Cacti growth

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Yfe, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    I've always had a problem with my cacti; which is that they don't grow in width, only in hight. This of course means that they at some point will tip over unless you support them with a rod or somethig like that.

    I've wondered why this might be, and I hope some of you can enlighten me on this matter.

    PS: I searched the forums, but didn't find anything.

    thanks.
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Different cacti grow in different forms. What type of cacti do you grow?

    My first thought on the growth pattern you describe is that the plants are likely not getting enough light.
     
  3. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    that's an interesting thought, because I've taken them away from what I guess is cold light, because I thought they got too much ...

    I'll post some images of them sooner or later ...

    and one of them isn't a cacti but a succulent that looks very much like a cactci
     
  4. extropymine

    extropymine Member

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    I have this problem with two prickly pear cuttings I brought home from a trip to Arizona. They both rooted, and last summer began new growth, but all they do is send up an ever-increasingly tall growth. It's thin, and tends to flop over, requiring a brace.

    Is this a problem of not enough light? I'm in Wisconsin, but both are in my brightest window, where all my other plants really do well.

    Thanks
     
  5. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Windows tend to filter out quite a bit of light even though you may not notice it. Especially if they are newer windows, blocking specific parts of the UV spectrum for some reason or another. Also, with a window, the plant(s) is mainly only receiving somewhat strong light from one direction. If it was outside, there's more ambient light on all sides of the plant.
     
  6. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    It also depends on temperature and water, it is the combination of low light, high temperature and lots of water/nutrients that cause this (it is called etioliation).
     
  7. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    what is "low light"? They've been under fluorescent lamps untill I moved them. I've not watered them a lot, they're dry most of the time, and the temp. is about 20-23 degrees.

    what is the ideal light for cacti, as it is the only thing that is the big variable here.
     
  8. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Low light, as in light intensity, also measured in Lumens. Just to give you an idea a family living room has the brightness of around 50 lux, office lighting around 350 lux and full daylight (not direct sunlight) around 32,000–130,000 lux. You also need to factor in what wavelegths the light is giving off, and what the plant can actually use.
     
  9. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    As natureman says, you need a lot of fluorescent tubes to get something that resembles sunlight. It would be interesting to know what kind of cacti they are. Some can be brought outside in summer at least, which has several advantages.
     
  10. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    thanks for all the answers!

    Well, they have only been under one lamp, something that I now understand is way too little.
    The main problem for me now is to figure out how to get enough light so that the start growing in width so they can support themselves.
     
  11. Laticauda

    Laticauda Active Member

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    Put them outside, they are very hardy, and I'm sure they'd be ok this late in spring.
     
  12. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    Well, I don't think so, we still have snow outside :P

    But I will try it later ...
     
  13. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Whether cacti will survive outside in a cold and often wet place like Norway depends strongly on what species they are (does it rain much in Hammerfest?), but there are a few species that might survive even the winters.
    What is the winter temperature in Hammerfest? I just remember where it is located ...
     
  14. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    Well, since we're located at the cost, we don't have that cold winters max. about -15 degrees I guess. An other problem with the cost is of course the wind that's constantly blowing ...

    But you don't think that much about it when you live here ... I don't anyways ...

    Rain (and Rein (as in -deer, for you non Scandinavians)) is a problem I guess, at least the two last years, where the summer has been a totally disaster.

    Hvor bor du i Sverige? Nord eller i sør? Hadde vært artig å vite.
     
  15. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Then there are plenty of Opuntia and Echinocereus that can be kept outside at all time if sheltered from rain, especially in winter. Some species from other genera should be possible too.
    (Sent a PM too)
     
  16. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    Don't think I have one of those ...

    And I have no clue about the species, but if some of you know what the are, I'd be happy if you would share your knowledge.

    PS: two of these (or at least one) are succulents, I know.

    P4240715.jpg P4240716.jpg P4240719.jpg P4240720.jpg P4240724.jpg
     
  17. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    1. I should know this, but I don't remember. Cleistocactus?
    2. Pilosocereus pachycladys or Myrtillocactus geometrizans, I never remember the difference.
    3. Mammillaria, (maybe backebergii, but that is definitely not a promise)
    4. Austrocylindropuntia subulata.
    5. Euphorbia trigona.

    And yes, the narrow growth is due to lack of light.
     
  18. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    thanks, Mandarin!

    I have to figure out how to give them more light.

    And; I have to ask: I googled the second, and I saw that all the cacti that showed up has a lot less spikes then mine. Is this just due to lack of light, or just plant diversity?
     
  19. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    It is most likely due to my poor memory (I don't grow columnar cacti), I just edited my previous posting ...
     
  20. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    Heh, well, the second now looks like the one I have, but google only found pictures of one "Pilosocereus azureus". How much alike are those two?

    and for the numero uno, I think you're right there too :)
     
  21. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Very similar, it is the same species ... ;-)
     
  22. Yfe

    Yfe Member

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    aaah ... Well, that explains a lot! ;)
     

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