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inherited a cactus, need some advice, it seems to be dying

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by bigwillie on August 08, 2006 08:31 AM
Hello all, I'm new to this forum, and I don't know anything about cacti. I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions on how to take care of it. It is a small cactus about 9 inches tall, it is probabley 10-15 years old, but had about 2in of rot? or something starting at the base. Here is a picture.

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by Tonya on August 08, 2006 11:23 AM
Hi Bigwillie! [wavey] Welcome to the forum! As far as the cactus- Hopefully margaret e.pell will come by- either her or angelblossom are the two to go to for cacti help. Best of luck to ya! [thumb]

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by comfrey on August 08, 2006 02:25 PM
What kind of soil is it in and how much have you watered it, and is it getting any direct sun???? Has it been outdoors???

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by bigwillie on August 08, 2006 04:47 PM
it does not get direct sunlight, and is indoors, I just received it so I don't know what the previous person who had it did with it, but Its been sitting inside near a windowsill,my whole house is pretty shaded theres is a lot of trees, it does get sunlight and heat though but its not direct sunlight. Should I move it outside? or repot it? I water it once a week, and use miracle grow every other watering. I don't know what kind of soil its in.
by margaret e. pell on August 08, 2006 05:39 PM
Hi, Bigwillie! Tonya flatters me, but I'll take what I can get! That's a nice looking cactus with lots of potential. First, over the next week or so, get it into as much sun as you can give it and cut out the miracle-grow. Now, stick a finger into the dirt. How far down is it dry? Don't water it again until it is VERY dry for at least an inch. Gently touch/squeeze the brown part. Is it mushy? Soft? Watery? Dry? Is the brown part getting farther up the stem? Quickly? Has it ever accidentally sat in water? Of immediate importance, let it dry out, get it in the sun, and watch the brown. If it is getting farther up the stem and is at all softer than the green part, you've got a rot problem and you'll have to amputate soon. [This is not at all as horrible as it sounds! If that's the case, we'll walk you through it.] Can you ask the person you got it from how much sun it's used to? Let us know what's up.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by bigwillie on August 09, 2006 04:01 AM
The brown part of the cactus is not soft, it is dry. What does this mean? The person I got it from, had the cactus in an upstairs window, under an overhang for some reason, so I don't think it got very much light. I will put it outside in the sunniest part of my yard and see what happens. Is there anything else I should know/do?
by margaret e. pell on August 09, 2006 05:06 AM
The not soft and dry means the internal tissue structure is probably not so heavily dammaged that you need to lop off the top to save it. This is good. Keep it dry and sunny, and tell us how it's doing. Remember to phase into sun; even a cactus can get sunburned! Oh, the brown will not go away, it will eventually harden and get corky, and add character.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by bigwillie on August 09, 2006 05:29 AM
Okay I put it outside, in partial shade, but where it would also get sun, it is 97 degrees outside right now in Oklahoma City, OK where I live, so hopefully it will respond positively to being outside. BTW can anyone identify my cactus? Do you have anymore tips, or advice for me? I will keep you updated on the state of my cactus, and I appreciate all of your help.
by Jimmy V on August 09, 2006 01:05 PM
Looks almost like a Euphorba I use to have. Does the pot drain well? If not repot into something with good drainage it has definitely had way too much water. I used to live in OKC you summer weather is not that much different then here in Dallas. I bottom water all my potted plants including the Cacti. Once or twice a week I spray them off when it is cool that way is almost like taking in early morning dew which Cacti relied on in the desert.

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by margaret e. pell on August 09, 2006 05:40 PM
Here's aplace to have fun looking!
http://www.columnar-cacti.org/index.html

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by bigwillie on August 10, 2006 05:33 AM
what is the best way to bottom water?
by Jimmy V on August 10, 2006 08:01 PM
you can get these plastic coaster type pans made for this at Wal-Mart for around 98 cents each. I buy pie pans as they last a while then can recycle them when they get holes in them. Had real good luck doing this.

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 - Meet Clyde my Male Sugar Glider. Clyde says Keep it organic.
 - GOD BLESS THE U.S.A. Pray for our Troops! Jimmy's Photos
 - Jimmy's Blog
by dodge on August 27, 2006 01:23 PM
BIGWILLIE

i have been successful with cactus.. F
First you must mix sand in the soil.
cactus Love Bonemeal, not miracle gro.
Water it soaking only once a month , put it in the sun and that should do it .. Cactus loves sand and sun.. You know like a desert>

I have many and all love to grow.

Even started some from seeds.. 23 grew.

dodge

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