TG Cactus repot

lenle(4)October 6, 2012

I finally repotted my largest TG Cactus into a larger pot and an all bark mix. I could have picked a better time, but with no buds and being close to when I would need to water it, it seemed like it couldn't do any harm.

Being that it's in a plastic pot, my question is about how often should I expect to have to water it? I know there are a lot of variables to consider but I'd like to get an idea. I'm worried it might stay wet for too long (down at the bottom of the pot where there aren't roots).

Jeni

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Dzitmoidonc(6)

lenle, the answer is simple, don't water it. It is a natural reaction to want to water a plant when re-potting. But no matter how careful you are, the plant has had some roots damaged. Succulents have almost no defense to fungal infections, and broken roots are the perfect entry way for pathogens to enter. Let it go a few weeks for some healing to occur, then if it shows growth (buds, new shoots, flowers, etc), give it a drink. If it is dormant, wait even longer, they do drought a lot better than wet.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:19AM
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Dzitmoidonc(6)

TG= epiphytic cactus. Now I see. All bark in plastic. Hmmm. No problem with watering it in, the answer I gave was for succulents from dry areas. Karen's 'puter died, otherwise she would have caught my error and corrected me (I hope.)

Still, all bark means that for the first few months, almost no organic matter will be available to the roots since decay has to set in for nutrients to be available. Yes, the roots can cling to bark, but standard dry bark is nutrient poor until fungi etc can make it into a form the plant can use. All bark means watching carefully to avoid dryness in the heat. When the bark does break down, you can end up with a clump of wet, oxygen poor stuff at the bottom of the pot with dry bark on top. Do you water for the wet bottom or for the dry top?

I hope somebody who grows their epis in an all bark mix can give you pointers because I don't really have any experience growing anything but orchids in an all bark mix.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:48PM
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lenle(4)

Sorry, I should have clarified! TG = Thanksgiving Cactus. The bark was wet when I put the TG cactus in, and I plan on fertilizing with Foliage Pro at every watering, so I'm not too concerned with nutrients. I just don't want the bark staying wet for too long. My gauge is a dowel stuck into the pot. If it comes out dry, I water. If it doesn't, I don't. But I'm not even sure how reliable that is.

Jeni

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:06PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Perfect!
Pine/Fir bark won't break down (before the next re-potting), so fertilization is the way to go.
A dowel will be very helpful as well. When I use all-bark or mostly-bark mixes, I screen or rinse out
the fine bark dust so that it doesn't migrate to the bottom of the container and impede drainage.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:46AM
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