Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: I think my plant is dying (dead)

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1193, Replies: 27 » Jump to the end

Image
MrWalt
Apr 1, 2017 6:18 PM CST
I believe that my inexperience may have caused my little friend to die..or is very close to death! If there is any way to save it I would really appreciate the help.
Thumb of 2017-04-02/MrWalt/9c9927

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Apr 1, 2017 7:17 PM CST

Moderator

Don't give up hope! Did it look different before? Has there been some change in its lifestyle? Some cacti look like that normally (the type with lots of white hair are sometimes called "Old Man cactus" because of this feature). The surefire way to know your cactus is actually doing something under all the fur is if it flowers. I have a hairy little cactus in a tiny pot that sits there the whole year apparently doing nothing and then once a year it makes these amazing hot pink flowers. Sometimes you have to take good health as a matter of faith until you get the confirmation.

As long as you're giving the right care (lots of light, water when dry and not much before) then I don't see anything to be concerned about. Seems to be a matter of personal style for the little plant as much as anything else. Smiling

(Hey, somebody's got my favorite agave as their avatar!) Thumbs up
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 1, 2017 7:19 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1403669 (2)

Image
MrWalt
Apr 1, 2017 8:27 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Don't give up hope! Did it look different before? Has there been some change in its lifestyle? Some cacti look like that normally (the type with lots of white hair are sometimes called "Old Man cactus" because of this feature). The surefire way to know your cactus is actually doing something under all the fur is if it flowers. I have a hairy little cactus in a tiny pot that sits there the whole year apparently doing nothing and then once a year it makes these amazing hot pink flowers. Sometimes you have to take good health as a matter of faith until you get the confirmation.

As long as you're giving the right care (lots of light, water when dry and not much before) then I don't see anything to be concerned about. Seems to be a matter of personal style for the little plant as much as anything else. Smiling

(Hey, somebody's got my favorite agave as their avatar!) Thumbs up


No change in lifestyle, but I did notice that before it was greener in the center. Now its gone a bit pale. Its quite worrisome! Though i do hope it isnt anything life threatening.

And ah you noticed! I didn't think anyone would recognize it!! Hurray!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Apr 1, 2017 9:20 PM CST
It may be a little Mammilaria. Does it have hooks for spines? Brown where there once was green is worrisome.
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

Image
MrWalt
Apr 1, 2017 10:06 PM CST
DaisyI said:It may be a little Mammilaria. Does it have hooks for spines? Brown where there once was green is worrisome.


As far as i can tell they dont appear to be hooks. Here is a picture of the plant from a few months ago. The picture is a bit blurry because my focus when taking it was on the plant next to it (which i cropped out a bit for the purpose of this discussion).
Thumb of 2017-04-02/MrWalt/eed667

[Last edited by MrWalt - Apr 1, 2017 10:07 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1403761 (5)
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Seller of Garden Stuff Bookworm
Image
plantmanager
Apr 1, 2017 10:10 PM CST
Oh dear. Now that we see the other pic, that one may be dead or dying. It really was green in the first pic. I have a similar one that I'm thinking is dead. I may uproot mine to see what the roots look like.
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
Image
mcvansoest
Apr 2, 2017 12:12 AM CST
Sorry, that unfortunately looks done.

Not sure where you are located but these kind of little Mammillarias are really sensitive to wet and cold and too wet in general.

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 8:07 AM CST
plantmanager said:Oh dear. Now that we see the other pic, that one may be dead or dying.


So do you think there is any hope in saving my little friend? Or is it too late?

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 8:10 AM CST
mcvansoest said:Sorry, that unfortunately looks done.




Ah thats unfortunate. I was really looking forward to its recovery. If you are certain that theres no chance of helping it then I'll take your word for it.
And thank you so much for your input.
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
Foliage Fan Birds Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
Image
Hamwild
Apr 2, 2017 8:10 AM CST
I wanted to add that I belive the current pot is too big and the soil needs amending (for future reference if your friend is in fact, dead).

