Ask a Question forum: Problem with a Cactus

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skyflyer6000
Mar 18, 2017 7:55 AM CST
Hello,

The red cactus in this pot is beginning to "have issues". It used to be bright red and it's stem a solid green but the head is getting darker and the stem is getting yellow. Any ideas on what I can do?

Thank you
Thumb of 2017-03-18/visitor/402ac3

Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 18, 2017 8:09 AM CST
What you have here is the colorful Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, devoid of chlorophyll, grafted onto a root stock, probably Hylocereus. The root stock is dying and since the colorful graft can't grow on its own, you might try to graft the top onto a different root stock.
I am not sure if the other cacti in your flat are suitable, but if that were me I would give it a try, or find a cheap Cereus of similar size. Both parts need a fresh sterile cut and then joined/place the colorful top on to the new root stock. One might use Cactus spines to secure the joint until healed.
[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 18, 2017 8:11 AM (+)]
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skyflyer6000
Mar 18, 2017 8:45 AM CST
Hello Ursula,

Thank you for your reply. I don't know anything about plants so your response was gobbledygook to me until I googled some of what you wrote....it's still unfortunately gobbledygook :)

The plant are not in soil....it's in some hard black Styrofoam-like substance. Should I move this to soil (sorry for the basic question but I am the layman of laymen when it comes to plants.

Thank you for your help.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 18, 2017 10:44 AM CST
What Ursula is telling you is that your colorful "Moon" cactus is at the end of its life. It will die. The red part is using all the nutrients that the green part can manufacture and the green part is losing the battle. Once the green part dies, the red part is also dead. From the looks of yours, I think the battle is already lost.

These plants only live a couple years, tops.
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: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 18, 2017 1:03 PM CST
Thanks Daisy! Smiling Exactly!
I should add that many times these Cacti arrangements are literally cemented into a pot for easier transport. Eventually they should come out of that stuff and placed into some nice open potting soil.

My suggestion was that if you were inclined to play a little with that grafted Moon cactus, that would be a way to perhaps keeping it alive by re-grafting it. But, as Daisy says, it is probably already a bit too late.
[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 18, 2017 1:13 PM (+)]
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skyflyer6000
Mar 18, 2017 8:26 PM CST
Thanks, guys.....I took your advice and repotted the plants....hopefully I'm not too late....I'm not a quitter and maybe the is the little cactus that could :)

Thanks again for the help. I will keep you posted.


Thumb of 2017-03-19/skyflyer6000/93f600

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 18, 2017 9:23 PM CST
That is a HUGE pot. Be exceedingly careful not to overwater.
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
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 19, 2017 10:00 AM CST
I believe ... Those graphed cati are a novelty. I've never seen one grow to any size.
I'd cut top off and try to root it. Thats if its not to late.
😕??? Theres in experiment , i might try.
😕??? Knaaw. I bet that red top is soaked in red dye. Its not natural. And if it did grow, it would turn green. Ooo !!! Theres a good question. Is there any cati that grow red ???
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 19, 2017 10:41 AM CST
As mentioned upstream, the species most of the time grown grafted as such is Gymnocalycium mihanovichii and they don't ever become huge Cacti. They do come in reddish and yellowish colors, also the green normal form. The straight green form can grow on its own since it does manufacture Chlorophyll, the green with some color mixed in may show some growth, while the bright colors simply can't grow on their own without Chlorophyll and need a different and green rootstock which keeps it alive. And yes, they will even grow small pups, both the grafted form, or green and on its own. Smiling
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 19, 2017 10:51 AM CST
How do they make them red ???
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 19, 2017 10:57 AM CST
Here is a nice link explaining the whole thing
http://www.balconycontainergar...
[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 19, 2017 3:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 19, 2017 10:58 AM CST
They don't make them red, the lack of the green chlorophyll makes the red color come through, it is normally masked by the green.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 19, 2017 3:06 PM CST
That's a good article Ursula.

I would add that its a naturally occuring mutation - no one did anything to cause the bright coloration. Sometimes there is enough chlorophyll in the cactus to aid in its own support but those plants are not as intensely bright. And those graft partners do not die in a couple years.

I'll add a photo in a while of one I have had for several years now. It started out as a 1 inch ball and is now about 3 inches. There are 4 more ungrafted ones sitting beside the grafted one. Only one of the other 4 is actually green.
Thumb of 2017-03-19/DaisyI/daed01

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
[Last edited by DaisyI - Mar 19, 2017 3:14 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1393377 (13)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 19, 2017 3:24 PM CST
Well... I'll be DOGGED !😁😁😁!
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
Image
Ursula
Mar 19, 2017 3:49 PM CST
Daisy, your plants look great!! And thanks for the additional info!! Smiling

Years ago, a cactus friend gave me a bunch of baby Myrtillocactus geometrizans to play with. I started grafting with some of the larger Gymnocalycium pups for the fun of it. Some made it actually for a couple of years.

Philip, fun stuff, isn't it?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 19, 2017 4:23 PM CST
Laugh-in guy.
VERRRY INTERESTING !!!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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