Why are my cacti dying?

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by NATALIE, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. NATALIE

    NATALIE Member

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    Several weeks ago the needles at the tip of each plant turned brown/black. Then some fuzzy white growth appeared at the base of the needles at the tops. Now one of them is falling over. It looks like they are going to die very soon. I have attached some photographs.

    Please help me save my cacti!

    Thanks!
     

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  2. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Looks like normal tender spring growth on cacti. It may be leaning towards light or possibly because it's been getting a little too much water (or in some cases, not enough). In any event, cacti in growth are a little softer and more tender than dormant cacti and so will have a greater tendency to lean. The needle colour change is also common when coming out of winter dormancy, I have outdoor cacti that do the same thing.

    Simon
     
  3. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    Your cacti look good to me. You can pull that fake flower off. It looks a bit like a Rat Tail Cactus. If so, then flopping over is normal. All cacti have things called areoles. That is where flowers and spines come from. They also produce the fuzz you are talking off.
     
  4. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    No, Aporocactus stems are much thinner and have smaller spines. Looks like a Mammillaria or something similar, and the tall species often lean over too.
     
  5. NATALIE

    NATALIE Member

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    Thanks for your replies! It's a relief to know that they are fine! The fuzz only appears on the tops of the cacti, there's none on the lower regions. Is that normal?

    The taller one started leaning over today as well. They're probably trying to reach my lamp. Wil they straighten out if I provide a more direct light source?

    I think I may have over watered them - how much/often would be appropriate? They are only about three-four inches tall.

    I looked at some pictures of rat tails but they definitely don't look the same. The pattern of the needles are different. Also, these are pretty thick and stubby - baby rat tails look like worms! I don't know what they are, but the short one with the flower on top is a definitely a different kind. Why would you say that the flower on top is fake? Did the manufacturer just glue it on top?
     
  6. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    As outlandish as it may seem, yes they make little fake flowers and glue them on. Real flowers only last a couple of days, how long has that been there? Since you got it, right?

    Where and how much a cactus has fuzz varies a lot. Compare the "old man cactus" to the "Holiday Cactus".

    They will to much better placed in a southern window... lots of light.

    Let the soil dry out in between waterings. Use your finger to check.

    M.

     
  7. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    They usually do, yes.

    Sometimes they are fastened with a pin instead.
     
  8. mitchnast

    mitchnast Active Member 10 Years

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    hah! you bought the 5" cactus garden from home depot.

    the stones are all glued in too.

    i buy them sometimes because occasionally they have a echnopsis terscheckii in them.

    last one i bought was all rotted up inside.
     
  9. prairieboy

    prairieboy Member

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    Natalie,
    The flower on the top of the smaller of the three is in fact a real flower, however it's a strawflower that's been dried and glued (or pinned) to the top. Get it off there! That little guy will have a lot of trouble growing with it there, especially if there is a big glob of glue underneath it.
    I also reccomend getting rid of the glued-together rocks, as they may make it more difficult for the soil to dry out.
    As for light, I have all my cacti and succulents in south-west facing windows, and are all doing gangbusters!
    Cheers!
     

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