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 8:14 AM CST
Hamwild said:I wanted to add that I belive the current pot is too big and the soil needs amending (for future reference if your friend is in fact, dead).


Thank you for pointing that out. I will be sure to remember that!

If i might ask
Do you believe my little friend is done for?
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
Foliage Fan Birds Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
Image
Hamwild
Apr 2, 2017 8:25 AM CST
He definitely looks different from your first picture, sadly.

I think time will tell and there's no harm holding onto him to see for sure, but expect the best and prepare for the worst! :smily:

If he's dead, all you wasted was time waiting to know for sure. nodding

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 8:43 AM CST
Hamwild said:He definitely looks different from your first picture, sadly.

I think time will tell and there's no harm holding onto him to see for sure, but expect the best and prepare for the worst! :smily:

If he's dead, all you wasted was time waiting to know for sure. nodding


What I'm having trouble with is knowing when to water. If it is in fact dead i think it may be due to a combination of over watering and a cold temperature.

And losing a friend! Crying
Its just saddening to know that its current condition is completely my doing. I unintentionally and unknowingly caused the death of my little plant.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Apr 2, 2017 9:59 AM CST

Moderator

Maybe, but if in the process you have acquired some knowledge (however incremental), then you can exercise intention next time around and maybe avoid the same problem. It can be hard to lose a plant, but I try to turn the loss into a gain.

Killing succulents unintentionally is part of having them around. I don't see any way to completely avoid it. They can be way more sensitive than one might otherwise expect. The meltdown can be rapid and complete and a total surprise. In the beginning they die more often than one would like, but logic and observation will improve your chances significantly over time.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
Apr 2, 2017 10:08 AM CST
Don't feel so bad MrWalt..I am guilty of killing some of my cacti/suculents too unfortunately..but it is a learning curve so next time we can avoid it. It really taught me to pay attention to seasonal variances in temperatures and learn to adjust my watering. Still learning as I go too, weather is just so different year to year. Rolling my eyes.

To console myself, I just think it will now give me some space to buy and try something new. Smiling
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
Image
mcvansoest
Apr 2, 2017 10:49 AM CST
It never hurts to wait, miracles do happen, but indeed prepare for the worst.

As to care for plants like these as few things: it is hard to give you very specific info since we do not know where you are located, this plant will take very different care say if kept in a window sill in the northeast where it will get really cold in winter, compared to living in the desert southwest.

On top of that the genus Mammillaria is very large and thus general care tips only get you so far. So what follows is pretty generic and written from a hot desert climate with little 'winter' to speak of perspective. I am sure there are people here who have to winter their plants inside who might give you more specific advice as to care, but the general message here probably applies:

Soil: I agree with the comment made above: your soil does look like it needs to be amended to be a whole lot faster draining. I am not as perturbed by the size of the pot, which in my experience matters less if you have fast draining soil, but the pot does make me wonder if it has a drain hole in the bottom. Obviously fast draining soil does not help if the water cannot drain from the pot. There is another thread currently active about what a good soil is that contains some useful tips.

Water: I grow quite a few Mammillaria and through trial and error (the error usually leading to a plant's demise) I have found a bunch that I can treat the same when grown in hanging baskets. Even here where winter is indeed a lot colder than our summer, but nothing compared to winter in most of the rest of the country I water the hanging baskets at most once a month (that whole does not like wet and cold thing - cold is still well above freezing most of the winter - here in Mesa, AZ we had one night just below freezing this winter), slowly increasing to watering twice a month when temperatures start rising - especially the night time temperatures - and then to once a week in the heat of summer. If I kept the plants in smaller pots I'd probably have to increase the frequency of watering in the heat of summer as smaller pots dry out faster. The main message remains keep dry when cold, so if you are in cold winter environment little if any watering would be the message in winter, unless the plant is in a heated room, then you will want to keep an eye on how dry the pot gets.

Light: here in the Phoenix area few Mammillarias can take all day full sun in summer, they do OK the rest of the year, but unless you are willing to mess around with shade structures when summer comes around, providing a good amount of bright shade makes the plants happier. In other parts of the country these plants can probably take as much light as you can give them especially in the non summer months.

