Help my cacti!!

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Kimmybear, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Kimmybear

    Kimmybear New Member

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    Help! my golden barrel cactus just split! I had it in the living room which is usually kept at 74 ish degrees Fahrenheit in the winter but recently moved my golden barrel and my bunny ear cactus into the furnace room because its little ears flopped over a huge ear just fell off the bunny ear one day so I thought it might be too cold. its only been 6 days since I moved them and now the golden barrel has split and turned white in the centre what can I do? (I think the bunny ear is doing better there... but I still cant figure out why it grew all those tiny ears)
     

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  2. Will B

    Will B Member

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    Gosh, I think the golden barrel will not survive. From the photos it looks like the core has rotted. I do not know of a way to save it. The bunny ears growth is probably due to too little light. When there is insufficient light plants tend to grow long and spindly. Perhaps put it where it gets good light from a window, or get a grow light.
     
  3. Kimmybear

    Kimmybear New Member

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    I think it was just mealy bugs eating it. They were found last night and quickly dealt with (thank you isopropyl alcohol) gonna keep my eyes on it for a few days. It was totally healthy last week. a nice full green barrel.
     
  4. Will B

    Will B Member

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    Mealy bugs often cause enough damage for fungal and other infections to get in. From the discoloration I think its core is infected and not salvageable. If you are not concerned about infecting other plants you might wait and see what happens.

    If it is infected, as I expect from the photos, then the discoloration will spread and eventually the whole barrel will turn to mush. While this is happening the fungus will most likely sporulate and infect any other susceptible plants around it...
     
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  5. Kimmybear

    Kimmybear New Member

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    well that sucks. the inside is still hard.. so we will see what happens.
     
  6. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Note that the skin on this type of cactus is quite tough and can make the plant appear firmer and healthier than it really is.
    Some fungal infections do not soften the tissue much until the last stages. The cactus will feel firm but dark spots develop on the skin, and then suddenly it is too late and the body collapses.
    74 F is is too warm for Opuntia microdasys (and most other cacti) in winter. It is not one of the really cold-resistant Opuntia and is best kept frost-free, but a lower temperature, like 50 F, will help the plant to go to sleep and not grow those spindly offsets.
     
  7. Kimmybear

    Kimmybear New Member

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    Oh okay! When I had it in the cooler areas of the house the big ear just fell off one day. it was healthy looking and everything. that's why I moved it to a warmer spot.
    I have been giving it 1 oz of water every 6 days (after it dries out completely) is that still too much? I really want these to live they were presents from a friend who had now passed away.
     
  8. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    I have heard about this happening to plants of that species when they are unhappy, so something is probably wrong, but I don't know what.

    I don't grow this species myself, but I once cared for a plant for almost a year. I did not water it during the cold months and it seemed ok, but I understand that many growers do water it now and then in winter. The few cacti that need some water in winter are those that easily lose their roots and/or start to shed stem segments if kept dry for too long. Such cacti are usually watered about once a month, and only enough to keep the roots alive. So, I think watering it every 6 days is too often, I would give it a bit more water but less frequently, and stop completely if it starts to grow. Or rather, I would try not watering it at all in winter and see what happens.

    BTW, that growing medium is rich in organic material, and the pots look a bit oversized, both factors increase the risk of rot.
     
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  9. Kimmybear

    Kimmybear New Member

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    Okay thank you!! Thats super helpful! This is the bagged cacti soil i had gotten. so i thought it would be okay!
     

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