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Avatar for llbell
Jun 15, 2020 10:56 AM CST
Thread OP

I was given this plant about a year ago. I'm not sure what it is so that might be a good start if anyone can help identifying?

The main problem however is that it's looking very droopy and wrinkly these days. I'm pretty sure it had/has a mealybug issue and I've been spraying it with a dish soap + water concoction for the last couple of weeks. This seems to have lessened the bugs for now but the plant has started to look extra droopy.

Is it a lost cause or can my wee plant be saved? Any advice appreciated. I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Avatar for WAMcCormick
Jun 15, 2020 11:14 AM CST
Bryan, TX
Looks like a Christmas Cactus.
Maybe it takes a long time to grow, but remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Jun 15, 2020 11:20 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier

Its either a Holiday cactus (Schlumbergera) or an Easter cactus (Hatiora Gaertneri). The plant is pretty wilted but the leaves look rounded so, probably Hatiora.

The key word for both names, though, is 'cactus'. Light is less of an issue with this cactus as its a jungle cactus so does not appreciate direct sun. But, its also epiphytic, meaning, in the jungle, it is living attached to a tree or sometimes a rock.

The plant shouldn't be watered until the soil is almost dry and the soil needs to be very fast draining so it dries quickly again. I suspect the roots on your plant are dead or it wouldn't be so wrinkly. You can try to grow some new plants from leaf sections but, I don't know if there is enough stored energy in the leaves to keep them going until roots form.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Jun 15, 2020 9:17 PM CST
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Wild Plant Hunter Plumerias Overwinters Tender Plants Indoors Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Bookworm Sedums Tropicals Fruit Growers Foliage Fan
I dont see hairs, so its likely schlumberger bucleyii
Jun 16, 2020 5:48 AM CST
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
As to whether you can save it - they are pretty tough and undemanding plants. I have had to work hard to kill one of mine (I was ultimately successful by forgetting it was enjoying a summer vacation outside, forgetting to bring it in, when we had a freak ice storm in November; that did it). If you want to try saving it I would start by taking it out of the pot and looking to see if it has much in the way of roots and how moist is the compost in which it is planted. If it has roots, I would replant it in some very sharp-draining soil making sure the pot has adequate drainage hole(s). Lightly dampen the compost before replanting and then leave it alone; don't feed it until (if) it is in recovery mode, don't water it until it is dry.
If there are no roots, you could still try to save it by rooting leaf cuttings. When healthy, the leaf cuttings will root easily in damp compost or water; moving to compost once roots begin to show. As others indicated, these bloom generally in late Autumn and early winter, depending on variety.
Everyone has stressed drainage. There's a reason - and it's a plant that is more easily killed by 'kindness' than neglect. Personally, I let mine show signs of slight wilt ... not quite desiccation ...before I ever water them. Then I give them a good soak in a sink of water and leave them alone again for weeks between watering. They also do really well moved to bright shade outdoors during temperate weather then bringing them back in before first frost; it is the shortening daylight hours that trigger their bloom. I don't know what others do as a feeding regime, but on my healthy plants I give them a fairly dilute fish emulsion feed twice a year...I don't think of them as very hungry plants. If your home is particularly dry it can be of benefit to set them on wet pebble trays indoors, particularly when blooms have set, to increase humidity around them and reduce blossom drop.
Finally, it is one of those plants that have often been passed from family member to family member, because they can carry on for many many years.
Well, maybe not yours.
Hope this helps. I'd give it a try!
Please...stop using dish soap...1) it is so hard to know if it is diluted to the correct proportion (if there is a correct dilution!) 2) is even going to be of any help 3) isn't going to do more harm than good. If, heavy on the if, IF your plant has a specific and reliably diagnosed pest use something tested as effective against that pest. I use very few treatments...but wouldn't hesitate if I needed to. I just think sometimes we throw the kitchen sink at a 'problem' that doesn't really exist and then are surprised when the plant ("...which I microwaved for three minutes like the guy on YouTube said would work as treatment against fungus gnats"), sulks.
End of rant.
Reminds me I need to go move a couple of similar plants to a less sunny position on the patio...
I find myself most amusing.
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