Christmas cactus issues

Cmoores1August 23, 2014

I received a Christmas cactus in October that looked terrible, it had new growth but it was mostly dead. So I snapped all the green branches (?) let them dry for a day and stuck them in a pot. Thought what the heck. I had wilting and a couple looked very bad so I pulled them. For the most part it looks good. I have some spots however, that I'm concerned about, and wondering if I should do something I'm not, or stop something I am.

I water it when is mostly dry, and if it is going to rain before watering is due, I put it on a window ledge out if the rain.

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Cmoores1

Whole plant (s)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:48AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The mix is quite peaty, and the plant would do better in a bark-based mix, similar to that in which orchids are often grown (fine-grade bark). That said, it looks vibrant and healthy.

This is a Thanksgiving Cactus, Schlumbergera truncata.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:41PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Looks like something's been munching on the 'leaves', have you checked for anything that's damaging the margins? In the way the pic is orientated, look especially at the 'leaf' near the bottom, seems like there's a portion that's been eaten away, and in several other places too.

Gill UK

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:11PM
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Cmoores1

those are the spots that I'm wondering about. I am sure that it hasn't been eaten. Once I potted these clippings, these spots came after the initial whither. I was worried that I would lose those particular plants /clippings but the spots didn't get worse, and the plant has done OK. (the spots start out looking like a spot is rotting, and it thins out and lightens, then eventually that thinner spot eventually dries out and disappears)

I am also wondering if I should be watering from the bottom like I've read, or if it's OK to water from the top.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Cmoores1

However, now that is in my head, I will be keeping a very close eye out for pests. I have removed alot of the damaged "leaves" and will be keeping a tally. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:41PM
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Cmoores1

Also, perhaps this could be sunburn? I had it in the sun ask season so far (stupidly) up until a few days ago.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:54PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nope, your Thanksgiving Cactus wouldn't be nearly so green if it were sunburn. Those marks are obvious pest damage.

Water from the top, flushing the potting mix of excess salt build-up.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:18PM
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nomen_nudum

Not sunburn as sunburn would leave a discoloring on the entire segments not just a spot here and there

Nothing at all wrong with top watering these, mine often enjoy a late evening or early morning misting to a complete garden hose saturation I even allow mine to get rained on.

Think it over greenman has a real good suggestion

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Cmoores1

OK, so I've sprayed with insecticide soap and will keep an eye out. Thanks everyone for the help.

So if it's not sunburn, then probably where I have it in evening sun isn't bad? The new growth is red, and some edges are red as well. Is this normal?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:54AM
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Cmoores1

So I have noticed larvae in my soil, I believe I have fungus gnats. Could that be what is causing the damage?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 8:24AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

No, fungus gnats only eat very tender young root tissue.

That damage was done by something larger....perhaps earwig, sow bug, slug, et cetera.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Cmoores1

OK, well I repotted, but I think that damage was while indoors after I planted the Cuttings. But I do have ear wigs.
I changed the soil to get rid of the gross gnats.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 6:00PM
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