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Why are my cacti growing skinny?


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#1 5-MeO-DMT

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:07 PM

Hello Topia

 

I come here to fetch the ingenious minds of those with cacti. I am by far a blue thumb  :thumbs_up:

 

If anyone could tell me why they are growing skinny or what I am doing wrong it would be appreciated  :cool:

 

 

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#2 BillyThKid

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:13 PM

Hello Topia

 

I come here to fetch the ingenious minds of those with cacti. I am by far a blue thumb  :thumbs_up:

 

If anyone could tell me why they are growing skinny or what I am doing wrong it would be appreciated  :cool:

Easy to tell!

 

This is what happens with cacti, and all plants, are deprived of light or lack sufficient lighting. its called etiolation and its where a plant stretches and grows thin towards light. it grows thin because it does not get enough light to produce glucose to form cellulose which is needed to build cell walls inside the plant. So it grows according tot the light it is given.

 

Were these indoors? that causes this to happen the most.

 

If i were you this is what i would do: I would cut off the thin growth right where it meets the thick growth and either root the tip upright buried up the body some to support it or grow it on its side in the Log tech. The reason for this is because new growth will be exposed to outdoor lighting and it will be thicker growth so it will become top heavy.

 

Eventually it would snap off anyway from the weight of the thicker growth at the tip so this is best to do soon. after the tip is removed you can leave the thick section alone to produce pups OR put it on its side as well and make it a log which produces MORE pups than when it is planted upright.

 

questions are welsome.


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#3 Fresh Brewed

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:16 PM

How much full sun do they get? They look etiolated...actively growing without enough sunlight. To compensate they get thinner.
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#4 5-MeO-DMT

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:28 PM

 

Hello Topia

 

I come here to fetch the ingenious minds of those with cacti. I am by far a blue thumb  :thumbs_up:

 

If anyone could tell me why they are growing skinny or what I am doing wrong it would be appreciated  :cool:

Easy to tell!

 

This is what happens with cacti, and all plants, are deprived of light or lack sufficient lighting. its called etiolation and its where a plant stretches and grows thin towards light. it grows thin because it does not get enough light to produce glucose to form cellulose which is needed to build cell walls inside the plant. So it grows according tot the light it is given.

 

Were these indoors? that causes this to happen the most.

 

If i were you this is what i would do: I would cut off the thin growth right where it meets the thick growth and either root the tip upright buried up the body some to support it or grow it on its side in the Log tech. The reason for this is because new growth will be exposed to outdoor lighting and it will be thicker growth so it will become top heavy.

 

Eventually it would snap off anyway from the weight of the thicker growth at the tip so this is best to do soon. after the tip is removed you can leave the thick section alone to produce pups OR put it on its side as well and make it a log which produces MORE pups than when it is planted upright.

 

questions are welsome.

 

So they get like 30% sunlight....I know it is terrible but the way my house is positioned I don't get very much sun into the windows. So since its been warm I leave them outside...I am thinking about cutting the smaller tops off like you said and re potting them correct? I am unfamiliar with the log tech. Can I leave them outside 24/7 since its basically summer here? And if I were to cut them should I be worried about it rotting or bugs getting into the exposed flesh? thanks for your help


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#5 BillyThKid

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:52 AM

They will need full sun, leave them outside at all times unless its winter or freezing temps.

 

south facing windows are the best windows if you are in north america, however thats not enough to sustain them. you need artificial lighting to prevent stretching and you still get some then unless your set up is really good. 

 

The log tech just means you lay the cactus on its side in dirt and allow it to root like that, then it produces many pups and such. its used on cacti with no tips most of the time.

 

You shouldent have much to worry about bug wise so long as you dont leave the cutting on the ground right after being cut. you want to have it inside in an area with lots of air flow to allow it to dry. and infection you just have to risk, most of the time it comes out fine if you use sterile materials to do the surgery with.

 

Personally i allow 3-6week after cutting a cacti to plant it to allow for proper heal time,.


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#6 August West

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:59 AM

Billy is giving good advice. I'd only reiterate (to be safe) not to plant the cutting until it has calloused over and after you've planted, do not water (again, to be safe) until there is decent root growth.
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#7 BillyThKid

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:05 AM

Billy is giving good advice. I'd only reiterate (to be safe) not to plant the cutting until it has calloused over and after you've planted, do not water (again, to be safe) until there is decent root growth.

oh shoot i did leave out the watering part.

 

 

Dont water the plant for at least a month. i prefer to root that long then dig up the cactu to see if there are roots. if no root replant in soil and no water still for another month.

 

Once you actually get roots you can water it, but without roots it cant use water and will rot.