Temperature: when dry these plants in some cases can take a few nights of mildly freezing temperatures, some occur in the wild at significant altitudes, but that is usually offset by sunny bright well above freezing day time conditions, so for most a good rule of thumb is: keep as warm as possible in winter, but if you keep it in a heated room you will want to keep an eye on how dry the plant gets.

Then as a final note: Mammillarias can be very finicky plants even in pretty ideal conditions, I have around 30-35 floating around these days, but I have easily killed as many if not more to get to the point where I am now: relatively capable to get most of these plants to stay alive and in a good number of cases get them to thrive. And that comes with the caveat that the moment I put one in the ground (I currently have only four in the ground and one of them is about to hit the green waste bin as it did not survive our relatively wet winter, one is hanging on not sure on the outcome yet, while the other two have been my long term success stories) it is still as good as dead, I have not quite mastered the art of growing Mammillarias in the ground yet. So while it is never fun to loose a plant, trial and error is really the only way to learn about caring for them in your particular conditions, advice from others certainly helps, but only gets you so far.

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 11:06 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Maybe, but if in the process you have acquired some knowledge (however incremental), then you can exercise intention next time around and maybe avoid the same problem. It can be hard to lose a plant, but I try to turn the loss into a gain.

Killing succulents unintentionally is part of having them around. I don't see any way to completely avoid it. They can be way more sensitive than one might otherwise expect. The meltdown can be rapid and complete and a total surprise. In the beginning they die more often than one would like, but logic and observation will improve your chances significantly over time.



You are right! As with everything in life this is a learning experience. I must take what I learned and try my best to prevent this from happening again.

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 11:19 AM CST
tarev said:Don't feel so bad MrWalt..I am guilty of killing some of my cacti/suculents too unfortunately..but it is a learning curve so next time we can avoid it. It really taught me to pay attention to seasonal variances in temperatures and learn to adjust my watering. Still learning as I go too, weather is just so different year to year. Rolling my eyes.

To console myself, I just think it will now give me some space to buy and try something new. Smiling


Thank you for your words of consolation. This is my first time taking care of plants so I have yet to grow familiar with this feeling Crying but i will definitely take your words to heart and will find myself another plant to love. Thank You!

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Apr 2, 2017 11:19 AM CST

Moderator

Thumbs up

The learning curve is long with succulents, which I like. It goes on and on. Smiling

Thijs has given you some really excellent advice. Tap into his knowledge and experience.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 2, 2017 11:21 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1404066 (19)

Image
MrWalt
Apr 2, 2017 11:48 AM CST
mcvansoest said:It never hurts to wait, miracles do happen, but indeed prepare for the worst.
.


I thank you so much for both your time and assistance!
Im located in the Northeast and have the plants on a window sill. I would love to have these little guys on the ground, but as a college student living in an apt it is rather difficult to have such a luxury. Id rather keep them close to me at all times!

Soil: I've been using soil from Miracle Gro. I'm not entirely sure how effective it is, but I saw "fast draining" on the bag so i assumed it was all right. I havent done much to the soil but i will look into making it drain faster!

Water: Ah! You've really opened my eyes here! I now realize that the frequency of watering is not set in stone! That it changes depending on various factors! Oh this is so amazing Thank You! I have such a better understanding of how to take care of my little plants! At the beginning I was watering way too much way too frequently. D'Oh! This is the main reason that i think my plant is either dead or very close to it.
I'm glad you were here to help me correct my mistakes.

Light: On the window sill I see them getting a good amount of sunlight. At the beginning I made the mistake of suddenly changing their location (from too much shade to too much sunlight). I have since placed them in a spot that gives them a bit of both. Lots of sunlight with a bit of shade. I hope this is an ideal location!

I want to thank you again for your help. Your detailed guidance will be well advised!

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Cactus and Tender Succulents forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by krobra and is called "Salvia Serenade"