Is my Cacti going to make it?

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Robaroot, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Robaroot

    Robaroot Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't know what's wrong with her....I've had her a long time and she's always been well....I usually even get a flower out of her every year. But for the last year, this has been happening, and I'm worried. Can you help me out? What kind is she, and what can I do to help her? Thanks so much.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. constantgardener

    constantgardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    flemington, united states
    That looks like a euphorbia, not a cactus. I'm no expert, but maybe spider mites? Do you find any kind of webbing around the branches or leaves? Hope you can save it!
     
  3. Robaroot

    Robaroot Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, I think you are right, it's a Euphorbea. I've read up on how I might save it...seems a bit complicated. Can I just cut off the bad (brown) parts, and treat it, or, because the actual root seems totally brown (1st picture) is the plant basically dead....
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    2,707
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    philly, pa, usa 6b
    it is a euphorbia.

    have you determined what the problem is? you need to do that first before you take any course of action.

    to see what kind of condition the roots are in, you'd need to unpot it and take a look at them. the browning at the base of the trunk isn't that unusual for an older specimen - and it doesn't mean the plant is in trouble. if it IS what is called trunking, then it's within the norm. if it's due to something else (bug, fungus) then you might have to resort to cutting off the good parts and rooting them.

    that discoloration further up does indicate there's a problem, though. again, you need to determine what is causing the browning before you do anything.

    have you recently moved it to a new location where it may have gotten scorched by the sun or gotten too much cold?
     
  5. Robaroot

    Robaroot Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've moved to a new apartment...but certainly no extreme weather conditions, i.e., extreme heat or cold. This began at the old place. It may be some kind of bugs....I see little white dots in some areas. I've taken an old toothbrush and water, and cleaned it a few times. Here's some pictures, although not too clear. I can't tell if it's in fact bugs, or just the plants texture, or drips of the milky substance inside.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    2,707
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    philly, pa, usa 6b
    the pics aren't clear enough to see what the spots really are.

    are they fuzzy - like bits of cotton fluff? if so, then they're mealy bugs and the best treatment is a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and rub the bugs.

    euphorbs do give off white sap (which IS an irritant, so definitely don't rub your eyes after touching it - wash your hands well to remove it) i doubt the sap would appear without the plant being injured in some way. do you have a cat or dog or other animal that may have been messing with the plant?

    you can put the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it (it's quicker than using the q-tip). you don't need to totally saturate the plant - just be sure to get the bugs wet with it. it'll evaporate within a couple of minutes, so no damage to the plant - two minutes is PLENTY of time to get rid of the bugs though!

    even if it's not mealys, the r-a will kill lots of other bugs and it won't hurt the plant, so it's a pretty good deal.

    if you can get clearer shots of the white spots, that would be better. some bugs do require different treatment to get rid of them, so it would really be best to have positively id'd them.
     
  7. Robaroot

    Robaroot Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    It sort of appears that the white spots or bugs or what have you are injuring the plant in a sense, like little cuts. These are the best pictures I can get. If you can help ID them, that would be great, and if not, I'll try the alcohol. Thanks so much for your help.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 2.jpg
      2.jpg
      File size:
      56.7 KB
      Views:
      666
    • 3.jpg
      3.jpg
      File size:
      43.9 KB
      Views:
      652
    • 1.jpg
      1.jpg
      File size:
      63.8 KB
      Views:
      844
  8. constantgardener

    constantgardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    flemington, united states
    I can't tell from the pics (the pics are good, it's just hard to tell) but you can do an easy check...use the q-tip in alcohol as Joclyn suggested and just rub it across the white dots a bit. If they come off, and no new white appears, it's mealy bug. If you get new white oozing out of the skin, that's the sap; then you want to find out what's putting holes in your plant. One thing about mealies is you almost certainly will have to re-treat; the little offenders can hide and when you think you've got them all, they can reappear, so stay vigilant and recheck every week until you don't see them for awhile. If you really can't tell what the problem is, you might see if you have a university extension near you; they offer "helplines" staffed by master gardeners who are trained by the horticulturist and can probably give you some help. Good luck!
     
  9. Robaroot

    Robaroot Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    By the way, will the brown areas eventually turn green again, if there is a bug problem and I do get rid of it?
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    2,707
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    philly, pa, usa 6b
    these pics are better - still a bit fuzzy. i'd say they ARE mealies, though.

    cg is correct, you will have to treat more than once. and, i'd even consider replacing the soil as the mealies can also live in the soil.

    on that note, and because of the damage at the base, i'd say you need to unpot it and take a good look at the roots (you've likely got mealies in the soil, too).
     
  11. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    AFRICAN MILK PLANT (Euphorbia trigona)

    It's hard to tell if you have a mealy bug infestation for sure. If any of the white spots move from hour to hour or, day to day, then I would agree you have them.
    Some of the damage looks like some of the stems hit the others causing some of the punctures and scratches.
    You might also want to check for spidermites. Look for fine webbing.
     
  12. Robaroot

    Robaroot Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    No Spidermites....and the white dots don't seem to move. I really want to know why the trunk of the plant is completely brown...it looks dead. I'm willing to pull the whole thing out of the pot and check the roots, repot it, etc., if the plant is still alive. How would I know?
     
  13. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    If the plant has ever fallen over, been bumped, moved around, or carried, those thorns can go through the skin like butter when they come into contact with the other stems causing those types of scares. Your plant looks a little like mine did after it fell over, ahh, more than once.
    I took one cutting from it because the rest had so many little holes and scratches.

    Hmm, the white might be dried sap which will rub off with water and little elbow grease.
    You could take a stem cutting, or a few cuttings of the better healthier looking stems. Cuttings root pretty easily.
    The sap can be irritating to the skin to some people so be careful.
    Wiping the cut ends with a moist rag help stop the 'bleeding'.

    I'm not sure what the brown is from, if it's a fungus of some type, neem oil might help, but the brown will never turn back to green.

    Your plant can also burn in excessive sun, not sure if that might be the brown your seeing....
    They do just fine in good bright light and some sun.

    The roots should look and feel firm, not mushy if you decide to check. Make sure it's not 'badly' rootbound, it should be a little rootbound, otherwise, I wouldn't repot.
     

Share This Page