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#8 5-MeO-DMT

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:34 PM

 

Billy is giving good advice. I'd only reiterate (to be safe) not to plant the cutting until it has calloused over and after you've planted, do not water (again, to be safe) until there is decent root growth.

oh shoot i did leave out the watering part.

 

 

Dont water the plant for at least a month. i prefer to root that long then dig up the cactu to see if there are roots. if no root replant in soil and no water still for another month.

 

Once you actually get roots you can water it, but without roots it cant use water and will rot.

 

One last question :P what should I be use for soil/drainage? All I can remember is that I put small pea gravel on the bottom for extra drainage and everything else looks like perlite and wood, dirt, bark stuff lol.....Thanks for the info Billy I appreciate it a lot!



#9 BillyThKid

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 04:08 PM

 

 

Billy is giving good advice. I'd only reiterate (to be safe) not to plant the cutting until it has calloused over and after you've planted, do not water (again, to be safe) until there is decent root growth.

oh shoot i did leave out the watering part.

 

 

Dont water the plant for at least a month. i prefer to root that long then dig up the cactu to see if there are roots. if no root replant in soil and no water still for another month.

 

Once you actually get roots you can water it, but without roots it cant use water and will rot.

 

One last question :P what should I be use for soil/drainage? All I can remember is that I put small pea gravel on the bottom for extra drainage and everything else looks like perlite and wood, dirt, bark stuff lol.....Thanks for the info Billy I appreciate it a lot!

 

You want to get all that wood, bark and mulch out. it causes rot in cacti. A soil mix should not have wood in it. You wanna sift all that out. Use top soil, not potting soil.

 

I prefer 40% soil with all the wood removed, 30% sand, 15% lime stone, 15% perlite.

 

The perlite and lime stone  amounts can be changed a little. But you NEED lime stone for proper alkaloid production.



#10 pharmer

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 06:30 PM

Billy has given you solid advice. I'd differ only on the log idea. I've tried it a few times and find them to be underperformers. If you cut a twelve inch column twice and plant them vertically I'd bet $10 that you'll get fatter, faster growth of the verticals than the horizontal.

 

your mileage may vary but I'm fairly confident of that advice.


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#11 BillyThKid

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:51 PM

Billy has given you solid advice. I'd differ only on the log idea. I've tried it a few times and find them to be underperformers. If you cut a twelve inch column twice and plant them vertically I'd bet $10 that you'll get fatter, faster growth of the verticals than the horizontal.

 

your mileage may vary but I'm fairly confident of that advice.

If the Log tech is done right it works very well. Its main purpose is to produce MORE pups and not necessarily "fatter" though i personally have not notice a difference in speed of growth or fattness between the two techs.

 

the main advantage of a log is that it will root quicker and produce a lot more pups. main advantage of vertical growing is saving space IMO.

 

Its just like when you weigh down a pot plant to root it from several of the leaf nodes so it has extra nutrient and root systems to support more growth. more roots= more growth. and with cacti i like to bury one end(the correct end)  as well so it roots from the side it is laying on as well as the end from which it would have rooted if it were planted vertically. thats one issue i see with a lot of people doing the log tech, they dont cover the end/



#12 teesus

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 02:34 AM

 

But you NEED lime stone for proper alkaloid production.

 

 

Hey Billy, this is interesting. never heared that one. Where do you know this?



#13 nomadicAI

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:39 PM

 

 

 

Billy is giving good advice. I'd only reiterate (to be safe) not to plant the cutting until it has calloused over and after you've planted, do not water (again, to be safe) until there is decent root growth.

oh shoot i did leave out the watering part.

 

 

Dont water the plant for at least a month. i prefer to root that long then dig up the cactu to see if there are roots. if no root replant in soil and no water still for another month.

 

Once you actually get roots you can water it, but without roots it cant use water and will rot.

 

One last question :P what should I be use for soil/drainage? All I can remember is that I put small pea gravel on the bottom for extra drainage and everything else looks like perlite and wood, dirt, bark stuff lol.....Thanks for the info Billy I appreciate it a lot!

 

You want to get all that wood, bark and mulch out. it causes rot in cacti. A soil mix should not have wood in it. You wanna sift all that out. Use top soil, not potting soil.

 

I prefer 40% soil with all the wood removed, 30% sand, 15% lime stone, 15% perlite.

 

The perlite and lime stone  amounts can be changed a little. But you NEED lime stone for proper alkaloid production.

 

 

 

 

 

But you NEED lime stone for proper alkaloid production.

 

 

Hey Billy, this is interesting. never heared that one. Where do you know this?

 

 

 

Probably read it somewhere - certainly not from any experience!!!

 

I am also curious about this limestone theory.

