Night Blooming Cereus Cuttings Turning Black - Knowledgebase Question

Cochran, GA
Avatar for pheadlan
Question by pheadlan
May 18, 1998
My Night Blooming Cereus Cactus was getting too tall to fit in my house (8 ft.). When taking it outside and onto my front porch it broke in two. I let the ends heal over on the broken piece and the planted piece. I planted the broken piece in a loose soil mixture. Over the past week the plant and the start have turned greyish black and what also looks like it is starting to rot. I water only when the soil is dry. The plant is exposed to morning sun only. The plant part discoloration has not reached the soil level yet. What do I need to do to save the plant and the start?

Answer from NGA
May 18, 1998
Oh, what a shame to have your huge cereus break like that, and now start to rot! This often happens to cacti that are wounded - the big, juicy leaves are very inviting to rot fungi and bacteria. I know your situation was an emergency, but usually it's best to allow cuttings to heal for 2-3 weeks in a shady place before potting them up. You can try to remove the infected leaf pieces, then place the plants in a cool, shady area with minimal humidity (I hope you can find such a place, in the Georgia spring!) to aid healing. Sterilize your knife before making each cut by wiping it with alcohol or 10% clorox solution. Good luck!

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