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Soph the Loph needs your help!


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#1 PistolPete13

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 07:29 PM

Hi this is Sophie, I have had her for about 15 years now. Although I do not have a lot of experience with cactii, I think I have done the right thing by her for all these years.

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Although last winter I let her down, I had to be away for extended periods so I just had to water when I could. During the colder months she hardly drinks anything but every couple of months or so depending on the weather she will need a little drink. I usually just wait for a warm sunny day and give her a drink in the morning and her feet are dry by the evening. But I desperately needed to repot her and could not water her for months so I just had to water on some really bad days when the soil would have stayed wet for days. And this was the result two pups suffered from rot(sorry about the picture its the best I could get, and for some reason is upside down)

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By the time I could get around to sorting it out, one of the pups seems to have nearly fully recovered;20190114_075757.jpg

 

So what I am saying is I know what I did wrong, and that I need to repot ASAP. What I am having trouble with, is what exactly I should do before I repot. Or should I just go ahead and repot and keep an eye on it?

 

Thanks in advance for any help, I have actually grown quite fond of that cactus over the years.

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Edited by PistolPete13, 13 January 2019 - 07:38 PM.


#2 Skywatcher

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:16 PM

Sophie is a fine looking cactus Pete !

I really don't see any urgancy to repot, as Lophs seem to enjoy company and somewhat tight perimeters. What they don't like is a pot that is too shallow. Those big carrot like tuber roots like to be deep, not crushed against the bottom of the pot.

I am not saying your container is too shallow, since I can't see the depth. 

I am in winter here, and my lophs do not really grow this time of year. I only repot these when temps are rising, and they are starting to drink and swell in the warm weather.

 

For prep I like to get them pretty well hydrated. Try not to damage roots in the lifting. Letting the root have good air circulation in the shade, and dry air for a few days helps insure any small cuts or root damage scars a bit before repotting. I also really like a good dusting of roottone, a powder rooting hormone.

 

Plant into a dry mix for lophs, with some natural source of lime included, and don't water for a few days.

 

You have pretty obviously been doing right if you have been Sophies caregiver for 15 years.......    :biggrin:



#3 MeadMaker

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:47 PM

I'm pretty sure I've read in other threads, 1) remove any rot.  2) let any wounds scab (scar?) over thoroughly, then 3) replant.

 

Other than that I have no clue.  Hope it helps.  :tongue:



#4 PistolPete13

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 11:34 PM

Thanks for the help guys!

 

It actually looked a lot worse in winter(it is the middle of summer here in oz) it looked a little slimy and was a much darker color. You make a great point about them being crowded naturally. Thanks for the growing tips also when she was a pup years ago it was extremely hard to find growing info about lophos, and I never really caught up.

 

Sophie is a fine looking cactus Pete !

 

Thanks for the compliment I will pass it on :wink: [The Peyoteros used to go up to lophos and tell them how beautiful they were, anytime they came across one. true story.]

 

Re;pot
20190114_150518.jpg

 

I have decided now to just let it go in that pot and keep an eye on it, does that sound right to you now you have seen the pot? If I get any hint it is going south I will do as MeadMaker suggested.

 

Thanks again!

 

EDIT; You cannot pick it up in the picture, but I have cut fairly large thin strips out of the pot on the sides and back, from about halfway down. Which makes the middle and bottom dry out much quicker, so it is not quite a standard pot as it appears in that pic.


Edited by PistolPete13, 13 January 2019 - 11:48 PM.


#5 Skywatcher

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 04:50 PM

The pot looks like it has good depth. Meadmaker is correct that rot should be removed. The trick is to determine what is a progressing rot, or what I suspect in your case to be a situational and temporary reaction to environment.

Your nose is one of our most valuable senses with rot. If you can smell any sour or hydrogen sulphide odor, it needs to be dealt with. Touch is another good way to evaluate. Soft mushy needs to be removed. Solid but discolored does not.

 

I find as my own Lophs grow and age, bottom transitional flesh by the soil often "corks", or gets discolored and then turn to harder woody looking surface.

Since you are in your growing season now, if you have any concerns at all, gently lift the cactus so you can get a better look (and smell) of what is just below the soil level. If you feel solid flesh and root, and there is no odor, I would just set it back into the pot and retamp the soil around the top.

 

That said, aesthetics is always a consideration with a group of cactus. If you think the group would be visually more pleasing to the eye in a different pot or positioned more centered, this is the time to do it.



#6 PistolPete13

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 07:10 PM

I just watered it yesterday so it is a bit tricky to move at the moment, I got a better photo of the worst looking area(although dont know the conditions of the roots). There was a slight earthy smell and that was about all I could pick up. 20190115_105932.jpg

 

After hearing your advice I will move it on, center it and give it the pot that it deserves. And also give it a good inspection/active rot removal while doing so. There will be some spiritual karma points for you Skywatcher (and thank you Meadmaker also) not from me but from Soph! All I can offer unfortunately is a big thank you!

 


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