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Cactus is sick. Please HELP!

Gordon A. Fox gfox at ucsd.edu
Thu Dec 21 12:15:26 EST 1995

lonesome at magg.net (Charles Peterson) wrote:
>In article <4aodri$bjq at cmcl2.NYU.EDU>, aqm0521 at is2.nyu.edu says...
>>We desperately need help for our big cactus (~4 ft. tall).
>>Any help will be greatly appreciated
>At any rate you ought to cut off a piece of the healthy plant and repot it 
>in order to start a new one. They grow easily from cuttings of the lobes. 
>Or those joints. Be sure to use the proper soil and follow a feeding 
>program faithfully with cactus fertilizer. Hot sun helps. Good luck
>>        Please send responses to alurye at lehman.com.
>>                                                        Thanx
>>                                                        Alexander Lurye

This advice is fine, but there're a few things that should be 
added, or you can kill your cutting too.

Before you put the cutting into soil, let it dry -- probably for a few 
weeks. It often helps to cover the wound with charcoal dust too. During 
this time, DON'T put it in hot sun.

And don't water it AT ALL until it's rooted -- you'll know when that is 
by the onset of new growth and/or your inability to wiggle it in the 

Finally, a caution about "hot sun helps." Depends on where you live. Most 
cactus books are by people from the UK, Germany, and other places where 
they have NO "hot sun." Advice like "plant needs full sun" or "hot sun" 
is often misleading in places like the western US -- often they need a 
fair amount of shelter from the sun in places with lots of hot sun!
Gordon A. Fox * Dept. of Biology 0355 * Univ. of Calif., San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. * La Jolla, CA 92093-0355 * USA
Fax: (619) 534-7108 * Voice: (619)822-0603

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