Cactus Woes

McStabby Is Going To Be The Death Of Me

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 12:16:06 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
I thought we were out of the woods with our Blue Candle. Apparently not.

The quick rundown is this - over Christmas, we brought it inside, as it doubles as our Christmas tree. We noticed some spots on the truck, which was suggested to be rot. The cause was suggested to be the soil that the nursery sold us. Basically he stayed inside from December through til mid March, and we didn't water at all. It was winter, for all extents and purposes was dormant, and didn't seem that much worse for wear. Once we got to March, he still looked fine, maybe a little thirsty, but pretty much fine.

Close to a month ago (March 14th), we repotted. New mix of 1 part fine garden soil (all bits of bark and moisture holding material removed) and 2 parts pumice. Pea rocks were added to both the bottom and top of the pot for drainage - all done to avoid any root and stem rot problems. Everything was looking good. Waited the two weeks after re-potting before watering. Once we did water, we did so sparingly to avoid over watering and any further rot, until we'd confirmed that the new soil mix was draining adequately.

Photobox ImageAll was well until one of the arms started to wither at the tip, about 5 days ago, as pictured to the left. The withering has actually been pretty rapid over the 5 days.

By all accounts, it would seem to be to be thirst related. Although we've been doing frequent waters, they have been a sparing amount. So I am at a lost of what to do. Do we give him a really decent soaking and risk rot problems, or do we not and risk having him die of thirst?

Photobox ImageFor a reference, here's the tip of another arm, which is looking healthy - which is what the withering arm looked like a week ago.

And an overall shot of the cactus. Note that the blue-ish part of the top of the trunk is new growth from pre winter and not the same grey color of the withering arm.

Photobox Image

Ugh! I almost want to stick an IV drip in the withering arm! Do they make IV's for cactii? [wink] They should.

In all seriousness, any advice on how much to water McStabby is welcome!
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