Young Cacti problem?

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Luke Harding, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westonbirt Arboretum, Great Britain
    Hi Folks,
    I've had a read through some of the previous posts on here and I think I may have sussed out what is going on with my cactus already but I just want to double check with people who are more clued up on the matter.
    I am a relative new comer to the world of Cacti and have been buying quite a few recently. One of my most recent aquisitions (who I shall name Boris as I'm unsure what genus it is) is a little like rabbits ears in appearance and has small (almost fluff-like), white needles. I'm not sure if Boris is Opuntia. Boris is currently about 3 inches tall and has 4 sections (ears), so I'm assuming not very old. When new there was an extra section which I very cleverly knocked off. Since then the rooted part of Boris has turned from its original, nice green colour to a greyish, almost mouldy-looking colour. The rest of the plant appears quite healthy. The discolored section is not squishy and the soil has been kept dry.
    Is this normal? I notice that in other threads it is mentioned that Cacti look more woody toward the base with age and this kind of fits the bill but Boris is still a youngster. Should I be worried about its health or has my question been answered already in the previous threads?
     
  2. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Sweden
    Probably Opuntia microdasys, the form with white glochids. The discoloration may be a problem, but the part in contact with the soil often turns brownish gray, so a photo would be useful. Has the shape of the section changed (sunken, wrinkled etc.)?
     
  3. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westonbirt Arboretum, Great Britain
    No, it seems perfectly intact. On closer inspection there is some scaly, yellowish skin showing. Its the actual needles which have turned grey. Could it have been overwatered or kept in too cold an environment before I bought it?
     
  4. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Sweden
    The scaly, yellowish skin is probably the start of the normal formation of wood. White glochids (needles) and hair often become discoloured close to the soil (soil particles, humic substances, age ...) up to about 1 cm from soil level, so I don't think your plant is sick. The colour of spines and glochids are usually not affected when the body starts to rot.
     
  5. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westonbirt Arboretum, Great Britain
    Brilliant!! This is exactly what I wanted to hear. I was worried it may start spreading to my other Cacti (which remain nameless).
    Thanks a million Mandarin!
     

Share This Page