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Jul 5, 2016 9:01 PM CST
|I have a variegated gymno that was shipped to me from another country a month ago. 75% is yellow/albino and 25% is normal green. The green side is looking good, but the yellow side has slowly been shrinking and getting wrinkled and some tiny white lines, I think it might be too much light burning it due to its color. Yellow side is slightly soft green is hard and firm. This cactus has tiny roots.|
I have been putting it in water to soak an hour a day thinking the tiny roots aren't getting water fast enough from the soil before it dries, plus sun indoors might be dehydrating it. I say this as no brown rot is visible and the tiny roots plus lack of color on most of it probably has the poor thing drying up quicker than normal. But being it has tiny roots I can't overwater either.
Jul 6, 2016 6:27 PM CST
|What is the temperature around it?|
I do not think soaking in water will be good for it. Have never done it for any succulent, they just do not like it.
Jul 6, 2016 7:20 PM CST
|Soaking the roots in water every day is not good. If you think the soil is drying out before the roots are absorbing any water, then adjust your soil to hold water a little bit longer. Reduce the light exposure and/or intensity to see if that helps.|
Jul 6, 2016 7:42 PM CST
keithp2012 said:But being it has tiny roots I can't overwater either.
My bias (based on experience) would be to water a plant with tiny roots less than a plant with lots of roots, if anything. In the end it would probably be treated the same, because I'm lazy. But I would try to take into account the root mass when I choose the container for a plant and how much soil to put in it. If the roots fit the pot (with a little extra space) then water management is usually simpler.
I would think that a plant with a well developed root system has the ability to slurp up more water and will dry out the soil in its container faster as a result. If anything. Probably not enough to see a difference, but you never know. So the implied relationship with watering frequency would work the opposite of the way you have envisioned it. Does that make sense?
Watering a cactus every day is almost certainly a recipe for inducing rot, given enough time. I suppose under extreme conditions it might be necessary (like desert heat and zero humidity) but you usually still want the soil to mostly dry out in between watering every time. If you find the soil going dry very fast, then water more often by all means. But be careful, especially with a variegated plant, which will have less interest or need for water and nutrients, given its correspondingly lower metabolic activity. A month out after being shipped transatlantic the plant is probably still a little shocked, too.
What is the exposure like where the cactus is growing? That will affect the plant directly but also the speed with which the soil dries out.
Jul 6, 2016 10:02 PM CST
|The plant has been on a windowsill, temp has been in the 80's with high humidity lately.|
So your saying the small but frequent watering have been too much?
When the cactus was sent it was damp and had a soft indent in the side but that hardened up.
The base by the roots is soft now 😕 I'm not going to water it anymore and the soil is fully dry.
Jul 7, 2016 8:52 AM CST
|Hi Keith, temps of 80's not bad, but I have seen them thrive better on much warmer temps . But since the one you have is not the full green type, I would consider growing it outdoors, but in part shade. There is more interaction outdoors for these plants. Observe and leave it alone on one spot. I would consider putting some top dressing to keep the roots cooled..like more pumice or chicken grit, so the base is not sitting too much on the soil.|
The softening base is often a sign it is suffering over watering, so try to keep dry, but bring it outdoors in part shade so it can get more air circulation and warmth around it. Maybe try to find a spot where it will get morning sun.
Sometimes we get too engrossed with watering, but forget about air circulation. So try to make a good balance for it, let it enjoy the outdoors in part shade.
Jul 7, 2016 11:34 AM CST
|Unlike other plants, cactus have no built in shut off valve. It will absorb every drop of water it gets. The interaction between the roots and the top to supply/build the nutrients needed by both systems is a balancing act. Right now, your plant's balancing act is not balanced.|
There's no chlorophyll in the white half so the green half has to support the whole top. The roots are not helping right now. The green side is supporting the entire plant and its having to use stored reserves to do it. If it were mine, I would plunk that puppy down on some damp cactus soil and stick it in a shady spot. Water sparingly until the roots grow.
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
Jul 7, 2016 12:00 PM CST
keithp2012 said:So your saying the small but frequent watering have been too much?
I think what you have described is what I would call bottom watering, which is putting a pot in a tray of water and allowing the water to percolate up into the soil over time. If you are doing this for an hour in a reasonable depth of water, you are watering to completion. At least by my standards. This is a method I regularly use for young seedlings (which require proper saturation of the soil) and I normally declare victory after 20 minutes or so. Now if you were soaking the plant itself, that's a different story and not something I have ever tried.
In my own experience I have found that too much attention to plants can often be more dangerous than too little... it's always a balancing act, in any case.
Jul 7, 2016 12:03 PM CST
|In my own experience I have found that too much attention to plants can often be more dangerous than too little... it's always a balancing act, in any case. [/quote]|
I was thinking the same thing. Stick it in good cactus soil just a bit damp. Put it in a shady spot and just leave it alone. I've babied a lot of plants to death, and have been so surprised to find great looking plants I've totally forgotten about.
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Jul 7, 2016 12:40 PM CST
|Is the bottom rotting? If I put damp soil that will just make it worse I think? I can put it outside in a shady spot to air it out.|
Jul 7, 2016 12:43 PM CST
|Normal potting soil is already a bit moist (certainly not bone dry) and I would think that's plenty for right now. I like the idea of putting it outside in the shade to dry out first, as long as it's not spectacularly hot out there.|
Jul 7, 2016 2:05 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Normal potting soil is already a bit moist (certainly not bone dry) and I would think that's plenty for right now. I like the idea of putting it outside in the shade to dry out first, as long as it's not spectacularly hot out there.
I have a shady spot under tall plants I put the pot, but I'll bring it in at night just in case it decides to rain.
Jul 8, 2016 7:51 PM CST
|I woke up today and the cactus looked like a water balloon! Inside ot was liquified with bubbles with only the skin holding in the fluid, which leaked out yellow and sticky. I don't know what happened but it's a goner. 😞|
Jul 8, 2016 9:23 PM CST
| Sorry, Keith. I have a feeling those varigated gymnos are very hard to grow.|
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