Cactus and Succulents forum: Cactus Cutting Help

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Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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ljones26
Feb 13, 2018 11:39 AM CST
Hello!

So I'm a member of this large group on Facebook that sells succulents/cacti. I have received a lot of wonderful plants this way, but I'm currently struggling with a Trichocereus bridgesii cutting I received a week and a half ago. It is in the greenhouse, in dry soil half way up the cutting. I have not watered it once, and when I received the cutting it had a nice dry callous at the bottom, so it wasn't still drying.

I walk into the greenhouse yesterday and notice that a black squishy spot has formed on the tip. Concerned, I tried to contact the seller but she would not reply.

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I return to check on it today, and noticed that ANOTHER spot has formed. I then ask her again and all she said was that's weird since rot normally starts at the bottom. Her advice was take it out and just let it dry for awhile. I'm not sure that is going to be helpful since it's at the top. Any advice here? I'm kind of wanting a refund, but I'm open to trying to save it. Thanks!

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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Feb 13, 2018 12:58 PM CST
Do you have a way of checking the humidity and overnight temperatures in the green house?
High humidity can cause rot or fungal infections to form away from the soil level. Do you ever see condensation on the inside of the green house walls?

Since it is spreading, you have to worry what is going on inside of the cutting. If it already had roots I'd suggest beheading it. May still be the best option - at least you would be able to evaluate how it looks internally.

For these kind of plants winter is probably not really the best time to start things from cuttings even in a green house especially if the humidity is high.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 13, 2018 9:39 PM CST
I would NEVER bury part of the plant to grow roots - sit it on top of the soil but give it a little push to make sure good contact is made with the soil surface.

If this was my plant, I would take my scalpel and cut a little circle out around one of those black spots to see what I can see.

I would also be suspicious of the "seller" and the quality of this cutting as developing rot in a week and a half is pretty fast. Did it sit out for a week or so before you potted? We already know you planted it too deep. Anything else we should know before we pass judgement on this person? Smiling
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: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Cat Lover Bromeliad
Container Gardener Region: Ohio Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse
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ljones26
Feb 14, 2018 6:10 AM CST
Thank you Thijs! I will have to ask my professor what humidity the greenhouse is at. It does seem humid inside.

Daisy, on previous posts I have made on here, I had been told by multiple people on how to plant a cactus cutting and that is how they told me to plant it. I am going based off what they told me.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 14, 2018 6:01 PM CST

Moderator

I know I'm late here, Smiling but I wanted to echo a couple of things that Thijs and Daisy have said.

It does seem like awful weird timing to start a big cactus cutting now in zone 6a (even in a greenhouse) given the low light and the cool temps. So I'm not sure whether the environment was not conducive or the cutting was somehow defective to start with, but maybe there's no way to know the difference, if you get my meaning. Try again in a few months if this doesn't work out and you really want the plant.

And I would also avoid burying a whole lot of stem. Buried succulence is a potential source of rot, without any great benefit. With a cutting like that I would place it on top of the soil, or tuck half an inch down into the soil, whatever you need to keep it upright and stable. You don't need to obsess about the details down there, but too much stem starts to head into greater risk with no particular reward.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 14, 2018 6:16 PM (+)]
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