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Florida
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Hebz
Dec 18, 2016 9:42 AM CST
Alright I spent all of yesterday researching "white fuzz on cactus" and concluded that it must be a mealybug infestation. I took the cactus out of its soil, washed it with diluted alcohol and soap water, picked out all the white fuzz with tweezers, then repotted it in a new pot and soil. I woke up this morning, and the white fuzz is back. Are these actually mealybugs? I'll throw my cactus out but honestly I just want to know how they survived all of this, I thought I had killed the cactus with everything I had done (and I probably did I'm just waiting to see it start dying).
Thumb of 2016-12-18/hebaelahmad/2085e0

Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover Bookworm Adeniums Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Hummingbirder Xeriscape Region: Arizona Region: Southwest Gardening
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mcvansoest
Dec 18, 2016 9:54 AM CST
Is it white fuzz or a liquid? Is the wetness we see in the picture from your treatment or did the white fuzz look that way?

Do you have a picture of the white fuzz from before you started treating the cactus?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Dec 18, 2016 10:17 AM CST
I'm not familiar with your cacti, but I have seen some that naturally have white fuzz growing on them. If you look closely, you won't see any mealy bugs on them.
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Florida
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Hebz
Dec 18, 2016 10:23 AM CST
mcvansoest said:Is it white fuzz or a liquid? Is the wetness we see in the picture from your treatment or did the white fuzz look that way?

Do you have a picture of the white fuzz from before you started treating the cactus?


Sorry it's white cotton-like fuzz it's just wet right now because I watered it. Yes here's a picture from a few weeks ago.
Thumb of 2016-12-18/hebaelahmad/3e01f3

Florida
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Hebz
Dec 18, 2016 10:23 AM CST
plantmanager said:I'm not familiar with your cacti, but I have seen some that naturally have white fuzz growing on them. If you look closely, you won't see any mealy bugs on them.


Oh that would make sense I didn't find any actual bugs :/
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Dec 18, 2016 10:34 AM CST
The cactus is a Mammillaria. The white fuzz surrounding the spines is part of the plant. The white fuzz at the base (axils) of the tubercles is also a part of your plant - that is where flowers develop.

If you can't remove white fuzzy spots easily with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol, they shouldn't be removed.
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

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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Dec 18, 2016 10:37 AM CST
Please don't feel silly. Long ago I did the same thing. I diligently worked with soap, water and alcohol plus a selection of tweezers and got every bit of fuzz off of my mammillarias!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 18, 2016 10:40 AM CST
Ouch! That hurts just thinking about it. Smiling
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Florida
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Hebz
Dec 18, 2016 10:43 AM CST
plantmanager said:Please don't feel silly. Long ago I did the same thing. I diligently worked with soap, water and alcohol plus a selection of tweezers and got every bit of fuzz off of my mammillarias!


Ah thank you lol I'll definitely make sure to ask my questions on here before jumping right to work next time. I'm almost done with high school so I've been trying to develop more of a green thumb in my free time though it doesn't seem to be working so well haha
Florida
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Hebz
Dec 18, 2016 10:44 AM CST
DaisyI said:The cactus is a Mammillaria. The white fuzz surrounding the spines is part of the plant. The white fuzz at the base (axils) of the tubercles is also a part of your plant - that is where flowers develop.

If you can't remove white fuzzy spots easily with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol, they shouldn't be removed.


Ah this makes more sense thank you so much!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Dec 18, 2016 10:49 AM CST
Keep on having fun with your cacti. It's wonderful that you're starting early. Be sure to stick around as we all learn from each other.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover Bookworm Adeniums Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Hummingbirder Xeriscape Region: Arizona Region: Southwest Gardening
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mcvansoest
Dec 18, 2016 10:59 AM CST
Daisy and Karen, are right, that is where I going to go with it. On many Mammillarias the fuzz will get more pronounced as they are working towards flowering. So it is not surprising that you would have noticed it developing a 'condition' - just not a bad condition...

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