help with 61 year old Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by plantluver, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. plantluver

    plantluver Member

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    help with 61 year old Easter Cactus

    I have an Easter cactus I inherited from my grandmother. She received it as a gift on their 1 year wedding anniversary in 1944. I repotted it 2 years ago mainly to wash the salt/mineral deposits away so it is still fairly rootbound. It has very long drooping branches and has always done well near an east exp. window however, recently it has started to shed segments of leaves. They are shrivelling and dropping off. Other than this the plant looks well and pest free. Any suggestions? I don't want to lose this one.
    Thanks, plantluver
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2005
  2. plantluver

    plantluver Member

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    I did some research on my own as I did not get any replies or suggestions and I decided it was overwhelmed by mineral deposits from watering with tap water. I placed the whole plant in my laundry tub and watered until the soil was wet, then I turned the hose back to a trickle and let it run over the soil for about four hours. The plant looks wonderfully reguvinated now with lots of spring in the branches and a nice green colour. The leaching process seems to have cleared the white deposits that were on top of the plant's soil. Just wanted to update you all in case anyone had a similar problem. Happy Planting!
    plantluver
     
  3. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Plantluver,

    That is wonderful news! Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

    Newt
     
  4. Oldmilkmaid

    Oldmilkmaid Member

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    My "Sunrise" rhipsalidopsis/Easter cactus was also very droopy and deflated-looking, despite my best efforts. In June I bought a fertilizer recipe from (link removed - Daniel M that promised to "mature your cactus plants up to 250% faster". The site was so much like one of those unbelievable TV "info-mercials" that I almost didn't shell out the $17 or $18, but I had just bought four epiphyllum cactus cuttings from link removed - Daniel M and I REALLY wanted to be able to see blossoms from them in my lifetime, so I ordered the recipe.

    What I got was the cactus recipe and about seven pages of very poorly-typed "junk" recipes and info I already knew and didn't want (it was so badly done, I didn't know if the ingredient measurements were accurate) - and it was all available elsewhere on the Web for free, EXCEPT this cactus recipe! (Well, I haven't been able to find it anywhere else...not even from link removed - Daniel M.) I mixed up a batch (beer, Epsom salts, household ammonia, water) and applied it to everything Cactaceae in the house.

    A couple days later, I happened to notice the Sunrise - she practically grabbed my arm and shook me as I walked by! This plant had looked like somebody sat on it, but now the shorter stems on top were standing straight up!!! The whole thing had "fleshed-out" and it looked like it was on steroids or something! I could not believe the difference just one application had made. I took to using the stuff on ALL of my houseplants, and on most of my outdoor plants as well, including a hardy azalea I'd bought in Kansas last fall on one of those "buy me quick before they throw me away" sales at Ace Hardware. I never expected it to survive my 9,000-foot elevation Colorado winter, since I can't even get "super-hardy" roses to live, but it survived AND BLOOMED for me!

    Everything in the house spent the summer putting on new growth, and they haven't stopped yet (12-26-05). My schlumbergeras (Thanksgiving cactus) have been blooming their heads off, the pothos have added several FEET of new lush growth, bougainvilleas doubled or tripled in size, the orchids are re-blooming - everything is looking wonderful! The Sunrise who got it all started is looking great, too - still standing up straight (except her longer branches that trail, but even they TRY to reach upward!) - and I'm looking forward to seeing how she blooms next spring. She's still carrying seed-pods from last spring, which I'm hoping are full of viable seeds. Oh, and the epiphyllum cuttings? They think it's spring in the jungle, because they're all rooted and sending out new shoots and suckers - and I don't have just four cuttings anymore. The folks at EpiForums and I have been swapping stuff since early August, and now I have two large plants (E. oxypetalum and E. chrysocardium) and rooted cuttings of 30 more different varieties, both species and hybrids! I'm also up to 40 varieties of schlums, 11 different rhipsalidopsis, 19 hoyas - and more... thanks mainly to our trading. (We can't wait for spring, so we can start swapping again!)

    Becky, raising a jungle in the mountains of Colorado!
     

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  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I left your post up because of the photographs you've shared (and because of your other posts). However, the rest of this post reads like a testimonial, and that's out of place on these forums -- so I've removed the links.
     
  6. Oldmilkmaid

    Oldmilkmaid Member

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    Sorry, I didn't realize that - and I know I sounded corny. However, the stuff really does work, so if anyone wants the recipe I'll freely share it with them. At least with the source-link included, they had the option of paying dearly for it, as I did.

    Becky
     
  7. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Becky,

    Why don't you just share the recipe without the link? After all, if you share the recipe we don't need the link. :)

    Newt
     
  8. Oldmilkmaid

    Oldmilkmaid Member

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    Since the original recipe came from a source that was selling it, albeit in much the form of a scam, I hesitated to publish it wholesale, since I didn't want to be perceived as stealing it - even though I paid dearly for the recipe. However, the more I think about it, the more it seems like "the right thing to do." The guy claimed to have been offered hundreds of thousands of dollars by pesticide manufacturers, to NOT publish his recipes or sell them to the general public, because "they work so well" that the chemical companies were "terrified" that nobody would want to buy their stocks anymore - BUT, he said that out of his own decency he refused their offers and decided to sell his information on the Internet. AND, "for just the next few hours," he would sell not for his "awfully reasonable price" of $87.99, but for the paltry sum of only $17.99, and you, the lucky buyer (read that as "gullible sucker"), would be forever thankful. Well, as I said, I really wanted the cactus fertilizer recipe, and the only way I could get it was to buy his whole package. So, I shucked the bucks and bought it. I was appalled to find that most of the 7-1/2 pages were typed with so many errors that I couldn't be sure that any of the amounts were accurate, and was equally upset to find that the vast majority was stuff I already knew, and was available for free online. The only valuable information was the cactus fertilizer - I've never seen it before. I have since shared it with hundreds of people (through another Forum and personal sharing), and nearly all of them have had wonderful results from it. So, now I share it with you. Use it on ALL of your plants, indoor and out, and see what it does for you.

    Cactus Fertilizer
    12 oz. regular beer (fizzy or flat, cheapest you can find, just not "lite")
    1 cup Epsom salts
    1/2 cup household nonsudsing ammonia (again, cheapest you can find)
    2 cups water
    Mix together in a 1-quart jar or bottle and keep capped. Does not require refrigeration. Add 1 Tablespoonful to a gallon of warmish water and use every other week as part of your normal watering and fertilization schedule, or use at 1/4 strength for every watering.

    As near as we can figure out, the beer provides carbs/sugars for energy; Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, which promotes chorophyll production and photosynthesis and also acidifies the soil somewhat; ammonia is a source of easily-available nitrogen. I don't know why ethyl alcohol is such a great plant food, but Jerry Baker advises using beer and other alcoholic beverages in his formulas, on lawn-grass and assorted plants.

    Some users have told me that they've seen an increase in salt-accumulation on their soil as a result, but the simple solution utilized by Plantluvr of flushing the soil periodically should cure that problem. Personally, I've seen NO buildup on my own soil, but when using Miracle-Gro I had loads of salt build-up.

    So there it is. Do what you will with it.

    Becky in Colorado
     
  9. plantluver

    plantluver Member

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    Thanks oldmilkmaid I will try to use this mix. I just had surgery on Dec. 21 and haven't checked in for a while. I didn't realize I had a response until Daniel e-mailed me.
    Sincerely plantluver
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Just so you know, the emails are automatically sent out by the software if you've signed up for them (as you have). Very handy way of letting people know when someone has replied!
     

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