Cacti we've lost

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Licespray
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by Licespray »

The longevity of cacti often impresses me. Not like a giant tree that lives for centuries, but because they can be a tiny plant that lives decades.
Ferocactus best cactus :mrgreen:
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by nachtkrabb »

...You are right, Licespray, it is amazing. One of the causes I have them is to teach me how to survive. (I have strong rheumatic fever.)
N.
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
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hegar
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by hegar »

Two plants that were still with me in 2017, but died during the next year are my then one and only Turbinicarpus laui and a very big "horse crippler" cactus (Echinocactus texensis). The former was doing so well, or so I thought, even flowering and producing a pup. Only a few months ago I did read, that this cactus is usually solitary and oftentimes dies after flowering. I did not get any seed from it and do not know, if I can ever replace it.
The E. texensis was already sticking out of the 5-gallon nursery pot, when I received it. I did have it for a number of years and it was producing beautiful pink, fringed flowers, a deeper pink than those found on my other large E. texensis. Its spines were also quite a bit longer and stouter looking. Then we did have the roofers redo our hail-damaged roof and one of those fellows stepped on the crown of that beautiful plant. It never flowered again after that mishap, but produced several small heads. I did leave those on the mother plant below and then realized last year, that the base had gone into a rot. Unfortunately, even the small heads on the top had already been invaded by the microorganism. Only if I had tried to do a areole graft could I possibly have salvaged the plant. I did purchase a small replacement, but will most likely not live long enough to see it flower.
Well, here are those two plants mentioned above.

Harald
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by nachtkrabb »

....and they really are a loss, Hegar.
N.
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
DaveW
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by DaveW »

It may cripple horses Hegar, but nothing is proof against the Building Trade. I was in it myself for 52 years! :D

It looks as if his foot blinded the plant from the apical offsets later forming.
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Licespray
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by Licespray »

I seem to have to repot a cactus every month because the neighbours semi feral cats keep knocking over the pots. Really annoying me but 2 different neighbours have about 5 cats each and just let them roam everywhere over everyone else’s yards..
Ferocactus best cactus :mrgreen:
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ElieEstephane
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by ElieEstephane »

Licespray wrote: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:37 pm I seem to have to repot a cactus every month because the neighbours semi feral cats keep knocking over the pots. Really annoying me but 2 different neighbours have about 5 cats each and just let them roam everywhere over everyone else’s yards..
Have you thought about a sonic cat repeller? They're motion activated and very effective
There are more cacti in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
One of the few cactus lovers in Lebanon (zone 11a) :mrgreen:
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hegar
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by hegar »

Well, Elie, that is a good suggestion, if it indeed does work. Feral cats, which my neighbor feeds, are also a big problem in my garden. However not so much with the cacti. I would, however, place a few of these battery-operated high frequency noise makers in strategic locations, if they do cover enough area.
The curve-billed thrashers on the other hand will uproot small cacti on their search for food. Then, if you do not regularly check your plantings, you find a desiccated, dead little cactus.
I am not sure, if ants could also be culprits, when it comes to the demise of a cactus. I had one Leuchtenbergia principis die after ant hills were almost covering it. Also, the big Echinocactus texensis had mounds of soil piled up around it. Perhaps the ants chew off the roots that are in their way and thus allow entry to microorganisms like bacteria and fungi which in turn cause the feared root rot.

Harald
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ElieEstephane
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by ElieEstephane »

Among many cats, i had a problem with one certain cat that used to drop every pot i have then my rottweiler will chase it and wreak havoc. I used to chase it or scare it with rocks or shoot something next to it scare it and it would come back everyday. I once saw the cat sleeping under a bush so i snuck on it a dumped a full water bucket on it. Never seen it since :lol: :lol: now everytime i see a feral cat i just spray it with a hose

As for cacti we've lost, i seem to be very lucky in that i have many cases of root loss but no eventual root rot. I lost one eriocactus warasii immediately after i bought it. Turns out it was rotten all the way in it. The only other one i lost is my biggest stenocactus. I keep slicing it until i barely had anything left and grafted on opuntia ficus indica with 0 hopes. It's currently living very happily. Once it gets big enough i will core it to produce offsets.
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There are more cacti in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
One of the few cactus lovers in Lebanon (zone 11a) :mrgreen:
Dave Adams
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by Dave Adams »

This is a really useful topic Dave as it shows us ALL not just the newcomers and beginners new to the hobby (it takes over your entire life) of which cacti are susceptible to cold (tropical species) ie Buiningia that should really be overwinter inside the house over winter on a bright windowsill above a radiator or something like that. I have lost Melocactus Neryi, Hamatacactus (Ferocactus) hamatacanthus, and Astrophytum Ornatum, Leuchtenbergia Principis, (Sulco)Rebutia Rauschii (2) and a few others over the last 12 years or so... I bring in some of the 'precious/prized' plants if I'm worrying about losing plants in winter.

