Ask a Question forum: Schlumbergera rot, what could be the cause?

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Georgia, United States (Zone 7b)
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Nisauabukunouki
Nov 26, 2017 7:06 PM CST
I recently got a Schlumbergera from a friend in very bad condition. He says it's approximately 3 years old taken from a cutting of a very old mother plant. I had high hopes for this plant because I've seen how big and beautiful they can get. However, a problem has arisen. The woody stems seem to be rotting away. It isn't the usual type of rot where the base is rotting, the wooded stems above the base seem to be rotting. I've lost three stems to this ailment. It seems if I can't find a solution soon, it won't survive. I don't think its rot caused by water, I've been watering sparingly and it's not at the base that's rotting it's further up. It's not caused by the cold either. I really don't want to lose this plant because the mother plant dates all the way back to the early 1900s. Any and all help is appreciated.

Once I first got it:
Thumb of 2017-11-27/Nisauabukunouki/5cd24b


Now:


Thumb of 2017-11-27/Nisauabukunouki/299660


My current theory is that the ailment is a virus that was caught as a result of it being outside, which is where my friend kept it.

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 26, 2017 7:15 PM CST
It's very hard to tell from the photos and the information you provided exactly what the problem is. It is likely to be a root problem, not a virus.

I suggest that you leave the roots alone; move it to a warm, sunny location; and water it lightly only when the top inch of soil is dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Georgia, United States (Zone 7b)
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Nisauabukunouki
Nov 26, 2017 7:24 PM CST
WillC said:It's very hard to tell from the photos and the information you provided exactly what the problem is. It is likely to be a root problem, not a virus.

I suggest that you leave the roots alone; move it to a warm, sunny location; and water it lightly only when the top inch of soil is dry.


I suppose it could be a root problem. However, if it is the root problem, wouldn't the base be rotting and not the upper stems that attach to the base? Also, for a detailed description, the corked stems became hallow and feel off extremely easily. When I looked inside there was mush. I'm quite new to house plants so I'm not quite sure what root rot looks like. Thanks for your reply!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Nov 26, 2017 7:38 PM CST
I didn't say that it was root rot. I said it is likely to be a root problem. I don't know just what its history is or the cause of the root problem. It may have been that the roots dried out excessively at some point or damaged when repotted or propagated. I just don't know the cause.

If the woody, lower stems are mushy and hollow, then they have died, are no longer functioning and now the upper stem portions are following suit. I'm sorry, but given your description, I am not optimistic about its recovery at this point. Sad
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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