Friday, August 17, 2012

One big cacti update post (Pretty pictures and bad news)

So I've has good news and bad news around here. I'll start with some of the good.

Matucana madisoniorum is flowering again. I love this cactus, the red blooms are stunning.

M. madisoniorum

Rebutia muscula stopped flowering for about a month there, then threw out a few more flowers recently.

R. muscula
And Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is flowering again too.

G. mihanovichii

However, we had about 2 weeks straight of rain. It's humid here in the summers as is without that kind of weather so I wasn't terribly surprised when I noticed some mites on a few of the cacti. Well, a few means they probably all have some so I decided to use my Ortho® Rose Pride insecticide spray (I love it) that works so well for mites, aphids, etc. This worked great on the cacti too.......for the most part. Although it did do what it was supposed to and kill mites, it also burnt the crap out of 3 cacti and 1 succulent. It was probably  my fault and I put too much on some of them, or maybe they had more sensitive skin. Either way, chemical burns ensued.

Echeveria 'Lola'

Gymnocalycium pflanzii var albipulpa

Gymnocalycium baldianum and Echinopsis subdenudata....NOOOOOO!
OUCH! Sucks big time. The Echinopsis got hit the hardest, (of course, my favorite one.) Everything is growing out fine though, and the burns have not spread past there original size. I may have to cut off some of the dead spots. I already resprayed the Echinopsis for fungus, as that was growing on the dead skin. NOT FUN. At the end of the day, it's really just cosmetic damage, the plant's will be fine. However, I'll use Mite-X or something else, now that I know they all aren't fine with the Ortho.

Oh, but to not leave on a bad note, my Haworthia reinwardtii that a friend gave me earlier this summer is going to bloom. I'll put up some more pics of that one when it does.

On the right, Haworthia reinwardtii


  1. That is not nice, but also part of it, we had hail, and I got a fungal on some aloes, which I cut away - big record rain again - those aloes look pretty bad now. Sometimes they recover quickly, sometimes it takes years. I got burns on my pleios and argies, but because they renew their leaves, this will be old news soon. Best note I have seen under a fellow gardeners avatar, "I've killed some plants"! Hehe! LT

    1. LOL, yup I've killed my fair share. Insects and fungus are just a part of growing plants, but this was the 1st time I've seriously injured any plants worse that the insects attacking them! Oops, oh well live and learn.

  2. Ouch! Some of them look quite painful, especially on the Echinopsis, but as you said it's just cosmetic damage and the plant should be ok, phew! I would hate mites forever, if they were the reason I harmed my own plants. Anyhow, it's just a scar.. What will happen to them though, will they grow new green skin to cover the damage or will it rejuvenate, or will the war wounds be there forever, good story for them to tell their offspring. The flowers are stunning, the M. madisoniorum is spectacular, and the G. mihanovichii is my favourite. By the way, Eric from Oz Lithops was giving away free cacti seeds on Lithops forum if you're interested (you pay postage). Sorry I didn't tell you earlier. Happy planting! :)

    1. The wounds will be there until the plants outgrow them unfortunately, so they'll look a bit ugly. I was so pissed when I saw them the next day and realized I injured them worse than the mites, lol, but oh well, now I know I can't use this pesticide on them in the future. Glad you liked the flowers at least! I'll have to check out the lithops forum, I like for postage give-aways, but I don't know if I should join the forum. I have 2 lithops so I don't know how good of a contributing forum member I'll be, haha.

    2. The forum is for all, newbies and seasoned growers, so you're more than welcome to join, when you have time and/or Lithops questions to ask. I think Eric was offering the cacti seeds for free on the forum to help encourage more people to become members and participate, but maybe if you just email him through his website, he still might be able to help. He's a really helpful guy. :)

  3. Ouch! I feel your pain!! I've done things like that before. On a brighter note...your Matucana is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks it has quickly become a favorite. Glad to know I'm not the only one, it's not so easy to find accurate information for what chemicals one can safely use on cacti, this one was supposed to be fine for them :(