Gigantic shoot sucking the life out of my cactus?

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by imogeneve9, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. imogeneve9

    imogeneve9 Member

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    I received a short, angled cactus topped with a pink 'flower' in October of 08, and it's been absolutely fine in the 6 months I've had it.

    When I got it, it already had this bloom and it's not changed since I've had it. However, about 3 months ago, a shoot appeared on the side of it and it's grown ridiculously big, nearly twice as big as the body.

    The main cactus body and flower seems to be deteriorating, and I'm wondering if it's due to the shoot sucking the life out of it, or if the flower is supposed to die? Should I chop off the shoot and re-pot it? Does this cactus bloom regularly or once a year?
     

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  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You've actually got two different cacti there - the pink one, which is grafted onto the green one, isn't a flower at all. As for the base cactus, it's branching out (which is natural.) I don't know what the pink one is, but I'd venture to guess that the green one is Hylocereus.
     
  3. imogeneve9

    imogeneve9 Member

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    Okay so i'm dealing with two cacti? Why does the pink part appear to be dying?
    Should I re-pot it??
    Haha, sorry, I just have no idea what to do to save this thing, and I've become weirdly attatched to it.
     
  4. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Well the pink one mainly relies on what it's grafted to - the green one for energy. Since it's pink it doesn't produce the chlorophyll molecule, which leads to the production of 'energy' for the plant. So if it's source of energy (green) seems to be deteriorating, so will the pink one. Also the green one is using a large portion of it's collected energy to also fuel the growing shoot - although it can produce it's own mainly now. So it should be getting better soon. I'm not sure if you meant repot the pink - but that will result in the pink dieing very soon compared to the rate it might be now.
     
  5. Blake09

    Blake09 Active Member

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    I have a red kind and a yellow kind. The red top has died "after 1 year of haveing it (08)" but it has also produced a branch so I cut it off and put in dirt It put out roots and it hasent ben growing but recently it is starting to put out a branch of it's own. All through that time the red one "hedless" is putting out another branch and I am going to leve it and see what happends. one question what are thoes line things coming out of them? I uasually just cut them off... The yellow one still has it's head and it hasent branched or grown any AT ALL!!!


    http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Cactaceae/Gymnocalycium_Hibotan.html
     

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  6. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    It is generally recommended to cut off these sideshoots. Some people claim that they "steal" energy from the grafted cactus. I don't know if that is true, but another good reason for cutting it off is that it will become very large with time.
    These grafted, chlorophyll-free cacti are not very long-lived anyway.
     
  7. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

    Hylocereus species are known for some of the most beautiful flowers in the plant world. If the grafted cactus appears to be dying, then remove it and grow the Hylocereus. Most species are climbers and need some form of support.

    Mark
     
  8. The New Guy

    The New Guy Active Member

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    What you have there is commonly called a “Moon Cactus.†It is made by grafting two cacti together. The top cactus (usually some species of Gymnocalycium) is a mutant that has been irradiated in order to give it a nice color, but becomes non-photosynthetic in the process. This cactus is then grafted onto a grafting stock (usually a Hylocereus) to provide it with the nutrients and energy it needs. This union usually doesn’t last more than a couple of years as the top cactus eventually dies off. The Hylocereus is usually stunted in its own growth because it has to provide for the top cactus, but every once in a while they get ambitious. Typically, you may not see the side growth until the top has been removed or dies. A Hylocereus is a nice cactus to have, but unfortunately yours has been selected for its quality as a grafting stock and not for its flowering or fruiting abilities.

    Imogeneve9, since you’ve become “weirdly attached†to the “moon cactus,†you might want to cut off the side growth. Despite it being photosynthetic itself, I think it’s still taking away from the grafting stock and therefore the top cactus as well. If you wish to preserve it, treat it as a cutting and replant it. Since its top hasn’t been cut off, you’ll have nice vertical growth.

    Blake09, the “line things†are aerial roots. Hylocereus is a climbing cactus. In nature, they’re usually found attached to trees. There’s no reason to cut them off, but I have heard that if it’s putting out a lot of those, then it’s not getting enough light. I don’t know how true that is, though.
     
  9. Joey D

    Joey D Active Member

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    I believe the top cactus is Gymnocalycium mihanovichii.
     
  10. ilovecacti

    ilovecacti Member

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    Imogeneve I would just like to say I admire your courage in which you have approached the forums with your cactus problem, you have clearly become devoted to your cactus, and it reassures me that I am not the only one who has a connection with their cacti. I honestly don't know what I would do without my babies.

    Do not hesitate to contact me if you are suffering from anymore problems regarding your cacti and it is bothering you, I am the cacti guru.

    Many Thanks
    ilovecacti


    I have attached a picture of my cacti at home enjoying their bit of sun for the day!
     

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