Cactus and Succulents forum→Dying Cactus!

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Bend, Or.
Hofferman
May 29, 2020 7:21 PM CST
Hi there. I'm not to sure what type of succulents I have here. My guess was the chin or star cactus for the larger ones. If you look at the picture, you can see shriveling. I made the mistake of trying to treat mealy bugs with undulated hydrogen peroxide. I sprayed the outside and alittle on the roots. Now I'm afraid he might be dying. Has anyone else made this mistake? Can I revive It?

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 29, 2020 8:17 PM CST
I've used Hydrogen Peroxide diluted with water to soak and sterilize seeds, but not as an insecticide. Did it kill the mealy bugs. Did you use it full strength? Did you leave it on for a while and then go back and rinse it off or just leave it one? Also, how did you spray the roots? Just soak the top of the soil or pull it out and expose the roots. I'm a bit surprised you would get the effect seen in the photos just using it, but I don't know since I've not used it for that purpose. I'll be really interested in the input from others on this.

I expected only surface damage, but the wrinkling indicates more than that, I think. Normally that would make me think the roots were severely compromised or the plant had been exposed to hot temperatures and ultra dry conditions for too long. Has this been in full direct sun, inside or in partial shade? I know I've asked a lot of questions, but I think other causes may be contributing here.
Donald
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 29, 2020 8:57 PM CST

Moderator

Rinse thoroughly (plant and soil).
Bend, Or.
Hofferman
Jun 3, 2020 11:32 AM CST
Hi there,

These are great questions. Being a beginner gardener, these questions definitely have given me some insight. I did some research, but I think my resource was incorrect. I used the hydrogen peroxide undulated In a spray bottle and sprayed the outer surface and poured some around the base of each succulent. I wasn't sure how long to leave It on, and so I tried one day. On the 2nd day, I rinsed off the hydrogen peroxide In the tub and let them dry out In the sun. After acouple days, I haven't noticed any Mealy Bugs, but I'm keeping an eye out. As for the wrinkling, It started some time ago. I didn't know what could have caused It. Could have been overwatering In the past or like you said too much direct sunlight. (One of the first plants I purchased) After awhile, I decided to leave them out In the outdoor sunlight during the day for acouple hrs.(4 or more) I believe this caused my infestation. I live In the high desert, meaning it's very dry and during the summer, It can get up to 100 or more here. I'm not too sure how to save this guy from the damage I've done, but If you have any other additional advice that'd be lovely.

Thank you so much!
Haley Offerman
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 3, 2020 12:04 PM CST
I'm no expert on these things. Though I'm generally successful with plants, I break a lot of rules. So take what I say and think carefully before diving in, because what I'll put forth here is what I would do if they were mine and that may not be the best action for you. CAUTION! Big Grin

I see three plant in your container. A larger green one which looks fine to me and another which appears to be same kind of cactus, but smaller and clearly having some issues. Then there is a much smaller one with lots of hairy spines which keeps me from assessing it's health. I'd remove them and give the larger green one it's own individual container. I just let whatever soil fell easily from the root fall off and plant in a coarse, fast draining mix, place it in shade for a week or so before watering it and start increasing the amount of light after beginning to give it supplemental water. My plants are outdoors except for the winter months, but I have some trees to give dappled shade which gives enough sun and light to accommodate a wide range of plants. Ultimately I think your plant will prefer as much light as it can get, but since your location is the high desert, it may appreciate some protection from some of the direct sun.

I would treat the other two plants the same if on examining them they are not already past any remedial steps. The wrinkled one may have compromised roots. A photo after it removed from the container may generate some further advice from people Generally I find the outdoor plants aren't nearly as subject to insect infestations as indoor plants - probably due to the presence of natural predators. If you do this, just make sure the containers you choose have drain holes and don't be over eager to give them water (my biggest temptation and occasional misstep). I find triple digit temperatures combined with no cool down at night a dangerous combination when giving water to plants. Some plants and some people don't seem to have the same experience, but I always try to err on the side of less frequent intervals of water is better, especially when it's excessively hot.

Donald

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