrin.gif cool.gif

Posted by: Malformed May 03 03, 10:26 PM GMT
they do look nice biggrin.gif wub.gif

Posted by: ion May 04 03, 01:34 AM GMT
All gravy, baby! biggrin.gif

I think they'll do well. Let the soil dry out, now, and let it stay dry for about a week or so. This will help the roots by making them "search" for water a bit... it will also help to stunt any rot that may try to set in on the microscopically damaged roots. Begin watering little by little and then start feeding.

Pedro is pretty hardy. You don't have to follow any of what I just said. tongue.gif
I'm just giving you "optimals"...

The lime you are using is good. It is dolomitic. The only reason to mix the pelletized stuff into the soil is to get that initial sweetness in the soil... but you did that with powder. No problem. You may have to lime a bit more (during the feeding season) than if you had mixed in pellets, but that should be fine considering you have a 10 pound sack and you only need about 2 tbsp to 5 gallons of water every 5th watering. laugh.gif

Coir is a fantastic idea for rooting! The only reason I don't use it is because I'm always paranoid about decomposition (of "fresh" material) creating a bacterial vector into the tender roots... that's just me, though. smile.gif

Glad you decided to use clay pots. wink.gif

Throw some smooth light-colored pebbles over the sand if you find that the sand washes away when you water.

Nice thumb! Hope you weren't touching the camera with those hands! tongue.gif

This is my 800th post! ohmy.gif

Posted by: Teknos May 04 03, 03:08 AM GMT
QUOTE (ion @ May 03 03, 10:34 PM GMT)
All gravy, baby! biggrin.gif

and just when I think I get a feel for the type of person Ion is he goes n says somethin like this.

just the words all gravy baby makes me think of some Chef type person cool.gif lol

Posted by: ion May 04 03, 03:35 AM GMT
Just keeping y'all on your toes! tongue.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 04 03, 10:29 AM GMT
Thanks for the words of confidence Ion biggrin.gif wub.gif
Ill sleep better now that I know they are sitting in good dirt tongue.gif
I tried that vinegar trick on the limestone and it fizzed like fire!
The reason I used coir is cause its lite and commercial cactus mix uses peat.
Whats the fungi growers alternative to peat?>... COIR! It was a tad acidic but we got it leveled off wink.gif Thanks again for your help. Im gonna need ya in a week or two to help me graft these pete pups. When will they be ready to accept a couple pups?

Posted by: ion May 04 03, 11:25 AM GMT
Hopefully by that time I will understand more about grafting, myself. I've been doing much reading. wink.gif

The acid condition was probably from the manure (manure tends to be a bit acid when decomposing). The coir should remain fairly neutral. All is well. biggrin.gif

They should be ready to accept grafts whenever they are firm to the touch. You want them to be fully hydrated and slimy on the inside. They should be good when you hav an inch or so of new growth on them (it will be shiny and lighter colored than the old growth). Grafts will take best on the new growing tips. I only hope that my hypothesis is not true... that grafts only get to be about as large as the thickest part of the stock.

BTW, don't use sulfur on the wounds if you plan to graft the cactus. Not just the graft cuts (that would be silly, anyway), but at all. Sulfur compounds inhibit the connections for some reason.

Here's a link for ya:

They talk about some other cacti stocks making for faster growth of the scion. Don't worry about this because Pedro is what the scions will later have to be grafted to, anyway, to get consistent, long-term growth.

Read "Cactus grafting failures" so you know what not to do. wink.gif


Posted by: Malformed May 04 03, 12:22 PM GMT
QUOTE (ion @ May 04 03, 11:25 AM GMT)
Here's a link for ya:

very good link. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 04 03, 12:31 PM GMT

naw its my coir thats acidic, yes I know... But its the coir. Bed a beast from the pet store has an inconsistant PH as I have discovered after a bacteria infection on a casing or two. I have to adjust it like I do peat just not near as much.

I thought your pete was grafted to a pedro, NO?
Damn! if not you musta been waiting a long time to see those flowers huh?

Thanks for the link wub.gif

Your hypothesis sucks BTW, dont tell me that tongue.gif

Posted by: Bob Roberts May 04 03, 10:03 PM GMT
Looking good, Max! I've been quite busy as of late with a new job (assistant production manager, Woohoo!) and finishing some research. So sorry I haven't been around to comment. wub.gif Thanks for the info and great thread fellas!

Posted by: ion May 04 03, 11:32 PM GMT
The thing is, max, the bacteria are the cause of the pH fluctuations. Their waste products, specifically.
Imagine how much more bacteria grows in dung than in the coir... there is just more food in dung, ya know?

