January Meeting – Plant Clinic

We had a very successful plant clinic with lots of trouble plants and solutions, advice and a few condolences.

Obregonia is an Obregoner.
Obregonia is an Obregoner

Dried out and died. No root system. Perhaps due to the mildness of winter so far. Perhaps mist with water now and then but not on rossettes or clumps. Also water early in the day so plants have time to dry out before the temperature drops at night.

Discoloured Ferocactus
Discoloured Ferocactus

Discolouration creeping up from the base. Grown indoors. This plant should be fine and just needs more feeding and water to support the fast growth of ferocactus. Switch to a plastic container to help with water retention and give it some fresh soil. Alternatively, it was suggested that a coat of paint would help!

Plant Feeding Discussion.
What do people normally use? Chempack 4 or 8, Tomato feed, and Chempack 0-10-10 where discussed. “What is in normal chempack?” went unanswered…

until now….
Chempack 4 is 15-15-30
Chempack 8 is 12.5-25-25

Crassula Buddha’s Temple.
Crassula Buddha's Temple

No this is not a new cultivar “Giant Poodle”! This a shot from after following the clinic advice on how to deal with my overly dried up plant. The dead leaves have all been removed and hopefully new branches will form from some of the growing points where the leaves were pulled off. There were actually already two more starting that were hidden by the dead leaves in addition to the one visible offset.
Other advice given was to re-pot plants bought from sellers right away in case they were in peat based potting mixes which although great for growing can dry out really badly. Decapitation was suggested – taking the top to re-root and then cutting the stem down to just above the offset to encourage the roots to support that branch’s growth.

Malcolm’s Dead Rebutia
Malcolm's Dead Rebutia

This plant was moved from greenhouse living to a very warm indoor windowsill. You can see that it is completely dried out even on the inside where a piece was pulled off. It is completely dead with no photosynthetic material left at all. It was possibly a red spider mite victim. To control red spider mite use some humidity. Misting every couple of days and a slightly humid environment from nearby water. In a greenhouse one solution is to soak the greenhouse base now and then.

Ariocarpus became Ariocrapus.

Completely dried out and hollow. A mystery casualty in a winter that has seen the deaths of a lot of Ariocarpii (is that the correct plural?).

Cintia knizei with black callus on top.
Cintia knizei with a black callus on top

The black callus on top of one or two of the heads can be prized off and there will be healthy tissue underneath.
Cintia knizei

This head is split and healed. The split was caused by earlier over watering.

Adromischus Bicolour
Adromischus sp.  Should I split it or leave it?

Healthy plant but Stuart wanted to know if he should split or leave it be. I can’t recall the decision. Adromischus can drop leaves when they get too dry and sometimes the stems will just rot out.

Crassula Ovata cv. with stem rot.
Crassula Ovata cv. with stem rot

These are the pieces from a large plant that started suddenly dropping branches and then completely collapsed. The stems at the base are squishy and soft indicating rot. To salvage the pieces cut higher up the stem with a sharp knife checking for any discolouration as you go. Sterilize your knife after each cut to avoid transferring the rot. Then let the pieces callus over and pot them up.

Crassula Ovata cv. with stem rot

You can see the brown discolouration in this picture.

Stapelia with black rot.
Stapelia with black rot.

These are the remnents from a large Stapelia that collapsed and rotted. This is the dreaded Black Rot that afflicts stapelia. Use the same technique as with the Crassula Ovata and make sterile cuts higher up the stem until there is no rot. Then just leave the stems on their side on top of some gravel rather than placing into the potting mix.

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