Help with cactus

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Annageckos, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Annageckos

    Annageckos Active Member

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    I have a cactus, not sure of the name. It is a fairly common on to see in the stores, I am going to attach some pics. I have had this cactus for a couple of years now. It is the only surviver from a pot of mixed cacti. The other plants in the pot had gotten infested with mealy bugs and I couldn't save them. I do forget to water this plant sometimes. It has gone for long periods of time with out water. The plant is in my bearded dragons cage. The cage is hot and dry and cacti and succulents do really well in there, I have even had some flower in a matter of weeks after putting them in. But if the plant is not spinned it will either get clawed up or eaten. So anyway this plants base looks a little shriveled. I don't know if it is dieing. If it is can I cut off above the shriveled area to healthy growth and save this plant? Any help or advice is greatly welcome.

    The first pic is close up of the base of the plant, second is overall plant and third is overall of the cage, you can see Stubbs, my bearded dragon in the front. He is waiting for his morning veggies.
     

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  2. aarionrhod

    aarionrhod Member

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    Looks like your lizard has been digging around the cactus base, which is the part you think has shriveled. It hasn't shriveled - it's just supposed to be underneath the potting soil. Other than that and a few scars from your 'pet' it looks fine. Buy some cactus potting soil and either add some around the cactus so that the stem is covered or repot the whole thing doing the same. Sounds like your 'pet' needs its own sandbox to dig around in - I would too if I lived in a shoebox sized room.
     
  3. Annageckos

    Annageckos Active Member

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    It is ovious that you do not know much(if anything) about reptiles. He has not been digging around the plant. The base was NOT like that before. As to Stubbs cage size, first, he spends alot of time out of the cage and outside, secound I could give him a whole room and he would pick a fav. spot and no go far. Reptiles are not like cats or dogs, they spend most the day basking under the light to regulate body temp. Besides the fact you can only see part of his cage in the pic. Please do not respond to my post again. If anyone has any info about the cactus and what I can do that would be great.
     
  4. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't know anything about reptiles either, but I understand aarionrhod's interpretation, the base looks just as if it has been dug up (the tapering stem and the lack of chlorophyll)

    I is however possible that it has been pushed up - sometimes the roots of an underpotted plant can exert so much pressure that the body is lifted up somewhat. If it just has shriveled the colour should be darker and the skin more wrinkled. What is the other plant in that pot, and how big are the roots? If it is something with big, thick roots (like a Sansevieria for example) it could be the cause.

    If it really has shrunk I am not sure what to do about it, I have never seen anything like that before.

    I think the cactus is a Parodia (Notocactus) leninghausii by the way.
     
  5. bcsister

    bcsister Active Member

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    I was going to say : Too much heat & not enough acceptable light.

    I just made my own discovery, and need to check on something myself.

    press along the new body area... is it softer than the rest?
     
  6. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    The plant is somewhat stretched, but nothing serious. Etiolation does not set in at the base, only at the growing point, so I don't think that is the problem.
     
  7. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    Could the shrivelled-ness be due to the start of the natural corking process? It happens to cacti naturally as they get older.

    Since the soil isn't disturbed your bearded dragon probably isn't to blame. Mandarin could have something there about the plant being overcrowded.
     

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