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This cactus needs help!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by netty on March 07, 2006 01:17 AM
I recently got this cactus from my mom. When she got it, it was only an inch or two tall. It's obviously a very slow growing plant as it is at least 22 years old and still only 12 inches tall. I know next to nothing about cactus (cacti?), but I do know this guy needs help! How often do I water them? Do they like full sun positions? Would he be happy out on my back porch this summer in all day sun? Help!! Please!! [scaredy]

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by netty on March 07, 2006 01:19 AM
OOps! Forgot the picture!  -

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by comfrey on March 07, 2006 03:31 AM
You don't water very often...maybe once a month. What I was told years ago...How often does it rain in the desert...that is how often you water cactus. It looks like to me that you have insect damage or scale on it. How big is the pot that it is..Like how deep is it. A plant or cactus can only grow as big as the pot will allow, alot of cactus are slow growing though. Full sun if have a sunny window would be good.

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by netty on March 07, 2006 03:56 AM
It is in a 4 inch pot and has been in this pot as long as I remember. I wondered if I should put it in a bigger pot, but wasn't sure what kind of soil to use. Is regular potting soil OK?

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by comfrey on March 07, 2006 10:16 AM
I have used regular potting soil, But I prefer the cactus soil mix. Someone else will proable have a better suggestion on the soil...And I would try repotting it, fresh soil would help, I would go to alittle larger pot also. Did your mom set it outdoors in the summer months??? I use to put mine outside, but ended up with insect damage that looks simular to what is on yours.

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by jonni13 on March 07, 2006 11:21 AM
Hi Netty. You can mix your potting soil half/half with sand for your own cactus mix. That will be a good start. See if that improves the overall health. I think it will. I'm pretty sure it will not hurt it.

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~Tina
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Getting old is the pits. But it sure beats the alternative. My Blog
by Aaron D on March 09, 2006 11:39 AM
oh no thats some irregular growth... do try to repot all succulents enjoy repotting every year or two... a fertilizer will help too try some tomato fertilizer diluting to 1/4 strength... and water only during the growing season... many north american cacti grow the most and bloom during the fall just as temperatures begin to drop... heres a no fail tip to watering during spring water occasionally (every other week), summer water very little to nothing (once a month)... and in fall begin to water as you would a regular house plant (whenever soil is dry)... then in winter when temps are cool STOP watering... always remember to use a FAST draining potting mix... i use any normal potting mix and add half vermiculite... and pot up in terra cotta to help drainage...

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