You learn by your mistakes.......eventually
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Aloha916
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by Aloha916 »

If you're like me, sometimes you've just got to give a plant the old compost treatment when it becomes more of a hassle to take care of than it's worth.

This week I dumped a few smaller plants that had persistent and obnoxious scale issues that just wouldn't go away! I shouldn't have bought any of the three in the first place, truthfully, as I knew they all had scale, I'd just thought that what I was looking at was past damage that had been treated. (Nope... with the heat, the scale came back full force... and not the easier type of scale that you can just treat with a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol or a high pressure hose, one of the more obnoxious burrowing species.)

I admire people who continue to fight to the very end to keep their plants going!
DaveW
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by DaveW »

For such bad pest infections I just un-pot, wash the soil off and completely immerse such plants in methylated spirits for half a minute and then wash them off in a bucket of clean water:-

"Denatured alcohol, also called methylated spirits (in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom) or wood spirit or denatured rectified spirit, is ethanol that has additives to make it poisonous, bad-tasting, foul-smelling, or nauseating to discourage recreational consumption. It is sometimes dyed so that it can be identified visually. Pyridine, methanol, or both can be added to make denatured alcohol poisonous, and denatonium can be added to make it bitter."

Hopefully then the plant either grows out OK or if damaged by immersion can be used to produce offsets to get a new clean pest free plant. Never known it actually kill the plant. For propagation purposes all you need is the genetic material in order to recover a species.

Problem can be most usual insecticides are not ovicides therefore do not kill the eggs, meaning in time the pest regenerates from these. In the UK ovicides are not usually available for amateur use.
keith
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by keith »

If you're like me, sometimes you've just got to give a plant the old compost treatment when it becomes more of a hassle to take care of than it's worth."

Oh yea plus it frees up space. Sometimes I can save a piece of them and start over again and sometimes no.
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Aloha916
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by Aloha916 »

DaveW wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 8:35 am For such bad pest infections I just un-pot, wash the soil off and completely immerse such plants in methylated spirits for half a minute and then wash them off in a bucket of clean water
Nice tip! I wish I could give it a shot. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, you can't buy denatured alcohol/methylated spirits in California. Who knows why! I would guess it's a new air quality rule that's more aimed at people who burn alcohol and use it as an industrial solvent, vs. people who are using it small-time for home projects.

No dice on buying strong grain alcohol here either. Everclear and the like are banned.

I will definitely keep this in mind in the future, though! I'm very limited on my pesticide options due to my spouse and child spending lots of time outdoors in my garden area, so anything strong enough to require safe disposal/capturing runoff/etc. just won't work, sadly.
keith wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:47 amOh yea plus it frees up space. Sometimes I can save a piece of them and start over again and sometimes no.
We are on the same page! Sometimes you just look at the plant and realize you don't even like it that much, and you never really did in the first place, and you'd much rather have the tray space open and the time back. I do try to salvage though sometimes where I can- I'm planning to do that with an Echinocereus that's been giving me issues, so I'll probably chop off a cleaner stem and test out rooting.
DaveW
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Re: Cacti we've lost

Post by DaveW »

You may be able to do the same by immersing the plant completely in insecticide and then washing it off in a bucket of clean water. It gets into the nooks and crannies better than just spraying a heavily infested plant. However I usually first put the de-potted plant on a clear patch of yard or concrete and setting my pump up sprayer to needle jet rather than spray blast off all the bugs I can see. Then I completely immerse in the insecticide/alcohol for about half a minute, then wash it off in clean water.

Not sure if alcohol kills the eggs that insecticide obviously does not, but at least you get rid of the infestation and can catch any hatchlings later if the plant fully recovers, or if you use it to provide a clean offset for a new start.

Obviously if you are using insecticide instead of alcohol use gloves or tongs to handle the plant since dipping hands into insecticide would be more dangerous than into methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol.

Most of the prohibitions on different forms of alcohol are to stop people drinking it or making "Moonshine" by mixing it with other drinks since some of the alcohols could be poisonous. The tramps used to drink Meth's added to a bottle of wine in the UK, which is why it was coloured blue and other things added to make it unpleasant to drink to stop them. Here it cannot be sent by post being inflammable therefore when I ordered a gallon it had to come by the usual alternative van delivery services.
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