san pedro rot

nasty_nate_84March 24, 2014

Hi, other cacti lovers. My name is Nathan, I seem to be having some trouble with a couple of my San Pedro cacti. I bought two top cuts around a month ago from an online vendor It took a couple weeks to get here, they were plenty calloused once they got here, as well as healthy. I planned on growing these, obviously mother nature has different plans for my beautiful cacti, because they are starting to rot. I have attached a picture. I also have a soil meter the soil stays dry, the soil is also rocky with plenty of perlite, lava rock as well as small river rock. The soil meter reads (1) on all pots at all times. I did however spray them a few times with the anti-fungal NEEM, but I did not over saturate at all. I checked on them a few days ago and saw what I found out later on the World Wide Web as being rot. I had also used rooting hormone powder on them. So what exactly am I doing wrong here? I want to be successful in rooting these top cuts, All the info I can get would be great and If you guys need to know anything else I will be more than happy to oblige. Would it be better to use Clonex rooting gel, I have some on the way?

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spapa

Hmmm..have you watered the plant at all? If you have, I would definitely not recommend doing that until some roots are present; the cactus flesh on its own can't absorb water. Also, don't bury it too deep; I know many growers actually keep the cut out of the soil, just placing it lightly on top and somehow supporting the plant. Also, if you have had cold weather lately, that could cause rot just from moisture in the air, even if you haven't actually watered the plant. I would say the best tip is to not interfere unless you have to, to replicate how the cactus would root on its own in nature -- just stick it somewhere dry with sun (not too bright or you'll get sunburn) and don't expect anything right away, it will be several weeks before roots start to form.

For now, of course, you'll have to cut off that rot until you see only healthy tissue. I wouldn't say that any kind of rooting agent is necessary (again, think about natural conditions) but I haven't used it myself so I can't speak to how helpful it really is.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 9:51PM
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nasty_nate_84

I have definitely not watered it. I did however cut it like you said until i saw healthy flesh they are on the table drying now. I will set them outside one the dry days I guess. How long should I let them callous for? Just until dry? Or for a couple weeks? And how can I prevent this rotting? without making it worse or rot all together?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 10:47PM
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spapa

Callousing takes at least a few days, up to weeks for especially large plants. It's certainly safer to let them dry out more than less. You want it to look at least as dry as in this photo. There would be no problem in letting them dry for a couple of weeks. As long as you cut back far enough, the rot won't continue. To prevent new rot from starting, do the same thing (no water), don't bury too deep, and don't let them get cold. Your soil mix sounds good, so I don't think that's your problem. Is it humid at all where you live? You just want it dry, dry, dry.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 11:02PM
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spapa

Also, here is a photo of some cacti that were left out long enough to form roots before planting; that could be another option for you.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 11:04PM
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hanzrobo(11)

Yep.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 12:14AM
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nasty_nate_84

Sweet info guys. Thank you for the photos with the roots that will help; me being a newb and all LOL. Any other tips and tricks I need to know or that anyone wants to tell me?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:10AM
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nasty_nate_84

Ok this is the new pic after cutting the rot off are the little brown spots going to be a problem? Its not soft its hard. Lol and I got my clonex today ready to propagate once again sigh. Its supposed to heal the cutting and give it vitamins etc to make it root faster ill try it on one and do the other naturaly see wich one roots faster should I wait to put on soil? Or should I wait till the roots start budding?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:12PM
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spapa

Hmmm that is interesting. How much plant do you have left to work with? I personally would cut back until you see nothing but green to be on the safe side. If there are any spots of rot left they would continue to spread, and it's better to lose half of the plant than all of it. Try cutting back just a little bit to start with and see if that gets rid of those spots.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:26AM
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nasty_nate_84

i bought about a foot each on both of them i cut off maybe 1.inch of rot less on one

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 3:15AM
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cactusmcharris

Cut until healthy tissue, with a hygienic knife, spray the final cut with isopropyl alcohol, and while it's still wet dust with Rootone. Set aside for a few days until it's dry and calloused. Then plant shallowly in soil and DON'T water the soil, just mist the plant every few days. You should see growth in a month or so.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:07AM
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nasty_nate_84

So you guys dont think the one on the right is healthy should I re cut it

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:21AM
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wazungy(Quebec Canada)

When I have to cut a cactus due to rot, or if I take a cutting, I will often dip the cut end into sulfur. It is supposed to help prevent some types of rot.

There is also rooting compound that also contains antifungal you might try.

I leave the cut to dry for at least one month.

