Ask a Question forum→Houseplant stem coating

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Jun 3, 2020 10:33 PM CST
My Rhipsalis Baccifera houseplants have been neglected from observation due to their position above eyeline and when I looked at them recently I notice that where the stems go into the soil they have an almost rusty colour coating on them. My first thought was maybe overwatering. I'm not sure what to do with them or why they have changed. Do I scratch the coating off them and maybe repot or is it some kind of rot and maybe I need to take cuttings and start again. Any help is appreciated please Smiling Btw, they do keep putting out new growth consistently.

Thumb of 2020-06-04/Krm66/98a68f
Thumb of 2020-06-04/Krm66/3506ec
Thumb of 2020-06-04/Krm66/99b2ba
Thumb of 2020-06-04/Krm66/1d4a52

Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
Jun 3, 2020 10:46 PM CST

It is a build-up of minerals from the water, mostly calcium and magnesium. If you water with distilled water for a while it will slowly dissolve. I wouldn't use any vinegar on it because that can screw up the soil pH.
The one stem on the right in the second picture might need to be cut and started over unless it's still putting out new growth. You could also ad a little potting soil to the top to cover the 'pinched' area and stimulate some new roots there. These are epiphytic plants and adapted to having new 'soil' added on top on a regular basis.
Otherwise nice looking cactus!

Happy plant parenting
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Jun 4, 2020 10:14 AM CST
I suspect the primary problem may be that they are not getting enough light because they are up so high. How far aways is the nearest window? Can you post a photo that shows its proximity to the window?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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