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What did you do to your cacti/botanical garden today (pictures welcome)


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#2201 Boebs

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 05:16 PM

Looks like enough to get some growth:)
Sry for the loss tho!
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#2202 Choices

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 06:19 PM

It’s still softer than it should be at the cuts. Hoping
It does not spread.

#2203 Beginner123

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 05:19 PM

So hello everyone, I’m sorry I have not read all 111 pages of this thread but I need some help/advice. I have some loph that appeared in my room one day. They have some type of rot or something going on I am concerned about. One has unfortunately died already and another is going the same way as the first. The first picture is overall before I turned them, then 3 at a time for closer inspection. The first pictures are of my concerned areas, the one up top is obviously the one that’s passed away as it’s not long cactus like but more dirt like. After the green disappeared it went really quickly. The second group is meant to give a better view of them from a different perspective. Finally, I’m using this soil from Home Depot which I feel isn’t draining fast enough for them. Any advice is welcomed. Thank you
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#2204 Choices

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 06:33 PM

How dare you not read all of the posts. How can you ever get to a point of knowing everything!!! Haha.

My only advice from my exp. add some sand, small rocks, stones and oyster shells. Stuff that is non organic. And sift out all the wood and sticks from the soil mix. Eliminates the chance of things rotting in the soil. I don’t have a precise amount for each of those above usually I eye it, like a hand full of each.(I’m usually making a whole bag of soil at a time) Then I test the soil before putting any thing in it. If it drains within 30s its good. (If it’s for LW’s I don’t use that saturated soil, especially when planting new ones)

I hope your babies throw some roots and take off for you good luck!!

Edited by Choices, 14 January 2021 - 06:38 PM.

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#2205 Skywatcher

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 10:44 PM

Any advice is welcomed. Thank you

Nice to meet you 123.

First off, you need to lose the miracle grow. It has time release nutes that are totally unsuited for cactus and especially lophs. The soil additives Choices mentioned are all good, but start with a plain cactus mix without nutes, or just make your own.

I use regular dirt or loam 1/3, add agricultural coarse sand 1/3, and make a good blend of small rock or small gravel, pumice or cinter, and a good handful of crushed oyster shell or dolimite for lime. All the portions are not exact and it just needs to be mostly inorganic, and drain quickly.

 

You don't have any roots, other than a partial main tuber, and I imagine the cactus are somewhat dehydrated. I personally would insure there are no open cuts that have not scarred over, and coat the entire tuber in a powder root stimulant prior to planting. I use root tone powder with good result, as it also prevents rot. Plant them in dry soil, and keep them very warm in low light. (morning sun is good).

The warm temperature will do alot to get roots going. I usually wait at least a week, and then lightly spray mist the top of the soil and the cactus globe. You really do not want wet or damp soil until there are roots to drink it. You risk a rot situation if you do.

 

You may need to do a little surgery at some point on a few of those, but I would try to get them rooted first. Once they can drink and rehydrate themselves, you can see if there are problem areas on any of them.

 

Good growing vibes to you.................


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#2206 Beginner123

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 12:20 PM

Thank you so very much! I really appreciate it. I figured the soil was what was doing it and I’m sad it cost the life of one of them. The thing was they were starting to root in the MG soil. I guess it got too wet and reversed everything because they were happy, green and plump for about 2 days then backtracked slowly to where I am today. I will be trying some new MG soil my grandmother buys for her plants and just sift out what I can. I don’t know where else to get dirt besides the backyard and I would imagine it would be different from where their “natural area” is in desert climate. I’ll go back to Petco and get the shells. I was honestly gonna get sand from there as well and rinse it well from any salt but I checked and I’m not paying $20 for 20lbs. Not happening. Back to Home Depot it is. So minus grabbing a shovel and getting my dirt that way, any other suggestions before that is done? Also to note, I have very rocky soil to begin with where I live in NY but most rocks are huge as in larger than the cactus. I’m going to plant in individual pots so if there are any issues, they can be separated quickly.
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#2207 Skywatcher

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 04:55 PM

I would advise you to not use miracle grow soil of any sort. It's great for tropical and houseplants, but has way too much organic bits and chunks for cactus. I personally would use your backyard soil. You can add more or less coarse sand and rock products to get a good draining mix that won't compact over time.

Be wary of sand products for reptiles from the pet store. Many are plain silica that turns to a rock with the addition of water and several dry out times. Stay with the coarse cheap stuff.

 

If possible, use terra cotta pots. They breathe and don't hold moisture in a "wet spot" anywhere. Resisting the urge to water is difficult but very necessary for awhile.These cactus can survive a long time in dry desert in the wild, and you will get a much healthier root system and cactus if you let them dry out thoroughly between watering once you can safely water them..


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#2208 Choices

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 05:36 PM

I’ve used “Black Gold” cactus mix and sifted out the wood chips. I’ve also used Fox Farm Ocean Forest with the amendments I mentioned. But I grow rock here where I’m at in NY so I feel your pain.

Also heed skywatchers advice. He knows his shit and has helped me countless times over my journey with these guys. And I’ve also learned, if you take the time and put the love and attention in early with any cactus you will Be repayed 10 fold dwn the road.

Good luck 123!!
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