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Mintaka
Apr 7, 2018 10:46 AM CST
I inherited this plant from a friend. She has had it over twenty years.
It produces little furry black " flowers" every year.
I think it badly needs repotting, but should I split it or leave it as a huge group?
Thumb of 2018-04-07/Mintaka/4d86ec
Thumb of 2018-04-07/Mintaka/3cc1a6
Thumb of 2018-04-07/Mintaka/2247c6

(Zone 6b)
skopjecollection
Apr 7, 2018 10:58 AM CST
Its some kind of echinopsis. Likely a hybrid. Flowers might narrow it down. Black things are buds. Somehow your plant isnt growing in good conditions. Somehow its rotten in some places as well. You my might have to cut off those areas, but id prefer if the more experienced members pitched in.
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Apr 7, 2018 11:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Apr 7, 2018 11:13 AM CST
I agree with skopje, it looks like the tall main stem has some areas of concern. I know that it is hard with all the spines, but if you have like a pen of the blunt end of a pencil you can push that between the spines are do a little probing in the discolored area on the main stem in the 2nd photo. If it ends up being all soft and mushy then you do indeed have some rot going on.

If that is the case I'd split that cactus up and discard any obviously rotting pieces.
If it is firm it might just be a dried out spot where at some point something bad had been happening, but it stopped.

As to repotting yes, it probably wants a bigger pot. However, if you do this you will probably inadvertently knock off quite a few the smaller pieces of the cactus. Not much you can do about that, it just happens. However, you can put each of those pieces into a pot by itself and it will in all likelihood root and be another happy cactus.

Again as skopje says those little black 'flowers' are actually the flower buds. On these plants a lot can develop and never actually make it to being a full flower - has to do with lighting, heat, and the right amount but certainly not too much water.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Apr 7, 2018 11:36 AM CST
And be sure your pot(s) have drain holes.
Porkpal

Mintaka
Apr 7, 2018 11:46 AM CST
Hi Mcvansoest,
I already had a wee poke about and the yellowish bits seem solid, not mushy.
The trough it is in does have drainage holes.
I think I will just need to don the giant gloves and split it up.
The soil it is in smells quite fousty, probably hasn't been repotted in years.
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
Apr 7, 2018 1:40 PM CST
Mintaka, good to hear it is still feeling solid. You will want to keep an eye on it. It may just be a part of the cactus that is 'corking' - ie. developing a woody exterior - but yellowing going to darker colors could be a sign of an issue.

The gloves may not help too much when touching/picking up the cactus. Some times it is the only way to handle things, but what can help is to grab some old news paper and wad it up into a ball or wrap it around the part of the plant that you intend to touch thick enough for the spines to not stick all the way through the paper then you can just grab the papered area with you gloves and not suffer a large number of punctures. Does not work for every cactus, but it does for many.

Not sure exactly where you are, but unless you are in say the AZ desert area these plants want as much sun and bright light as you can give them. With one caveat: you will want to keep the side of the plant that was facing the sun before, facing the sun. The other side will not be used to sun exposure and could sun burn even behind a window.

Mintaka
Apr 7, 2018 2:46 PM CST
Unfortunately not in any desert area at all! 😁😁
Currently suffering the ravages of a long Scottish winter! ❄️⛄️🌨💨
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
Apr 7, 2018 3:11 PM CST
Ah Scotland! So, the message of providing as much light/sun as possible is definitely one to keep in mind.
Be very sparing with water, especially if the space the plant is in is humid. In a way having the plant 'underpotted', might be an advantage - not much soil around to stay wet long after watering.

You may have guessed from my user name, that I am Dutch and I used to grow Cacti when I still lived there and had some golden barrel cacti that I kept in the same pot for years (my parents have them now and they are still in the same pot), they get by on so little water and still grow. So that is something to keep in mind.

Here it is the start of April and it looks like we are already well on our way to our summer heat, but a lot of things are about to flower. This is a picture of an Echinopsis that is working up to a lot of flowers, so you can get a sense of what developing flowers should look like, I will try and update with a picture when the flowers are open:
Thumb of 2018-04-07/mcvansoest/484337

My wife and I visited Scotland a couple of years ago. Found a nice AirBnB somewhere just north of Inverness and did a lot of day tripping. It was during the height of our summer and we loved the cooler and wetter weather. Had some great sunny days as well.

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Apr 7, 2018 3:11 PM CST
Oh, Mintaka, then you probably need lots of sun too!
Porkpal
[Last edited by porkpal - Apr 7, 2018 3:13 PM (+)]
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Mintaka
Apr 8, 2018 12:25 PM CST
Yeah, unfortunately the sun doesn't hang about too much, but hey ho, better than rain or snow 😆
However, my cacti seem to do ok.
Here is a picture of one that flowered last year. I have no idea what kind of cactus it is.
Still learning!


Thumb of 2018-04-08/Mintaka/69d10d

(Zone 6b)
skopjecollection
Apr 8, 2018 12:28 PM CST
Hate to rain on your parade, but there is a rot spot on your left parodia. Maybe even 2.....

Mintaka
Apr 8, 2018 1:52 PM CST
Oh yeah, I saw that. It came like that. Hasn't got any worse. It keeps putting out babies. I have split it a few times, but not sure if it would be happier in a clump.
Some of the baby ones I have split off are looking really well.

Mintaka
Apr 8, 2018 1:53 PM CST
So Skopje, these ones with the yellow flowers are parodia?
Oops, just googled it, parodia ottonis.
That's the fellah!
Thanks Skopje!
[Last edited by Mintaka - Apr 8, 2018 1:56 PM (+)]
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(Zone 6b)
skopjecollection
Apr 8, 2018 1:57 PM CST
Its an ottonis type parodia, cant id exact species.

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