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San Pedro repair & recovery


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#1 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 08:19 PM

Hey everyone. I’ve recently made it back to California after a long, almost two year hiatus in the PNW due to covid shut-downs. While away, I had someone looking after my place and tending to my plants and animals. Unfortunately, that person didn’t do a good in either department. I’ve recently come home to this and would love some help to get it healthy again. Its etiolated and yellow at the bottom, and seems to be somewhat soft. We’ve just recently moved and it’s sitting on a south facing porch. Any and all help is appreciated, folks.

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#2 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 08:39 PM

I just dug it up since it’s been in the same soul for several years and hasn’t had anything don’t to it. I see it has rooted which is a good sign, I believe, from what I read. I actually got this via a auction when I was a full member a few years back. Thanks again y’all

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#3 greenskeeper

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 08:41 PM

That cactus doesn't look too bad. I would give it a whole lot of water and keep it out of intense sunlight. If after a few days it seems unable to take up the water then the roots might be too damaged, in which case you should cut the head off and grow it as from cutting.

 

Somebody with more experience might have different advice, let's see...



#4 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 08:56 PM

Having just dug it up, I was planning on getting a different soil for it. I see allot of people recommend sand or perlite? The stuff I had it in was just some regular Home Depot cactus mix, with a few cups of perlite. Suggestions?

#5 greenskeeper

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:06 PM

I use regular potting mix with added fine pumice - similar to perlite. I've tried different ratios and they all grow well so your guess is as good as mine there.



#6 pharmer

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 07:34 AM

The top looks good, the roots look good, it's just the middle that's puny.

 

You could cut the top off and root it in a seperate pot with new soil, and repot the puny section with new soil.

 

Then put them in light shade for the rest of this year, watering only occasionally after the soil has dried completely, maybe give it a light dose of nitrogen fertilizer a couple times this year.

 

I'd bet on them both surviving. Unless you're in the cold or damp mountains Cali is a great place for cactii


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#7 Skywatcher

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 04:45 PM

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

 

Pedro and most Trich's are not very picky about soil. Just make sure it drains well, and does not contain tons of peat or moisture retention crystals like some of the Miracle Grow mixes. I use a cheap cactus mix from Lowes as a base for almost everything cacti or succulant, and add to it as I feel is more specific for the individual types.


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#8 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 05:27 PM

So is there any significant difference when I see some posts on here and other platforms that have strictly what looks like river rock and/or perilite as a medium? Or is that just a soil topper?

#9 pharmer

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 08:41 AM

I'd guess any decorative looking stone on the top of the soil is just that - decoration

 

Perlite keeps the soil airy and non-compacted which helps the roots spread,  and tiny airpockets in soil are good for the chemistry that develops between root and soil.


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#10 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 06:12 PM

Good to know. I’d kinda thought that it might be just for looks, but had to make sure. I’m sure they are in this forum somewhere, but what would be a good ratio soil-to-perlite?

#11 greenskeeper

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 08:33 PM

I use about 3:1 soil and pumice


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#12 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:39 PM

Been busy and hadn’t read this until after getting time to pot it. I believe I needed up doing just over a 1:1 ratio, higher on the soil side. Would that be problematic? Just watered it with a few cups of water and had thrown a three large pinecones in the bottom pie shaped into thirds. Thoughts on any of this?

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#13 greenskeeper

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:41 PM

Sounds good. I have San Pedros growing in soil/pumice ratios from 1:2 to 5:1 and they all grow well. The mostly-pumice pots need more watering in summer.



#14 pharmer

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 06:25 AM

you don't want any standing water in or under the pot. if you sense any moisture in the soil at all that's plenty

 

that's a nice big pot. it will support ten columns or more if they branch up high

 

anybody know if pine cones would acidify the soil more than trichs like?


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#15 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 10:52 AM

Okay, cool. I’ll check up on it when I get off work, tonight. If it’s too damp, I’ll just dig it back out and toss some extra soil/perilite in it. What is it that nitrogen does for the cactus?

#16 pharmer

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 12:40 PM

all chlorphyll containing plants need nitrogen to grow and flourish. they need other things too but yellowing of a column sometimes indicates nitrogen deficiency.

 

the yellowing on your column might also have been from overwatering on some kind of infestation that doesn't seem to be bothering the rest of the column.

 

you don't need to dig the thing out, just control the amount of water going in the top.


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#17 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 02:33 PM

Good to know. So, with that being the case, I’m assuming that’s what that yellowing is at the bottom of the cactus in one of the pictures above?

#18 greenskeeper

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 04:03 PM

The yellowing also could be sunburn - they don't like a full day of sun and will burn. Looking at your first photo; the wide yellow band at the bottom might be it's first summer and the less-yellow band above, it's second summer.

The growing tip of your cactus looks healthy so don't worry. That growing tip will give you a good idea of the overall health of the plant. Sometimes I make a tiny mark on the tip so I can count the new areoles as they grow out over the summer weeks.

The new soil in your pot has some nutrients in it so you don't need to feed it right now. Give it a week to do its thing and then examine it again

The yellow regions might always be like that or it might green up again - it doesn't matter as long as the plant keeps getting taller.


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#19 ChanterelleLA

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 05:18 PM

Awesome. Think it may be panning out like I hopefully intended. I’ll have to update later on how things look. I also have some other inquires regarding germination, but am still a ways off from actually asking those questions. Appreciate y’all and your knowledge.
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#20 greenskeeper

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 03:14 PM

How is your cactus looking now?


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