Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Climbing cactus with broken stem

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lilithe1
Sep 26, 2015 5:25 PM CST
Hi! I'm new to this site and I am hoping someone can help me with my poor plant. I was given this cactus years ago as a gift and I really don't know a thing at all about them. This is the only plant I've managed not to kill. I had it on a table near the window and it started climbing the blinds and I just let it do it's thing. Well, I'm selling my house and a few days ago (4 days, to be exact) I had to move the plant. I very carefully removed all the stems from the blinds and brought it to the covered patio outside. Today I was watering it and I saw that one of the stems had snapped. I'm not certain if this happened while I was moving it, or just from the weight of the branches. I'm not sure if it's normal for there to be so many branches off one single stem. Since this could have happened anytime in the last 4 days, I'm not sure what to do. Should I try to stabilize it and tape it? I'm not sure if plants can heal that way. Or should I cut it off? I really don't want to lose this whole branch, but at the same time, I don't want it to take the whole plant with it. Again, I have no idea what I'm doing here, but I don't want this plant to die because of my ignorance. I really appreciate any advice Smiling Thank you!

Lilithe

Here is a close-up of the stem where the break is, as well as a picture of the rest of the branches that are supported by this one stem.


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lilithe1
Sep 27, 2015 11:35 AM CST
Also, if this is in the wrong forum, I apologize. I didn't see one for plant CPR Smiling
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Sep 27, 2015 12:40 PM CST
Welcome! lilithe1 sorry your first question received no reaction.
It looks to be an Epiphyllum and it will root easily where you cut it, so my inclination would be to just cut it at the break. Let the cut heal for a few days and then replant it and it should root.
And no we don't have a forum for plant CPR but maybe we should have one! Hilarious! Plenty of mishaps happen to plants one way or another...
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Sep 27, 2015 12:48 PM CST
lilithe1 - Welcome to ATP! I hope I can help answer your question(s) about your epi plant.

I grow epi's and I agree with Hetty's suggestion to just cut it at the break, let the end scab over and then you can plant that piece in potting medium to root and have a second plant!

Most epi's need to be pruned periodically to keep them from getting too leggy. Lighting also affects legginess.

Since I posted on this thread, if you have any further comments or questions, I will read and try to respond.

lilithe1 - Good luck with your upcoming move!

Thanks, Hetty for notifying me about this thread. Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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[Last edited by beckygardener - Sep 27, 2015 12:49 PM (+)]
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Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Sep 27, 2015 2:47 PM CST
As big as this plant is, I would cut it into several sections and throw away the rounded stright pieces (or not). Could plant into one big pot and hopefully give it a lot more sun. Maybe a hanging basket style would be nice.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Sep 27, 2015 4:29 PM CST
I agree, but they can not take direct sun. They need indirect sunlight. Many of mine are in hanging baskets:

Thumb of 2015-09-27/beckygardener/bdac56

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden

lilithe1
Sep 27, 2015 5:57 PM CST
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I had no idea I was supposed to be pruning them. I'm not even sure how I would do that at this point. The "large" part in the picture is really only half of the overall plant. Uploading a full picture now. Hopefully you can see this well enough... there's a huge branch on the left that is all connected to one single stem as well... just like on the right. (It looks like you have to click on the image in order to see the entire plant... the preview crops the sides.) Leggy... that's definitely the word for it but I didn't realize that was a bad thing.

When I first got it, it was a tiny cutting that a friend gave me and she had this small trellis in there with it. I never took it out, but now I'm wondering if that made things worse because now if I take it out, I think all the stems will snap from the weight of the branches.

Also, once the plant started to take off, the original cutting died completely. Is that typical? Basically, I'm wondering if I cut this at the break, or even if I cut it into several small pieces, will they all eventually die?

As for light, it seems to be happy by the window... it keeps growing and new leaves keep cropping up on all the stems so I thought the light was good. I'm in Texas and between the heat, the high winds, and all the pests we have, I've never been able to keep any plants alive outside, so I just keep this one inside. But maybe it's not getting enough light? Is that why it's growing so much at the ends but not at the base?

Again, I really appreciate you all taking the time to answer my questions. I never even had any idea what type of plant this was... I was just so happy that it stayed alive for so many years, I figured I didn't want to mess with a good thing. Hehe.
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Sep 27, 2015 6:16 PM CST
Actually your plant looks pretty good. They often do grow a long stem/branch like that which is why it is a good idea to trim it back and put the cuttings in the same container so that the pot/basket looks fuller. Just makes sure that you let the area (end) that you cut dry out first before planting it in the soil (otherwise it could rot). This particular epi (Queen of the Night) does grow like a climber. It seems happy in it's location so I think you are doing a good job of growing it.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum:
Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

Here are 2 general information links about growing epis:

http://www.theamateursdigest.com/epis.htm

http://www.houseplantsexpert.com/orchid-cactus.html
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Sep 27, 2015 6:19 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 27, 2015 6:24 PM CST
Hi lilithe1! Get your pruner/scissor, sterilize them before using. Try to cut them off right at the base of the main stem or at the base of the spindly stem. Aim for balance of the appearance of your plant.

I was given cuttings before, see how they look like. I think it is good to have about a foot long cutting if your can, so there is enough energy in that cutting.

Thumb of 2015-09-28/tarev/71e0a7

Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Sep 28, 2015 4:36 AM CST
I have one that decided to ramble among one of my plumeria trees, so far I am letting it.

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