No matter. You've got it adjusted, nonetheless. smile.gif

Yes, Pete is a graft. Both of them are. I got them that way. biggrin.gif
One is a "pupping" phenotype, and the other is a flowering phenotype... though both of them flower pretty regularly. The big one with the 4 pups has 3 flowers budding out, right now... kinda frustrating, however, as I want the energy to go to the pups. C'est la vie...

On a side note, there is a really interesting thing I noticed about the ecological system surrounding the Petes. Apparently, hornets love the areole hair. I saw one land on the Pete one day, and I watched in utter fascination as it gently pushed the tuft of hairs into an even stalk, "buzz-cut" the fuzzy areole, and took off with the trimmings... the entire cactus is very well-groomed, now. laugh.gif
I don't know what they are using it for...

My hypothesis is only based on my observations of these two Petes. The one that gave me the seeds earlier this year (of which now 2 have germinated smile.gif ), only seems to be growing as big around as the lower, thinner portion of the graft stock (it's an oddly shaped stock; the lower half is about 1.5 inch diameter, and then it flares into about 2.5 inches for the upper half, where the Pete sits atop). The Pete is 1.5 inches in diameter, and appears to be elongating rather than getting wider! The other Pete (the one with the 4 pups) is the exact diameter of the inside of the ribs of the Pedro he sits upon... his pups reach out exactly to the ends of the ribs of the Pedro (and they are perfectly aligned with those ribs)! So his total diameter is exactly that of the Pedro... very weird. He, too, seems to be elongating. The growth in both of them has slowed dramatically (and is only going "upward") since they reached this boundary.
These are, of course, only observations. It's possible that these two guys just have to reach some kind of "breaking point" in upward growth, whereupon they will begin to exceed the diameter of their stocks. I dunno... Hopefully the 1.5 incher won't have to go through another "breaking point" at the 2.5 inch mark!

Congrats on the new job, Mr. Roberts! wink.gif
Um... what are you producing?


Posted by: Bob Roberts May 04 03, 11:43 PM GMT
Pretty cool about the hornet, Ion. Well, we're finishing bedding plants and growing perennials, as well as trying to get a tree farm up and running. Pretty excited about the whole thing.

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 05 03, 12:29 AM GMT
So I guess if your hypothesis is true a huge cacti would be desireable if you wanted to graft a pete pup. So it would reach the same diameter as your huge pedro, right?

Posted by: ion May 05 03, 12:48 AM GMT
Yeah, the hornets are cool... This year I plan to find out just where they're going with my cactus pubes...
So you're the production manager at a nursery? The appelation is much more appropriate in your case than in the instance of one who makes movies. biggrin.gif

I guess, max... the only thing is, you need to graft to newer growth, which is usually thinner than the base of the plant. huh.gif
I have yet to see a Pete at full size (around 3 inches diameter), but I hope to by the end of this season.

Perhaps someone could tell us if the actual biomass of the stock makes a difference...
Is there some kind of "golden ratio" between the dedication of nutrient resources to the stock's life support and allocation of said nutrients to the growth of the scion?


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 05 03, 08:11 AM GMT
How many scions will one pedro accept?

Hey mal, whats yours look like? Isnt it pretty big now?are yours this way also?

Posted by: ion May 05 03, 08:24 AM GMT
I'm sure it can accept as many as will fit on the pith ring... though they might push each other out of the way as they grow. That's why I suggested a "sharpened pencil" approach to cutting the stock tip... so the scions would be placed each on different facets of the point and stay out of each others' way while growing. Here's a pic (try to imagine it without the horizontal lines):

----/--\<--------put scion here, one on each of the flat faces of this point

I have been informed that it really is best to only put one scion per stock, however. I kinda figured...


Posted by: Malformed May 05 03, 08:36 AM GMT
hell if i know.

like i said before fm, i was only guessing that something around 10 inches tall would be good.

but i know the one i have has grown wider, so im not realy sure what difference it makes.

if its true that the button wont grow beyond the width of the pedro, then it would just grow taller.
so i dont see where that would make a difference either.
i would think that taller is better than wider anyway, well... to a point.

Posted by: ion May 05 03, 11:33 PM GMT
Well there we go! At least one observation to the contrary! Thanks, mal! smile.gif


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 06 03, 05:48 AM GMT
got a new pedro from a buddy what is the dead stalk about? do I plant the dead piece and it will sprout roots?

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 06 03, 05:49 AM GMT

Posted by: ion May 06 03, 02:38 PM GMT
You can just cut off the arm and root it like a cutting.

How "dead" is the dead part? If it is still firm and has green tissue under the scabby outer flesh, then you can bury the whole thing up to about 1 inch above the base of the arm.


