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Lozza998
Oct 22, 2017 8:13 AM CST
I have had this cactus for around two years now, and ever since it lost it’s flower it has started growing like this. Is this normal?
Thumb of 2017-10-22/Lozza998/e6d9e7

[Last edited by Lozza998 - Oct 22, 2017 8:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 22, 2017 8:21 AM CST
I have no idea if it's normal, but it sure is adorable!
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
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Baja_Costero
Oct 22, 2017 9:20 AM CST

Moderator

Your cactus needs more light. The stem is narrower than it used to be because it is stretching as it reaches for more light. Ideally the cactus should "see" the sun for hours a day, otherwise consider lights. Unfortunately the stretching that has already taken place is irreversible, but at least now you know what caused it.

Welcome!
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 22, 2017 9:21 AM (+)]
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Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 22, 2017 9:30 AM CST
It would look amazing with xmas lights. Sorry is that a no no. It's so cute.
Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 22, 2017 10:24 AM CST
lauriebasler said:It would look amazing with xmas lights.

And a little Santa cap.

Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 22, 2017 10:27 AM CST
So here is a serious question: For plants like cacti which (I think) are slower growing and might take longer to show the effects of deficient lighting, what should I as a beginner look out for?
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
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Baja_Costero
Oct 22, 2017 11:02 AM CST

Moderator

The plant above is a pretty useful example. If the stem narrows at the top and forms a raised central area, it may be stretching. There may be more distance between areoles (the structure the spines come out of). The spines may be reduced or absent (see above). In many/most cases it seems that spines on cacti are a pretty good indicator of light. The more the better, as far as spines go.

We laugh about the Santa cap Smiling but I know more than one Arizona cactus gardener who uses dollar store Santa hats to protect plants during occasional light freezes. The idea is to insulate the sensitive growth center from the cold and apparently it works pretty well. Plus there's a seasonal decorative bonus. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 22, 2017 12:10 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1571566 (7)
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
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plantmanager
Oct 22, 2017 11:03 AM CST
I'd rather see santa caps than the paper or styrofoam cups my neighbors use!
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
Oct 22, 2017 2:37 PM CST
Like this:

Thumb of 2017-10-22/mcvansoest/9f35e7

Styrofoam cups have the advantage that they do not soak when it rains. For some of my really sensitive cacti like the Pilosocerei I use styrofoam under a santa hat.

Other signs of light deficiency in addition to the ones that Baja mentioned - which are the most obvious ones anyway - is a distinct change in color in the new growth both body and spines, and aside from thinner growth also abnormal looking growth. I have a cactus that I got as a cutting and while it was rooting I kept it in the shade and it now forever has this weird thin, but also malformed looking section. It has grown out of it just fine, but that one section will just always look weird.

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
Oct 22, 2017 2:40 PM CST
I love your Santa hats in the cacti garden, Thijs! It's a cute way to protect those tender growing tips.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 22, 2017 5:47 PM CST
*****SO CUTE!!!!!***** Hurray!

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