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Amymar
Dec 5, 2017 9:00 AM CST
Hi!

I'm trying to identify what kind of cactus this is. I'm also looking for some help. It always gets sun and I water when the soil dries but after one very sunny day it actually bent away from the sun. Since then it's been bending over. The other thing I just noticed was spots on it. I purchased another cactus from someone with spots like that and they said it was frost bite but this guy hasn't been in the cold. Thanks for any help in advance!
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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
Dec 5, 2017 11:18 AM CST

Moderator

I will let others weigh in on the spots, but from the lean I would guess the cactus is not getting enough light. Does it "see" the sun for hours a day? There is a big difference between that and indirect bright light (diffused and reflected) which is insufficient for a plant like yours. It should be sitting right in front of your sunniest window, ideally an unobstructed southern exposure if you're in the northern hemisphere. This time of year light is in short supply indoors so these types of problems seem to be most pronounced.

You can try staking the plant but I suspect the best solution may end up being pruning. Thin, sideways-leaning growth due to low light is basically irreversible.

Amymar
Dec 5, 2017 12:16 PM CST
It sits in front of a southern facing window so when there's light there's lots of it but we are in the northeast. The lean started happening in the summer and away from the sun which I thought was odd...

If I did prune would you suggest cutting right on the line that clearly separates it from the base or slightly underneath?

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
Dec 5, 2017 12:21 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, that is odd... not quite sure what's behind the change then. Maybe something blocking the window outside? Some plants naturally do sprawl sideways. It seems like the main stem and the side branches are both a different shape than they were when they started, though. Longer and skinnier, with less pronounced spines. Well, provide as much light as you have available. I would make the cut right above the last right-pointing pad in the last picture, if you do prune.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Dec 5, 2017 12:38 PM (+)]
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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
Dec 7, 2017 12:36 AM CST
It a type of Opuntia. Some of the Opuntias with thin pads do tend to flop around some. But...(there's always a 'but'), If the new pads are getting thinner and narrower, it is a clear sign that the cactus is not getting enough light.

Even in the north east, your plant could spend summers outside, A shady spot outdoors is brighter than a sunny spot in doors.

I'm not sure what the dry spots are either.
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
Houston, Texas
CRD999
Dec 30, 2017 6:29 PM CST
Hello Everyone - I was hoping to get some help or advice. I have this cactus (?) - I think I over watered it or didn't have proper drainage when I first got it. As a result - it got weak and keeled over. I was able to revive it - but the damage was done. It continues to grow but needs support. Any thoughts one reconstructive surgery? Can I prune (?) it and save either/both parts? Or should I just let it grow, let it grow, let it grow? Thanks in advance -

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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
Dec 30, 2017 7:38 PM CST
Welcome! @CRD999

I noticed you also posted over on the "Ask A Question" Forum. You may get more answers over there.

I'm impressed that your cactus survived its adventure. I think its a Mammillaria - they are not known for surviving overwatering adventures.

You can cut the top off at the skinny part and try to re-root the top. The bottom is rooted so it will most likely grow some 'puppies' around the cut edge. Whatever you do, I would wait until spring. Winter is not a good time to convince a cactus to root, even in your house. They need to be in active growth so wait until spring.

When you do cut off the top part (next spring), let it sit in a shady spot for at least a week then balance the cut end on barely moist cactus potting soil. Stake it up with bamboo skewers or (my favorite) plactic knives or forks and dental floss. Smiling You can firm it in a little so the entire cut bottom is in contact with soil but do not bury any of the cactus body. Water and fertilizer are for plants that have roots so control yourself and don't. Then, be patient. This project will take months.

Keep us posted!
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

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