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Help! Emergency surgery on moon cactus!

Posted by CactusSquirrel 8b (My Page) on
Thu, May 2, 13 at 16:27

I have had this Gymnocalycium for about a 1 week now. All seemed fine until last night. I was trying to decide how to repot it since it was not standing up in its pot it came in. I figured it was because these grafts are way bigger than thy usually are (4" pot and about 6-7" tall) I noticed the part below soil level looked paler than the rest. When I went to check on it today, there was rot on the stem portion that was under the soil and was getting mushy. I unpotted it, cut off the fleshy part that was mushy and removed most of the soil. I know these are cheap and silly but I really like it and want to save it. I have cut to the center stem part, cleaned the wounds and dusted with cinnamon. I know normally one cuts straight through the whole thing and let's it callus and then try to root the end of the rootstock part. I have the roots bundled in a paper towel. In case there is some way to save it roots and all. I know I'm being nutty so I don't mind anyone saying so :)

Any advice on how to save this one is greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Emergency surgery on moon cactus!

The other pic was before cleaning and bundling up the roots. This is what it's doing now.


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RE: Help! Emergency surgery on moon cactus!

I'm growing a few "Dragon Fruit" plants, and a couple plants has that same conditions a few years ago--some of the flesh at the base rotted and only that center stick was left. I, too, cut off the rotted flesh and left the center stick alone, but I didn't uproot the plants from the ground.

Even with the damage, the plant have grown fine, the upper "leaves" continued to grow and it eventually gave me fruits.

The Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is grafted to a "Dragon Fruit" species, so I think your plant would do fine. Dragon Fruits are hardy, in my climate anyway. In my opinion, what you did is correct. Let the cut cure for couple days, a mist of water in the root would help I think so it doesn't dry out and damage the root. Then re-pot it.

If that fails, you can always re-graft the Gymnocalycium to another "Dragon Fruit" if you know someone who is growing it. Or simply buy another, :).


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