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 06 03, 05:32 PM GMT
I dunno how dead it is?... Hmmm how would it have been growing before?...
DWOP! where ya at? Help me out here....PLZ tongue.gif

Posted by: Lophophophile May 06 03, 11:15 PM GMT
FM, that lower portion attached looks like it has no hope. Make a flat cut at the bottom of your healthy new arm (sterile knife!), getting that corrosive death of cactus out of the way. Let the cutting sit for about a week so for the bottom to scab, then plant it as you have done with your other cuttings. Hope you kept some extra mixed soil around! wink.gif To promote root development, mix in some fertilizer high in phosphorus (2nd number in nutrient rating) i.e. a cup of Espoma Bone Meal 4-12-0 when you make the soil for this one or you can just feed with that bloom fertilizer you already have once the time comes.

Here is a rundown of the components of the nutrient rating system so you know what specialized fertilizers (Bone Meal and Urea) contribute to:

Nitrogen (N): Plants require a greater amount of nitrogen because it helps produce a healthy green plant.

Phosphorus (P): This nutrient helps roots and seedlings develop more rapidly and improves winter hardiness. Phosphorus also increases water use efficiency and makes your plant more drought tolerant.

Potassium (K): Acting like a vitamin, potassium helps strengthen the plant. It also works to make your plant more disease resistant and hardy.

Hope this helps! biggrin.gif

Posted by: Lophophophile May 06 03, 11:36 PM GMT
BTW, FM, sorry I didn't send you one of the peyotes I got in the mail. My bad karma caught up with me and one graft died after mist I sprayed on it settled in a tiny gap between the scion and stock, rotting a portion which eventually made its way around the whole button. I'll try to help you with the simplistic task of cactus growing in hope that you can help me out with the complex process of mushroom growing once I save up enough loot for a pressure cooker. smile.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 03:50 PM GMT
QUOTE (Lophophophile @ May 06 03, 10:36 PM GMT)
BTW, FM, sorry I didn't send you one of the peyotes I got in the mail. My bad karma caught up with me and one graft died after mist I sprayed on it settled in a tiny gap between the scion and stock, rotting a portion which eventually made its way around the whole button. I'll try to help you with the simplistic task of cactus growing in hope that you can help me out with the complex process of mushroom growing once I save up enough loot for a pressure cooker. smile.gif

Sounds good to me wink.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 07:31 PM GMT
tell me if these look OK to you guys...
Yellow spots? Too much nitro?
Black scars?

Im a worried parent...
Oh that "dead" stalk wasnt dead it was just a bit boogered up. Once wet you could see the green...

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 07:31 PM GMT
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 07:32 PM GMT
wink.gif wink.gif here is the cut scabing over

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 07:33 PM GMT
wub.gif wub.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 07:33 PM GMT
huh.gif huh.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 07 03, 07:34 PM GMT
huh.gif huh.gif

Posted by: ion May 07 03, 08:06 PM GMT
Looking very well, max! smile.gif
I kinda figured that chunk was just gunky or something... it looked like it was waxed, almost.

A few pointers:

Trim the crinkly skin from the edges of that scab with a pair of small scissors.

The growth tip of the last pic is just damaged and scabbed over a bit. No problem, really... unless those black spots aren't soil.

If those are little hard black bumps, watch them closely. If you see more, or they enlarge and become soft in the middle, cut the entire tip off the cactus using sterile procedures.

The white stippling on that second-to-last pic is apparently caused by sucking insects. They are probably gone at this point, but to keep them away (if they live in your area and you notice new spots) you can probably spray the cactus with some organic repellent like garlic water or hot pepper wax. Diatomaceous earth in your sand will help keep bugs from laying eggs in your soil, too.


Posted by: Nanook May 07 03, 09:40 PM GMT
Well after the fact, you guys did an excellent job on this thread. FM, congrats on the new garden, from the looks of it those bases you just potted up will produce for years and years.

Ion you did a wonderful job here helping out. I cannot tell you how much your contriubutions mean to the board in general, these guys here, and me in particular. Thanks biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 08 03, 01:29 PM GMT
Those black spots ARENT SOIL! they are hard lumps as you described!
Not squishy though...
What are they? They were this way when I got em from BB is this bad?

They are on more than one of the cacti too!

So the little blotchy spots are from insects??

Posted by: Driador May 08 03, 01:34 PM GMT
I also have a few on the tips of my cuttings as well, and no, none of them are spongy or soft. Also, it's been a week or so since I planted these. I've noticed that the cuttings are (or appear to be) turing a little more pale green, like a sour-apple jade color. Is this something I need to worry about, or is it fairly common? (sorry FM, I don't mean to hijack your thread). wub.gif

Posted by: Lophophophile May 08 03, 01:47 PM GMT
The hard black spots aren't anything to worry about from my understanding. Mine have a few as well. I'd still like to know the cause of these things myself.