 

I have read about the (discredited) dopamine theory, but not this limestone one.



#14 BillyThKid

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:02 PM

 

 

 

 

Billy is giving good advice. I'd only reiterate (to be safe) not to plant the cutting until it has calloused over and after you've planted, do not water (again, to be safe) until there is decent root growth.

oh shoot i did leave out the watering part.

 

 

Dont water the plant for at least a month. i prefer to root that long then dig up the cactu to see if there are roots. if no root replant in soil and no water still for another month.

 

Once you actually get roots you can water it, but without roots it cant use water and will rot.

 

One last question :P what should I be use for soil/drainage? All I can remember is that I put small pea gravel on the bottom for extra drainage and everything else looks like perlite and wood, dirt, bark stuff lol.....Thanks for the info Billy I appreciate it a lot!

 

You want to get all that wood, bark and mulch out. it causes rot in cacti. A soil mix should not have wood in it. You wanna sift all that out. Use top soil, not potting soil.

 

I prefer 40% soil with all the wood removed, 30% sand, 15% lime stone, 15% perlite.

 

The perlite and lime stone  amounts can be changed a little. But you NEED lime stone for proper alkaloid production.

 

 

 

 

 

But you NEED lime stone for proper alkaloid production.

 

 

Hey Billy, this is interesting. never heared that one. Where do you know this?

 

 

 

Probably read it somewhere - certainly not from any experience!!!

 

I am also curious about this limestone theory.

 

I have read about the (discredited) dopamine theory, but not this limestone one.

 

To my knowledge Lime stone helps correct soil pH and make it more alkaline for some species of cacti that grow there naturally like Peyote, ariocarpus, and i aztekium.

 

Limestone is made up of calcium basically made up from coral and other sea life which produced some sort of exoskeleton. If i remember corectly calcium is used in the alkaloid production process along with several other minerals found in the soil depending on the species of cactus.

 

Limestone is also thought to be good at keeping plants looking more like their natural habitat instead of growing large and bulgy like so many ariocarpus and peyote do. Thats not saying the fat ass cacti are not cool and pretty, but lime stone is good for developing a hard grown plant plus with lime stone not much else will grow in the soil that alkaline.

 

I may have been a little to over zellous in saying they require lime stone, but from what i have seen in my 1 and a half, and what my Mentor has seen in 15 years of working in lime stone is that it produces a generally more ascetically pleasing cactus.

 

The robot taught me well.



#15 CrimsonCactus

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:47 PM

I am using peleted garden lime from the hardware store. Is this okay to use? Last year my bridgesiis were in just soil and perlite with no lime. I cut em and tried em out and they still worked. I wonder how much stronger it could have been if I had lime in the soil...

Mine grew fairly skinny last year. I'm not sure if I didn't have enough light or if it was the wrong soil or because they are young and hadn't reached full maturity. they were around 18 inches when I cut them. I'm not sure how tall they get before they reach maturity.



#16 nomadicAI

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:11 AM


To my knowledge Lime stone helps correct soil pH and make it more alkaline for some species of cacti that grow there naturally like Peyote, ariocarpus, and i aztekium.

 

Limestone is made up of calcium basically made up from coral and other sea life which produced some sort of exoskeleton. If i remember corectly calcium is used in the alkaloid production process along with several other minerals found in the soil depending on the species of cactus.

 

Limestone is also thought to be good at keeping plants looking more like their natural habitat instead of growing large and bulgy like so many ariocarpus and peyote do. Thats not saying the fat ass cacti are not cool and pretty, but lime stone is good for developing a hard grown plant plus with lime stone not much else will grow in the soil that alkaline.

 

I may have been a little to over zellous in saying they require lime stone, but from what i have seen in my 1 and a half, and what my Mentor has seen in 15 years of working in lime stone is that it produces a generally more ascetically pleasing cactus.

 

The robot taught me well.

 

 

Interesting info, thanks for sharing.



#17 BillyThKid

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:11 PM

Limestone is not calcium - calcium is a group 2 (on the periodic table)  metal.  Limestone is one of the many forms of the compound CALCIUM CARBONATE.  Others are chalk and marble.   

Many Mexican cacti grow in areas very rich in limestone - pic attached.  My standard grow mix for such cacti contains crushed marble - I can buy that easily locally- dolomite lime is another form but I cannot buy that here.

YEs it is a calcium carbonate. Sorry for not being exact with which kind of calcium it was.

 

Do you have any imput on lime stones use or purposes? since you have been doing this so long i assume you have either seen or grown them in it yourself.

 

 

Do cacti in lime stone tend to produce more "natural' like growth in your opinion?


Edited by BillyThKid, 08 June 2014 - 12:12 PM.

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