Ask a Question forum: Large cactus browning

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Salt Lake City
slcbeehive
Nov 29, 2017 12:33 PM CST
I brought my large cactus inside the house before the first freeze. Since it's been inside it has started browning on the outside. The middle of the truck and arm has stayed green, but outside has been browning and continue to move inside. I have not overwatered. This is my first cactus and I'm looking for any advice moving forward to save it.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 29, 2017 12:54 PM CST
Welcome!

I'm afraid its beyond saving. Crying

Did the browning start at the top, bottom or everywhere at once? My suspicion is that the move from outside, where it was relatively cool, to inside winter temperatures was too drastic a move. It rotted.
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: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Nov 29, 2017 1:14 PM CST
Yes, I think it's gone. Not sure what would cause that browning but it's pretty far along. I have a bunch of plants like that and I have abused them quite a bit without the stem going brown. It could have to do with the temperature, maybe some extreme right before you took the plant in.

Your plant looks like a Euphorbia, not a cactus... the main important difference being the presence of white sap under pressure that oozes from fresh cuts or wounds, which you should try to avoid touching because it can be a pretty bad skin irritant.

If the browning is only evident at the top and there is some lower portion which is all green, you can try carefully removing the brown part with a sharp knife. Ideally make the cut through green tissue so as not to spread the micro-organisms which cause rot. Avoid touching the sap.

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Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Nov 29, 2017 3:29 PM CST
After enlarging your photo, my first thought was that the plant looked to be suffering due to being subjected to low temp's for too long. Sadly, the rotting tissue will continue and I doubt the plant will survive.

I agree, your plant looks like Euphorbia, rather than a Cactus; here are a couple for comparison:
African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)
Candelabra Tree (Euphorbia ingens)
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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
Nov 29, 2017 3:36 PM CST
Yes, now that Baja has pointed out the plant is a Euphorbia, it may have been too cold outside and that is what started the rot.
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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