Cactus and Succulents forum→Succulent with wooden stick???

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Singapore
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ZH
Dec 10, 2018 9:12 AM CST
Hi all I recently got a succulent (the one with red top) from a nursery, n found out the base of the stem is an wooden stick, I'm wondering how is the plant gonna absorb water without roots or even having the stem in contact with the soil:/
Also, my blue succulent is turning white at the bottom half, may I know isit due to lack of water cuz I have not watered for 2 weeks cuz I understand that their soil needs to be kept dry?
Thumb of 2018-12-10/ZH/2788c4


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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Dec 10, 2018 9:26 AM CST
Plant is called pachyveria, though turning into a stick is natural, the process is accelerated by a lack of light, and resulting in a lack of dense foliage and elongation. Basically your plant is etiolated.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Dec 10, 2018 11:05 AM CST

Moderator

The plant with the stick is the cactus, Stefan. I cannot explain the situation, though.

The other plant (putative Pachyveria) will enjoy water every week or so with strong light and mild temperatures. There is no benefit to leaving the soil bone dry for any extended period. There is a risk of rot if you water before the soil has a chance to dry out most of the way, though. So water well, then wait and observe, and water again when the time is right.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 10, 2018 11:40 AM CST
Do you think that's a wooden stick? Or the central core of the Hylo? It must be alive and doing well or the Gymno would be dead.
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Dec 10, 2018 12:19 PM CST
DaisyI said:Do you think that's a wooden stick? Or the central core of the Hylo? It must be alive and doing well or the Gymno would be dead.


Ive seen those peel and rot like that before...
I tossed them away. I dont think the plant is fine,.....
Singapore
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ZH
Dec 11, 2018 2:41 AM CST
Hi I heard from someone the wooden stick might be used by the seller to attach the cactus to the soil, I will try getting soil to allow it to reach the base of the stem to allow roots to grow. I didn't know plants can grow roots from stems tho? Is my fren right abt it?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 11, 2018 10:45 AM CST
I think you need to determine if its really just a stick or the core of the cactus without the outside. The bottom part was a cutting from a cactus similar to a Dragon Fruit and the colorful top is grafted onto the green bottom part. If, at one time, there was soil to the brim of the pot (it looks low), it could be that stick was under the soil and rooted.

Can you take a photo of the bottom where the stick and green stem come together?
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
Dec 11, 2018 11:08 AM CST

Moderator

Yes, the core of a Hylocereus looks a little like a stick. When my large patio plant lost all the fleshy part of the stem, leaving only a stick-like part at the center, I was concerned. But it functions perfectly fine to transport water and nutrients, and the plant has continued to grow. Judging by the red top of the plant in the original post, that "stick" down there is not a problem either.
Name: tarev
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tarev
Dec 11, 2018 11:10 AM CST
Hello ZH, I am thinking the grower was just using that stick to help balance the cacti cutting while it tries to grow roots. Your weather is warm and moisture high enough so the cacti is enduring well even if it still has yet to grow its own roots. You can shore up drier media at the base of it if you want, that way the roots once it forms reaches the well draining soil faster. But do not bury too deep, it is quite prone to rotting if buried deep especially since it is in a very humid environment.

Your second plant looks like a Pachyveria. It actually prefers growing on a drier set-up using grittier soil. I am just a bit concerned with the base of the stem. Just check if it is still feeling firm to your touch. The media it is in looks quite moisture retentive. It does show a new growth at the base, so it is also possible the plant is redirecting its energies to the new growth, hence the pallor of the leaves and some parts of the plants. I would not worry about the older lower leaves, it is normal for this plant to shed them in time. Just be mindful of watering, since your location is much warmer with higher humidity.
[Last edited by tarev - Dec 11, 2018 11:11 AM (+)]
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Name: Ângelo B. P.
South Jordan, Utah, USA (Zone 7a)
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BlueOddish
Dec 11, 2018 6:14 PM CST

