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Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Cat Lover Bromeliad
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ljones26
Mar 9, 2018 3:24 PM CST
Not sure what's up but my cactus has something going on. When I scrape it with my nail a film comes off. Advice?
Thumb of 2018-03-09/ljones26/0d8fc5
Thumb of 2018-03-09/ljones26/f333de

Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
Foliage Fan Birds Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
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Hamwild
Mar 12, 2018 9:40 PM CST
@Baja_Costero
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Mar 12, 2018 10:19 PM CST
Corking. It looks a lot weirder on opuntias, than on barrels or columnars.Most noticeable around cladodes near areole that made them.
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[Last edited by skopjecollection - Mar 12, 2018 10:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Mar 13, 2018 9:17 AM CST

Moderator

It's not corking because it wouldn't scrape off and it would be a different (yellow/brown) color. But I don't know what the white film is. It would be ideal if you could just remove it without damaging the plant too much. When plants are outside the action of the rain tends to scrub the skin clean, maybe that would help when the time is right. It doesn't seem to be due to any kind of bug or pest, but I have zero experience with mites.
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Mar 13, 2018 12:54 PM CST
Actually..... i managed to do just that to the root area belonging to a pachycereus marginatus youngling. And it was woody and greyish to brown. by accident of course.
The strange part is that some species of opuntia have it with a much more wooden color, while others get a grey one. It usually is transparent though. At fist i was frightened with my 2 opuntias(engelmanii and maybe strepthancatha), as it appeared on on older branches and it was transparent, but with time it got a much more normal looking with a woody appearance.
And like i said, its much more showy around the growth joints of the plant,
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[Last edited by skopjecollection - Mar 13, 2018 12:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
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Baja_Costero
Mar 13, 2018 2:12 PM CST

Moderator

Corking is irreversible. That is not what's happening to Lindsey's plant, from her description. Corking is a change within the skin of a plant, not a film on top of it. At least that's my understanding of the process. If you have pictures of the transparent corking, it would be wonderful to see and compare with Lindsey's plant.

http://cactiguide.com/cactipes...

The irreversibility of corking gives the phenomenon a special relationship with the grower. Smiling Once a plant has started corking, the brown part will only advance, never retreat. Maybe an appropriate analogy with human aging would be ordinary hair loss in older men. Everyone goes bald at their own rate (some hardly at all) but the hairline only recedes, never advances (without surgical intervention, medication, or comb-overs, of course). Smiling

Here is an aging Mammillaria which very early on started to turn brown at the base, but continues to flower and fruit every year. It has far more brown stem than green stem at this point. But I would prefer to attribute that to age and distinction Smiling rather than view it as a defect.

Thumb of 2018-03-13/Baja_Costero/7cec85
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Mar 13, 2018 10:58 PM CST
Allright, so since you want proof,
Thumb of 2018-03-14/skopjecollection/779ca2
my Opuntia ficus indica (probably) cutting, 3 years old(slow plant), could scrape it like a film, but only in really small patches
Ive got 8 opuntias, and had a lot of them for a long time
I wouldnt say corking, unless i was familiar with every other cactus pest/disease there was.
Also, can not post links
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[Last edited by skopjecollection - Mar 13, 2018 10:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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ljones26
Mar 14, 2018 12:33 PM CST
I've had multiple people on other sites telling me it's opuntia corking so I guess that's what it is! Thank you!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Mar 14, 2018 12:50 PM CST
I'm really surprised. I've got multiple opuntias and have had them for over 50 years. Many of mine have corking, but nothing looking like that at all. I wonder if different climates can have an influence on what the corking looks like?
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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
Mar 14, 2018 1:07 PM CST

Moderator

I'm thinking it might be a greenhouse/indoor phenomenon. I live in the land of the prickly pears (we actually have one on the flag) and I've seen hundreds of them (in gardens, in grow fields, in habitat)... the transparent corking does not ring any bells. Of course I am always happy to see and learn about something new.

@mcvansoest do you have a minute to check this out?
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 14, 2018 3:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Mar 14, 2018 1:34 PM CST
That could be, Baja. Mine have all be outdoors in the arid Arizona landscapes. The corking is definitely very thick, and a tan/brown. I'll get some pics of it when I get there in a week. I've never tried to peel it off, but I'll try that too.
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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
Mar 14, 2018 2:52 PM CST
I am not sure that the film is actual corking, the fact that it comes off and leaves healthy looking skin behind would suggest that it is not corking in and of itself. Could it be part of the corking process? Maybe... I have certainly not observed corking develop that way on any of my PPs, but I do not grow my PPs indoors. Light poor, cooler, more humid/wet conditions could certainly make things look different.

I cannot speak to Skopje's plant as the picture is very vague. It has a similar appearance and I think I see some evidence for corking at the joint between two of the pads, but other than that the picture is hard to judge.

I have had the outer dermis of PP pads come off after they got sunburnt and in some cases that looked sort of similar, but it would be much thicker and the layers below it would be heavily damaged and would eventually cork up rather than recover to form healthy skin.

I would worry if it was clearly originating from the aureoles, that is where the plant can excrete fluids and is often a spot where pests settle in. Corking is normally supposed to start from the base of the plant, though in prickly pears I have often seen it originate from the joints between pads.

Since it comes off so relatively easily it is worth attempting to clean the plant with some insecticidal soap or neem oil, just to see how it responds. I'd also try to improve the plant's growing conditions: as much light as you can give it, and as warm and dry a place as possible.
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
Mar 15, 2018 10:18 AM CST
Wow this has turned into quite the debate! Originally I had tried rubbing alcohol to remove it and it did absolutely nothing. It's very strange! We will see what happens.

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