Ask a Question forum: Is my cactus rotting?

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San Luis Obispo, CA
Lzuo
Jun 2, 2017 5:37 PM CST
Help I am a first time succulents owner. I bought this green pumpkin cactus back in November. It's almost summer so I've been putting it out in the sun almost everyday. Today I noticed this white wrinkly spot near her base. I am not sure what it is. I am not sure if I over water it or it's sun burn. I water my succulents twice a month. I also try poking it to see if it's soft and I accidentally poked a hole through it!! And she feels overall pretty soft.
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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
Jun 2, 2017 6:51 PM CST
Welcome!

You plant is Parodia magnifica. Watering twice a month during the winter was probably perfect but now, it needs more water. Also, this particular cactus does not like the hot afternoon sun.

Give it a drink (Keep the soil barely damp) and find a summer spot outside that is sunny in the morning and shady by afternoon. You can't water plants on a schedule, you will have to learn when they need a drink.
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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San Luis Obispo, CA
Lzuo
Jun 2, 2017 10:02 PM CST
Thank you for your response, I will definitely put it in a more shady spot from now on and learn when she needs a drink :)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 3, 2017 8:31 AM CST
Daisy makes a good point. Did you know that outdoor light is over 100 times more intense than indoor sunlight? Such an abrupt change in light for any plant can be detrimental. Keep your Cactus in shade when outside, but on a sunny windowsill when indoors.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jun 3, 2017 9:22 AM CST
Outdoor light is not 100 times more intense than indoor sunlight. I know this because I have used a light meter to measure both. Regular window glass blocks about 10-15% of visible light and most of the UV (but nowhere near 99%). Where did you get that number, Will?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 4, 2017 9:54 AM CST
I have a light meter designed specifically and color corrected for plants. What is often overlooked is that indoors, in locations other than greenhouses or solariums, the light comes in from one direction only and the intensity varies considerably as the sun moves during the day. Outdoors, plants normally receive light from all direct directions, including overhead for most of the day. The overall light intensity outside for the course of the day is far greater than commonly recognized.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Jun 4, 2017 9:56 AM CST
Did you measure a difference of over 100 fold? Where did that number come from?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 4, 2017 11:52 AM CST
Let's not get caught up with precise numbers. The point is that outdoor light is much more intense than indoor light and far more than most folks are aware.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Jun 4, 2017 12:46 PM CST
Please don't make up numbers and put them forward as fact. Especially when it's something you and I (anyone with $20 to buy a light meter) can measure pretty accurately. Smiling

As for the original post, the most dangerous time of day to put your cactus out in the sun is mid day, when the light comes closest to vertical. If you're putting an indoor cactus outside for the first time or only occasionally (without giving it a chance to adjust) then try to do it in the morning sun or where you know there will be overhead protection.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 4, 2017 10:03 PM (+)]
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