I have found success in rooting trichocerus cuttings by laying them lengthwise (lay them down) in sandy soil and cover halfway. You can put that gel rooting hormone along the length. I am not too sure if hot/warm temperature is good to promote rooting. And I am not sure if one should water the soil the cutting is in frequently or rarely. I have found too much water will cause rot. Not enough and the new roots dry out.

I suggest using google to find articles on rooting cuttings.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:48AM
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nasty_nate_84

What I have are top cuts

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:25PM
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cactusmcharris

We don't need no stinkin' Google to answer this, it's been answered several times here. What for The Google?

As waz points out, sulfur powder (flowers of sulfur) can be used for chemically cauterizing the stump's cut, but rooting powder (Rootone, for one) is a rooting hormone and a fungicide in one as is more effective for rooting.

Sulfur powder is generally more effective in packing/dustings wounds/rot/intentional meristem killing (in advance of forcing a solitary plant to pup).

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 15:30

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:19PM
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nasty_nate_84

I upgraded to clonex it seems like the one I painted eith clonex is drying faster and healthier than the other one im going to keep an eye. On em closely anyone one here ever used clonex on a cactus cutting ive heard stories with good results better than the powder ive got two propagating in rooting powder and the other two these that had the rot problem rooting one of those with the clonex I may do the other one as well I just wanted to wait a few days or so before I clonexed the other one to see if it did anything weird to it

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:26PM
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cactusmcharris

Hey, some punctuation there would help me understand what you're asking, other than if I've used Clonex....and no, I haven't.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:38PM
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nasty_nate_84

I hate puncuation on my phone

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:36AM
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cactusmcharris

You mean you have to switch screens to use it? Yes, that's hateful indeed. Punctuation does, however, serve many purposes, one of which is allowing us to understand your question without deciphering it as one would an Enigma message.

If you've got stem segments, and you rid them completely of this rot, there's no reason you can't have sizeable plants in a few years (this plant will grow in all seasons, provided there's heat and light) from the remnants. The key is to root them in something shallow, as they're susceptible to rot particularly when they have no roots. Don't water the soil until you see growth (which, with spring here or coming in a month, will be soon). If you can give it bottom heat it will root that much faster. Once they've got noticeable growth on them, you can transfer them to a pot appropriate to the rootball (an inch or two of growing room all around).

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 10:46

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 10:40AM
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cactus1robert

after taking my cutting i let it callus over in a cool lighted place ( window sill out of direct sun) for few days. Then ill cut it again a few inches up, then use dip and grow rooting hormone. It is an alcohol based compound that disinfects the wound. Then I plant it in course midian about two or three inches deep. Keep dry for a few weeks, lightly misting over the top of the plant once or twice a week, making sure not to wet the dirt. Once the cutting is rooted plant in fin home and water once a week in spring. Trichecerious pachanoi ( sale pedro) can be more wet in comparison to other species, as they come from higher elevations in moist areas in the Andes.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:06PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I sure wish you lived by me.....I could get you a few hundred feet of San Pedro to work with

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:13PM
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nasty_nate_84

Okay so I got my first root weirdly in the oldest cactus first. I did as one of the other guys said before is I put it in the shade, not in dirt until it roots. It took awhile, but it is starting. Couple questions? How long should I wait until potting again? Should i wait until more come in? Should I be leaving them outside like I have been, or will the roots get sunburned? Whats the best way to accomplish this? When I do finally re-pot whats the best way to not get root rot so I do not have to re-cut and start over? It seems like it took about 5-9 weeks to get this one root and it looks like the others will follow very soon, thank god. They look healthier and I wanna make sure they stay that way with this peskie rot. Any tips and pointers at this stage for this newb would be awesome, especially on tips on re-potting as to not damage these awesome beasts roots. Please help for some reason I have had the worst luck on rooting these, third times the charm I guess.
Thanks guys and gals.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 1:15AM
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nasty_nate_84

bump

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:57PM
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cactusmcharris

Nate,

See my post of the 29th - pot 'em up and let 'er rip.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:32PM
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nasty_nate_84

cactusmcharris, I have 3 gallon pots shall i put them in there, or something more shallow? Please do explain a little bit about the growing room an inch or two all around? I am picturing in my head tying the cactus to a post or something about an inch above the dirt or something? Or just place it in not much dirt and raking the dirt around it on the sides an inch or two? And can I go ahead and water it ? If so how much and how frequently?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:18PM
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cactusmcharris

Nate,

All you'll want in the soil is that first inch - you can then support the column with gravel/rocks. When I say an inch or two of growing room, imagine the rooted end with that much space around it. This suggestion is approximate, as you're only making this pot a way-station until it's strongly rooted and you can move up, so a smaller pot for your cuttings is better right now. No, don't water it yet after repotting it - mist it every few days. In two weeks, as long as you keep it warm (sunlit concrete is an excellent location), start watering it a little. You should see definite growth by July if not sooner.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:07PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Hey Yawl, If I can add a small bit of 411 AKA as INFO. I too had some rot on my Mexican fence post cactus plant and I cut behind the rot and figured I went far enough but two weeks later Ahhhh... it was back! So I cut back even further hoping I got back far enough.

