voddak
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Help my cactus please!

Hi,

I am new to cactus.. and plants in general! I grew up in a concrete jungle.

That said, I brought a couple of cactus from Egypt when I was there.. back to Germany.

I put them all in pots with soil and watered them. Ù‹Plants need water and soil, right? I hope I didn't do anything wrong so far. They seem to be fine except for the bunny ear cactus.

At first the whole root chopped off.. then I did some research to find out that they grow new root systems easily, they just need a good water source to promote that.

I then put the cactus in a new pot and it is only getting worse!!

Here are the pictures...

Image

Image

is there a way to save the pool fella? Some kind of plant CPR?
Help!!

--
Voddak
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poor thing
poor thing

Sweyn
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Re: Help my cactus please!

What kind of pot and soil did you use? Bunny ears cacti are normally easy to grow.

voddak
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Re: Help my cactus please!

Have a clay pot, and universal potting soil from the hardware store mixed with very little sand.

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ElizabethB
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Re: Help my cactus please!

Remember that cactus is a desert plant - very hot and dry. Get rid of the pot saucer. Use a cactus or succulent mix or else add a lot more sand to your soil - more sand than soil. Water RARELY. Your cactus may not be salvageable. The bottom - where it will root - looks mushy from excess water.

Better luck next time.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Sweyn
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Re: Help my cactus please!

voddak wrote:Have a clay pot, and universal potting soil from the hardware store mixed with very little sand.
Is the pot unglazed? That's important because it allows the soil to drain quickly enough. Succulent plants don't like to be in pots and soil that stay wet.

You also need a soil that does not hold much water. That means you should not use ordinary garden or potting soils.

There are ready-made soils for cacti and other succulents, that you could buy. If you don't buy one, you can prepare some yourself. There are many different combinations of materials, for doing this and different people use different mixes. Beginners don't need to worry about them. The minimum that you need is plain peat and sand, mixed together in a 1 to 1, 50/50 ratio. The sand should be coarse, the kind that is sold for building work or gardening. This ensures that the peat will not hold much water. Do not use fine grain sand, like the kind you see on beaches. It sticks together when it is wet and will therefore hold too much water, when mixed with peat. I use this minimum preparation and don't have any problems with it.

It is best to wait a few days between potting and watering. I have had better results with my plants, by doing that.

When watering, you can do it once a month from march to september. It's best to do it until water runs out the bottom of the pot.

Having a saucer under the pot is not a problem. I use different kinds of dishes under mine, to catch water when it runs out the bottom of the pot. It stops water going all over the surfaces that I keep my plants on. When water gathers in the dish, just empty it. Plants like this don't like to sit in water that has already passed through their pot.

Considering your photo, you might not be able to save your plant. When bunny ears (Opuntia) cacti become soft and baggy like that, they normally rot and die. You could try potting it with a suitable soil and pot as I mentioned, but, there is no guarantee that it will survive. Do have any more pieces?

KittieKAT
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Re: Help my cactus please!

First off how many ouchies did YOU get by touching that opuntia bunny ear like THAT ! :>

2Nd you might want to try removing the bottom part of the bunny ear (the side your sticking in the pot) Cause it seems it might be rotting due to too much water and not enough air and light getting to it, you need to cut it,let it callous for a few days (or add rooting powder) then stick it in a pot with (50/50) MG cacti, succulent and Palm soil and MG perlite (i do 3cups soil/3cups perlite and add another cup of soil if its not to my liking i also sift out all the heavy meterial in the MG C+S medium before mixing in the perlite - i hate twigs and stuff in my mix!) Then pot up the bunny ear and mist JUST the soil when you notice the medium is dry, when u notice IT taken root (either look at it carefully, or give it a soft tug if its a little stuck its rooting! ) then water it like u would any other cacti or succulent only when the soil is Completely dry to the touch by sticking your finger in the medium, goodluck!

imafan26
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Re: Help my cactus please!

What everyone has already said. Use a light well drained mix like a cactus mix or add more sand or perlite to the potting mix. I would also use a smaller pot. Unglazed terra cotta is fine because it breathes and water when the soil is almost dry.
If you cut the rotten part of the opuntia off, allow it to callus off before replanting it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

KittieKAT
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Re: Help my cactus please!

Oh and make sure YOU cut it up until YOU see fresh green tissue, the whole rotting bit gatta be snipped off completely

And i would strongly suggest perlite NOT sand because some sands can compact the soil making it hard for the roots to breath! Goodluck

Sweyn
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Re: Help my cactus please!

KittieKAT, it depends on which sand you use. The coarse, large grain kind is fine. I have grown different kinds of Opuntias and other succulents over many years and I never had any problems because of using that kind of sand, in their soil. You can use perlite and other materials, as well. There's nothing wrong with it. I just meant that the minimum that is needed, is that, particular kind of sand and peat.

Have you any experience of cutting off part of an Opuntia pad and growing it as a cutting? I have tried it but, did not have any success.

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JosephsGarden
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Re: Help my cactus please!

Opuntia really are desert plants... Well drained and normally dry are the conditions they need. So much good advice already that I couldn't add anything about cultural conditions. I'll throw in a story though. I once grew an Opuntia pad on a window sill without soil! Just sitting on the windowsill. It didn't thrive, but it took over a year to finally die. Sent up new leaves and all. Out at the ranch they typically don't get watered from June through August.

I highly recommend a pair of metal tongs for manipulating cactus pads.

KittieKAT
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Re: Help my cactus please!

Sweyn wrote:KittieKAT, it depends on which sand you use. The coarse, large grain kind is fine. I have grown different kinds of Opuntias and other succulents over many years and I never had any problems because of using that kind of sand, in their soil. You can use perlite and other materials, as well. There's nothing wrong with it. I just meant that the minimum that is needed, is that, particular kind of sand and peat.

Have you any experience of cutting off part of an Opuntia pad and growing it as a cutting? I have tried it but, did not have any success.
That's why i said SOME sands aren't good, not ALL. But it appears to be play sand inn the mix in the picture.

And yes i DO have experience in growing opuntia from cuttings here is my growing flock now!
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Excuse the other random clippings I'm storing in the big container :-)
Excuse the other random clippings I'm storing in the big container :-)



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