Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Can my Cactus be saved?!?

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kentainhhs
Feb 19, 2017 6:54 PM CST
I know this looks so horrible... I came back from school for spring break (my mother kind of looks after it while I'm gone), and found it in this state.
The top of it is all mush---feels like it could fall off any time. There's also a brown ooze dripping out. The rest of the plant is still the same color as before and firm (the base was already that faded color, from sunburn).
I HAD been seeing mealybugs for this cactus from before (as you can see), but is this caused by them? Or mold, or rot?

If I were to put a knife to the top portion, would you think there's still a chance to salvage the rest of the cactus?
Thank you in advance.
Thumb of 2017-02-20/kentainhhs/6c36ca

Name: tarev
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tarev
Feb 19, 2017 7:03 PM CST
Hello kentainhhs, you can still try. Cut off top part and lower part till you get to clean flesh, dip exposed part to cinnamon, let it dry out and callus. Keep it in a warm, indirect sun area.
After it gets callused, remembering which part is bottom, plant in new well draining, gritty media, do not put it in too deep, it still has no roots. Do not water yet. Just got to wait, as to how long, it depends on the plant. Cacti are dormant during cold season, so you got to be very patient in waiting, it may take awhile, till conditions are warmer.

kentainhhs
Feb 19, 2017 7:11 PM CST
@tarev
Thank you for the response, that's better news than I thought.
After I cut the rotted part (and probably a bit more of healthy tissue, to be sure I'm getting all of the fungus, if that's what's causing it), I allow the remaining healthy portion to callus while it's still planted in soil, right?
Thanks for the clarification
Name: tarev
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tarev
Feb 19, 2017 7:19 PM CST
Remove it from the soil while you have it callus. You will have to change the media, and may have to reduce your container size too later, plant is rather very small after the cut.

It will be a wait and see if your plant recovers. It does take time and a lot of patience.

kentainhhs
Feb 19, 2017 7:33 PM CST
@tarev
So does this sound right?
1. Cut the rot site off with a sterilized knife
2. Take remaining healthy portion out of soil, put cinammon on cut-site.
3. Let dry and callus in a non-humid place.
4. After the cut has completely callused, replant in a new pot + new soil.

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 19, 2017 8:06 PM CST
Yes that's right, then position the plant in indirect light and warm area.

kentainhhs
Feb 19, 2017 9:15 PM CST
Thank you for your help!!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 19, 2017 9:37 PM CST
Sad, sad, dead cactus. Crying sorry. I don't think there is any hope for this one.
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Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Feb 19, 2017 10:21 PM CST
Aw, Daisy. Sighing! Where there's green, there's hope! It's worth trying.
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Name: Thijs van Soest
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mcvansoest
Feb 19, 2017 11:41 PM CST
I agree with Daisy, I think that plant is done for, I admire your optimism Tarev, but it looks like it is a Mammillaria, those do not really recover that well from these kind of traumas. I think your advice is sound, but if you suggest to bareroot the plant, though the rot is at the tip, I have to think that you suspect that the roots are affected too, if that is the case, then the green is just a mirage... and kentainhhs will not find a clean section by cutting.

I guess the cut will tell the story, if you can cut and see unblemished flesh that leaves some of the green part of the plant, then maybe you do not bareroot it, just leave it in a dry and warm place.

kentainhhs, not sure where you are, but in winter time these plants need to be kept more or less dry especially if it gets cold, because most of them really do not like to be cold and wet for any prolonged amount of time.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 20, 2017 12:22 PM CST
Well it is worth a try. And if does show damage is more after the cut then OP can just decide what he thinks is best.

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Hamwild
Feb 20, 2017 12:29 PM CST
I agree that it is most likely a lost cause, but it is worth trying and saying that one tried! No harm done! nodding
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Bumbly8ee
Feb 28, 2017 1:03 AM CST
I agree that it doesn't look hopeful, but it doesn't hurt to try if you're even remotely attached to it!

Reviving a seemingly doomed plant is akways a great feeling. Thumbs up

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