My point, be willing to cut it back far enough to avoid any reaccurance of that pisky rot virus.

let's see if that works for mine because I never did find out what type of virus hit mine it started rotting in the middle :/

Greg

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:55PM
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nasty_nate_84

Ok, I get you now, make like a bowl shaped void where the roots can grow un-interupted and where the rest of the cacti can id of rest on the rocky soil. So how do you keep it from rotting like they did last time? Say when I water it in a couple weeks, will the water touch the calloused bottom and make it rot? or will the water go to the "void" where the roots are going into? How do I make it not rot lol

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:04PM
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nasty_nate_84

Greg, mine had it pretty bad. I cut at least four inches like cactus guy said I sprayed my end right after cutting it with alcohol then I painted mine with Clone x root gel. seemed to work pretty damn well. I also sprayed mine lightly with neem, a pesticide and fungicide. it dries pretty fast, but it obviously wasn't enough to eep mine from rotting though lol, Although; it kept them fungus free while rooting.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:26AM
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nasty_nate_84

jfdfrjfj

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:43PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

N.nate, Wow that is something I've never tried before yet, but I'll tell you what if mine continues to be suseptable to this virus I will diffenitely blast it with this remedy Keep us updated on your results & I'll do the same. I'm going to add a picture of mine to this post right after this because I just thought it, the before and after Pics that is, , so here it comes.

Greg

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 6:03PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Well I'm back, and this is the picture of my Mexican Fence Post with that virus, right smack dap in the middle :/ so that means it had to pass to the rest of the plant to get to that point, or how did it get there???
It remains a mystery to me.

Any opinions are welcomed here because I'm stumped.

Greg

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 6:09PM
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nasty_nate_84

Yeah, Gregg, I would totally cut the rot on the center a few inches on each side of the rot until you see healthy tissue, (green), tissue. If you have a few bucks I would propagate the top part you cut (like cloning a cactus), Using the technique described above. You see my cut ends, yours should be like that. spray with alcohol, use the clone x gel, let sit in the shady DRY place for a few a few weeks till it shoots roots out. LOL, that's where I am now from there idk it is how you water or take care of it I guess. Hell if I know.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 12:08AM
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nasty_nate_84

Okay, so my San Pedro is starting to root very, very well now; at least nine plus roots now. the biggest root is about an half inch long; it is taking off. I have also but it in a smaller pot a one gallon, instead of the three gallon that it was in, as the person above has stated. However, the soil in this smaller pot is very, very, rocky and dry, this guy at my local nursery said i should not water until it starts to shrivel. He said he didn't think that it was calloused enough I am confused i seem to getting mixed reviews on this water situation alot of people say that the soil can be damp, yet not wet. Well the problem with this is that everyone's definition of damp is super different. I do have a water, ph, light, meter thing at my disposal. My question is when can I water? how much can I water? It has not been watered at all yet since it has been rooting, Last time / someone else did it started rotting, ^^^^^^, pics above. We dont want that happening again it took multiple weeks to recover from that one I DO NOT WANT ROT AGAIN,LOL.

P.S. I have pics of The pot I have it now in case anyone cares.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:14PM
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spapa

It's always safer not to water, and I would not recommend damp -- that sounds like a recipe for rot. Coarse and dry soil is perfect, and I think the guy at the nursery was right on. As for not being calloused enough that confuses me a bit as it clearly is growing roots. You should have no problem planting now as long as you keep it dry.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:13PM
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nasty_nate_84

should I re wait?-pot? spapa? into the three gallon? or wait?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 12:57AM
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cactusmcharris

It's not established enough for a 3-gallon. As suggested previously, a shallow pot is better when roots aren't old enough to hold up the plant.