Driador, a few things can make them get lighter in color. The most probable cause is lack of water. I find that if the cacti are in a hot environment, even if you water them by hand once or twice a week, their color becomes slightly more yellow when they don't get any additional rain. After a good rain, accompanied by high humidity, the cacti will be a lush, darker green color. Other causes could be low soil PH (add lime or calcium carbonate) which would inhibit nitrogen uptake or lack of a nitrogen in their feed. Wait for a good rain, and if they're not consistently yellow tinted then don't worry.

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 08 03, 01:51 PM GMT
I thought they turned pale when they didnt get the required amount of sunlight....

Posted by: Driador May 08 03, 02:08 PM GMT
Hmm...well, I know they've gotten plenty of water due to the amount of storms lately. I guess the next step is to check the ph of the soil itself and see what it's at. Thanks for the tip Lophophile smile.gif

Posted by: ion May 08 03, 06:45 PM GMT
Do they have roots, dria? If not, they may be paling a bit from lack of nutrient uptake... this will remedy itself when they get roots.
If they do have roots, then just pay attention to what loph and max said. smile.gif
I have seen them get pale from too much water, though... just lime a bit and fertilize well in between rains (if they ever stop, damnit!) to basify and replace those leached nutrients.

Loph, don't use powdered calcium carbonate alone. It may help initially, but carbonate has a conjugate pseudo-acid. (HCO3)
This means that the soil will re-acidify more quickly than if calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime, CaOH) is used. Regular agricultural lime is a mixture of some carbonate and some hydroxide, so it kinda cancels out... and the hydroxide dissolves more quickly, giving you a "burst" of basicity to neutralize any already-present acids.
Now, regular limestone (hard, solid carbonate) is OK because it dissolves very slowly... it has time to form the hydroxide and thus cancel out the carbonic acid that may form.
If you weren't talking about pure powdered calcium carbonate, then pay no attention to my rediculous drivel. laugh.gif

Some of mine have a couple of those spots, too, Max. Usually, they are nothing to worry about... especially on healthy cacti. They may never go away (some of mine have been there ever since I got the cactus), or they may just scab up and turn into light tan dents (once the cactus kills it and heals, usually after the spot is a bit of the way down on the actual stalk). Only get rid of them if they increase in size (like a new mole going melanoma) or number. I've only heard of one incidence of these things actually hurting a cactus, but I suspect it was from improper care of the plant or a deeper infection that had gone on longer than was initially suspected.

Ion you did a wonderful job here helping out. I cannot tell you how much your contriubutions mean to the board in general, these guys here, and me in particular. Thanks  biggrin.gif

Translation: "Thanks. Now get out of my thread you wannabe little know-it-all! I'm baaaaack!" tongue.gif

Thanks, Nan. wub.gif
...and, you're welcome. blush.gif


Posted by: Nanook May 08 03, 07:07 PM GMT
No no, why should I step out when I see accuracy and excellent responses all around wub.gif wub.gif wub.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 08 03, 09:37 PM GMT
So its some sort of infection then(the blck spots)hmmm....

I thought it was some sorta scab from being damaged, but what the hell do I know... tongue.gif laugh.gif

Thanks Ion, you help me sleep at night wink.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 22 03, 03:37 PM GMT
You think they are ready for grafting yet?? huh.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: ion May 22 03, 09:47 PM GMT
You can graft to a cutting... problem is, you never know if it's gonna root properly. Wait till next season to be sure, bro. It's best to graft in early spring, anyway. wink.gif


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 22 03, 09:58 PM GMT

I cant graft till next year!

None of these are cuttings they were already rooted, just had to pot them.
Oh one was a cutting but I wasnt going to graft to that one.
I want to graft damn it! So would they not take or what !?

Im talking peyo pups to pedro here FYI

Posted by: Nanook May 22 03, 10:24 PM GMT
You can graft to a cutting this time of year yet... Really all the way until a few weeks past the solstice, you won't get a full seasons growth, but you can get a graft established and rooted, and healthy dormant... ready for a full blast off the following spring.

Your plants should already be taking root, you can graft on these if they were properly set in well packed soil...

Use very large rubberbands and wrap the bands under the bottom of the pots, then over the top of your graft. Leave the bands in place for 5 to 7 days, and not too much pressure (too tight rubberbands or too many) or you uproot the pedro stalk.

I usually graft to unrooted cuttings, remove the rubberbands, and root as your would a normal pedro cutting. With the grafted growing point the cuttings root just fine with a minimum of fuss.

Posted by: ion May 23 03, 01:02 AM GMT
Sorry, max... I forgot yours aren't cuttings! laugh.gif

You saw the grafting link, right? biggrin.gif


Posted by: Fungusmaximus May 23 03, 10:58 AM GMT
Whew! I was begining to get upset! Im glad to hear its still possible. I will prolley be getting a couple decent sized buttons in the next couple weeks.
I will be sure and post my grafting experience biggrin.gif wub.gif


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