What's on my Christmas cactus?

garden_kittenNovember 19, 2006

Can anyone tell me what these white spots are on my Christmas Cactus? I'm really hoping it's not some disease. Thank you so much.


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Hi Jennifer, has someone sprayed something on it? It looks like its just liquid spots to me, give it a wipe over and see what happens...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 2:51AM
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Bergit(nordic costal)

I agree with Julie , there's nothing wrong with your plant !

They sometimes look like this when they come from the shop / nursery. Just give it a gentle wash / wipe.
But it may be wise to wait untill it has finished blooming before you do anything about this , that is if you "can live with" the plant being "dirty" for a little while.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 6:48AM
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Bergit(nordic costal)

And by the way ,
I love the narrow segments ( leaves ) of that plant !

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 6:52AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I agree, just some kind of water spots; I'd just ignore it, unlikely to be a problem. If you absolutely must do something just wipe the stems w/ a sponge or moist paper towel. If it were mine I'd simply ignore them, wouldn't want to interfere w/ the blooms. You can always wipe it down or give it a quick shower after the blooms are done. Pretty color, enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Thanks everyone! It was like that when I bought it (about a week or 2 ago). I'm glad to know that it's something that will come off. The thing that worried me was that I tried getting it off with water (just while watering, no rubbing) and it didn't work. I'll wait til it's done blooming and use something to rub it off with. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 5:43AM
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Looks like a light case of mealy bugs.Use some soapy water(dishwashing liguid works well)when you clean it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:47AM
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They are water spots, not mealies. Mealies would be smaller and fuzzy. The plant may have been misted before it left the greenhouse with a chemical (fertilizer, pesticide?) in solution. I often see this on newly store bought plants. Gently wash it off after the blooms are done, or let it disappear on its own.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:16AM
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It's a bit hard to tell from a photograph.I work in a greenhouse and mealies can look like this(before they get fuzzy)when they first get started.Water spots or mealies,I'd stay on the safe side and clean it with lukewarm soapy water.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:27AM
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I vote for Water spots. your water is kind of hard. Caused by minerals.
No worries!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 6:22AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

BTW, what you have there is NOT a Christmas cactus. A Christamas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) doesn't have the "toothed" segments. A Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera x truncata) does. A true Christamas cactus looks similar but with scalloped segments. If you look Christmas cactus up on the web, you may also find it refered to as Schlumbergera bridgesii, an older and an incorrect nomenclature.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Brandon this issue is further convoluted by the fact that stores sell ALL Schlumbergeras as Christmas cactus. It is a marketing ploy. People don't want to wait until Christmas to buy a colorful plant, therefore only truncata is offered. But they are called Christmas Cactus because the name sells much better than Schlumbergera x truncata would. Therefore it is almost impossible to buy true Christmas cactus any longer, and people are running around calling their truncatas by the wrong name! My buckleyi is doing fabulous BTW and putting on lots of new growth.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 12:17AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

They are water spots, not mealy bugs. I have those on some of mine from HD. You have nothing to worry about.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 11:55PM
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Trust me...I know exactly what mealies look like, they invaded my shadehouse for months, I couldn't work out how I kept on getting them. I killed parents, eggs over and over until I found the ants were bring them in and depositing them on the plants. I killed the ants and new generation and haven't had problems since. I surround the shadehouse with ant granules and redo it every week. So I sure do know what mealies look like...and that ain't them!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 3:04AM
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