As it has roots, it will have more roots if you water it by misting (no other method is suggested, as the roots aren't developed enough yet). In a month or two, I'd think those roots will be demonstrably bigger and you can both pot it up and water the soil.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 10:53AM
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nasty_nate_84

mist the plant itself? or mist the dirt?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 4:01PM
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cactusmcharris

Mist the plant.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:32PM
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nasty_nate_84

these roots are flying out now ill check on it in a few more days and posts more pics. How do the roots not dry out in the dry soil? These cacti are pretty amazing.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:49AM
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cactusmcharris

Don't, please. Your plant would benefit from not being fussed with so much. It's not healthy for the plant, and being uprooted every few days isn't effective in getting it well-rooted. Leave it alone and wait for active growth to be evident. Yes, they are amazing. The misting will take care of all water needs now - the epidermis absorbs the water and that's sufficient for now. When you see active growth, in a month or two and provided you stifle your urge to check it, you'll be ready to water it and repot it into an appropriately-sized pot for it to live in the next year or two. Benign neglect is difficult to teach and the same to learn, but it's the best thing in this particular instance.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 1:41AM
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nasty_nate_84

Im just worried that it is going to start rotting again. I left it out ib the rain on accident a few days ago. It rains a lot here. I try to take it inside but i live in the deep south thunderstorms are prevalent. They pop up out of nowhere.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 12:14AM
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nasty_nate_84

Also, should I have a topsoil of rocks? ie. per lite or small pea-gravel, to keep the cacti off the wet damp soil when i start watering, or does it matter?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 2:37PM
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nasty_nate_84

Would these be root rot

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:02PM
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nasty_nate_84

Root rot?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:08PM
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spapa

Hmmm this is interesting. What are the white spots on the roots? Are they pieces of your potting mix, or are they fuzzy, like cotton?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:58PM
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nasty_nate_84

Potting mix it just looked a little moldy. I scraped some off but it got rained on for five minutes and that's the story. It looks like it's grown a few inches. Does it look like root rot? That was a few weeks ago I can post another pic if you wish. It's just sitting on top of the dirt.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:50PM
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spapa

I would double-check that those are not root mealy bugs. If those white spots are fuzzy/fluffy, that's a big sign. Google photos of root mealy bugs and see if that's similar to what you saw when you pulled the plant out.

I seriously doubt you would have mold from 5 minutes of rain. If your plant is infested with root mealy bugs, that could account for a lot of problems. Glad to hear it seems to have grown a few inches, though.

Check into that, and if you can't rule out mealy bugs, look up the treatment for root mealy bugs. I'd keep the plant out of the soil for the time being; if you do have bugs, that will be the easiest way to clean it, and if the roots are too wet, being in the dirt certainly won't help.

I'm sorry that you are having so much trouble with these; clearly something is going on!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:21PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Ok, regarding my picture a few post back on this same post. Still not sure what happen to my Mex. Fence post but once I cut the affected columes off it didn't jump on any of the other columes.

So.. This is my feeling (thoughts) 0n what happened or who dunnit. I think my grandson sprayed Weed killer on it.
Would that have done it?

Greg

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:42PM
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spapa

Ooooh Greg that stuff can be nasty! That definitely could have done it; in fact, if it happened on a sunny day it could have been an effect of not only the chemicals but a bad burn as well. If you think he did it I'd say it's very plausible that it accounts for what happened.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:51PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

spapa, thanks for responding, yeah I'm almost sure that's what it was now because it just happened that two columes had that rot appearance and it was smack dap in the middle, so at first I could'nt figure it out because it would seem that most rot would start at the top 0f the plant or the bottom, But in the middle, that really had me stumped and wondering...

And most likely it would of been on a sunny day with full sun on it all day long from the rising of the sun until it goes down everyday.

Also it had no bug's or anything like that which I believe Stush asked me to check for and I did check and found none.

So I guess it was that nasty weed killer :/

Greg.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:46PM
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spapa

Greg,

Sometimes it's necessary, but I guess its job is to be deadly! I sprayed some weed killer on the border of my patio once hoping to clear out the weeds and plant some sedums; everything I planted there died for a year and 6 months until the weed killer dissipated. Oops!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:43AM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

spapa, Just wished it did a better job on the weeds, You know what I mean? Good nite.

Greg

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:49AM
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nasty_nate_84

I checked on the mealy bugs sadly it's not what it was. The mold looks greenish dark brownish. Is that root rot

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 3:25PM
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nasty_nate_84

Okay, whatever it was it is gone now, duty the extreme high TN heat. But now the roots look dry shall I water it a smidge?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:27PM
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nasty_nate_84

Do I have dead roots
?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:19AM
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