Please help: cactus turning yellow

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by kwl11, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. kwl11

    kwl11 New Member

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    Hi hi! I have a small cactus (about 4cm tall) that isn't doing so well and I'm having difficultly figuring out what's wrong with it. My sisters gave it to me as a gift. It's been doing well for the past two years, up until this summer when it started turning yellow from the base (since the picture, the very bottom has started turning pinkish). I thought it might be rot because it is somewhat soft, so I took it out of the pot but it isn't as squishy/smelly as expected. My previous cactus died of rot/overwatering, so I've been really careful with this one, only watering it once every two weeks and making sure the pot has a drainage hole.

    I also considered corking, but it doesn't seem hard enough and the cactus has shriveled some. I've also wondered if it's just general stress (I'm a university student so I had to take it home for the summer and bring it back to school).

    So I'd like to know 1) what the problem might be and 2) if there's a way to save him. Any help would be much appreciated!!
     

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  2. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    It is not corking. As you say it is losing water, but mostly around the base. Can be an infection, but does not need to be (I have cut up plants with similar symptoms without finding any signs of disease).
    The root ball is unusually small and full of peat. I think I would start with carefully removing the peat and take a closer look at the roots, if they appear dead, alive or infected.
     
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  3. kwl11

    kwl11 New Member

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    Thanks so much! If the roots are infected, do you think it would be possible to remove the yellow part and save the top?
     
  4. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    The probability is very low, the plant is too small. You would have to cut away a lot of tissue, and the remaining part would have a very large open wound compared to its volume. The "cutting" then usually dries up and dies.
     
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