Plants Admin

I think the Pachyveria is rotting at the base.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 11, 2018 6:25 PM CST
So do I. Something is causing discoloration.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Singapore
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ZH
Dec 12, 2018 12:15 AM CST
@daisyl
Here r some photos of where the stick meets the stem.
I've bought succulent soil already but it takes few days to deliver. So I'm wondering in the mean time should I just leave it as it is or some cut the wooden stick or push the soil up such that it is in contact with the base of stem. I tried to pull the stick out few days ago but it's seems firmly attached to the soil. So I was unsure if its part of the plant or if its just an wooden stick meant for support. Also another thing to note is that the soil have clump tgt such that I can pull out the whole bulk of soil surrounding the wooden stick when I pull the stick... So am I suppose to break the soil apart if I want to bring it up to the base of the stem? @tarev the discolored part is still firm too touch.
Thumb of 2018-12-12/ZH/1eea76


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Singapore
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ZH
Dec 12, 2018 12:17 AM CST
@blueoddish @daisyl
What do u think could be causing the base of the stem to rot? Insufficient water?
Name: Ângelo B. P.
South Jordan, Utah, USA (Zone 7a)
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BlueOddish
Dec 12, 2018 9:15 AM CST

Plants Admin

Too much water or maybe just humidity
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Dec 12, 2018 11:05 AM CST

Moderator

To illuminate the issue of the "stick" here is a different species of dragonfruit where the main stem has lost all of its succulent "flesh" and left behind only the vascular core.

Thumb of 2018-12-12/Baja_Costero/419114

To me this looks a lot like the plant in the original picture, just different proportions. This Hylocereus plant is doing totally fine and has been like this for years. So the "stick" in the first picture is probably a part of the plant that is playing a functional role in keeping it alive.

To rescue the putative Pachyveria with the rotted stem (is it soft? because the color is not good) you would need to restart that plant from a cutting. Use a sharp blade to cut maybe half an inch (1cm) below the bottom healthy leaf, well within the green stem. Let the cutting heal in a bright place with good air flow for a week or so before potting it up, and then wait another week afterwards to water. Keep the original headless plant because the offset at the base may grow out just fine.

[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Dec 12, 2018 11:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 12, 2018 11:18 AM CST
What Baja is saying is, there is no "stick". That is the base of your plant. Its is rooted and alive. Think of it as a little tree trunk - don't cover it with soil. The reason you can't pull it out is that you are pulling up the entire root system.

You can use that potting soil planting the cutting of your Pachyveria.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Singapore
hello
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ZH
Dec 13, 2018 1:28 AM CST
Hi all thanks for advice!!! So I don't need to do anything with it? Just leave it as it is? I don't need to cover it with soil the reach the base of the green area? Wow im so surprised cuz it really looks exactly like a wooden stick to me, n there's an abrupt change to the green stem so it didn't looks possible to me to be part of the plant. Mind blown.
Singapore
hello
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ZH
Dec 13, 2018 1:32 AM CST
@baja_costero,
Do u mean the stick at the base of my stem or the stick that is beside the plant with no succulent green 'flesh'? Cuz it still looks so odd the wooden stick pokes out of the flesh of the succulent at its base. Like it's so abrupt n not gradual change of flesh to 'vascular bundle' of the stick.
Singapore
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ZH
Dec 13, 2018 1:35 AM CST
Also, I will try the cutting of the blue plant, the stem is not soft, it still feels firm to touch. Its just the discoloration looks so abnormal n unhealthy. Won't the plant die if I don't repot it immediately? I have not watered the plant since I got it 3weeks ago, so it can't be over watering tho..
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Dec 13, 2018 4:26 PM CST

Moderator

You can safely conclude the lower stem (the "stick" on the cactus plant) is functioning to bring water and nutrients to the top of the plant as long as it's well fixed in the soil and the top continues to look properly inflated and happy.

If I had to guess (never personally having grown the root stock of your grafted plant) someone may have cut the succulent body of the stem back on purpose, very abruptly at one point. It does not seem to have harmed the moon cactus on top, or the rest of the plant.

Regarding the blue plant, you might just keep it under observation, to see if the color spreads higher in the plant. If the stem remains firm and the leaves at the top of the stem remain inflated, then it may not be something to worry about. You do not need to repot it right away. Maybe in spring. Water the plant if it's been 3 weeks, then wait for the soil to dry out most or all of the way before watering again.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Dec 13, 2018 4:36 PM (+)]
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