I have a 4 ft potted columnar cactus. We were out of town the week we had the freeze before Christmas and the plant being outside was damaged. The top 8 inches and the pleat extensions have turned black. the center(between the pleats is still green. Can I save it? I currently have it in a south window in our home.
Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm Posts: 806 Location: Weatherford,TX
From your description, I believe you can save it. Using a very sharp knife, cut all the mushy material off of the plant. It is dead & will lead to decay of other material. You may want to spray the plant with a fungicide such as corn meal juice or Neem after you trim it. The two bicarbonates or garlic juice may also work although I don't have any experience with them. The Neem will also kill/deter any bug problems. Keep a sharp eye on the plant at the soil level. If it starts to rot (gets mushy) at the bottom, the root system may be dead. If that happens, once again, with a sharp knife cut the cactus off at the soil level & make sure all dead/mushy material is removed. At this point you will need to place the plant in a dry area and let the bottom area dry/callus over. This usually takes several days to a week (any doubt, wait a week). When you're ready to replant, use a well draining soil mix such as the one Howard has on this web site. Adding extra Lava Sand to his mix has worked well for me. Plant the cactus about 2" deep in the soil. You will need to support/stake the plant or add 1/2" or so of a rocky material to the top of the soil to hold the plant upright. Doing both usually works best. Water with a seaweed mix or a Garrett Juice mix. Do not water again unless the soil is dry. If you over water, the cactus will rot again. Once the cactus is putting out vigorous growth, you can remove supports. Hope this helps you! If you have other questions, send me a message. Good Luck!
_________________ The "soap" you use is normally chemicals, etc. Use real SOAP !!
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