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 Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where

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Kada
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PostSubject: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:51 am

some skin diseases and rot are caused by fungus. it may not be the actual fungus causing the rust colour directly, but it is the damage it is doing to cause the cactus to turn this way.

from the ones i have seen it is always due to the roots getting infected...this is caused by too much water and/or humidity and poor soil mixes/drainage.

take this little Astrophytum.


it was planted in a very good mineral mix as astros should (and all my others are planted in as well).


it is the rainy season now and they are protected but humidity is high and pots dont dry as fast due to cloudy weather. this is the result of 2 things: a coupld fertilizer chunks stuck together causing a wet sponge area; and the drainage holes got blocked cause this plant is pretty root bound (lazy me Embarassed )

the result? fungus attack in the wet areas...once it starts it creates a bigger spongy area that holds water and so it spreads.




but fixing this is easy. dry out, see if it goes away. if not, repot. clean the roots (i use weak compressed air when repotting) and let dry for a day or 2. then replant in a better soil mix and bigger pot.

hope the pics are of some use.
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trigonus
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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:57 pm

Thanks Kada, I had an A. asterias fma. nudum that had exactly the same thing happen to it last season. The reason: Overwatering. Also I suspect that type of rot can lay dormant for periods of time and start to grow rapidly when the receive water.

That white stuff looks alot like root mealie deposits? I recently had to uproot avery valuable cactus because it had these.

I think the only solution to the above problem is as mentioned, free draining high mineral content mix, minimal watering, low humidity and clean growing areas.

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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:33 pm

yes thats about all that needs to be done. the above is fungus mycelia for sure. it is risky cause it only takes one spore to germinate and a damp substrate for it to spread....all the more reason to NOT have organic crap in certain soils. I think it also had to do with being rootbound and havign dead roots for it to grow on.

did yours have any permanent physical scars? discoloured?
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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:16 pm

Quote :
did yours have any permanent physical scars? discoloured?

No, actually it looked fine over winter (kept bone dry on a heat mat), as soon as the temps and humidity started rising over the spring period, naturally the watering schedule also increased. The problem was that I hadn't had much experience with growing Astros back than and overwatered them, lost about three really nice plants.

Basically it developed that orange-brownish discolouration, the body was still turgid at this point. Then the dip in the ribs started sinking in and became hollow looking, then the whole cactus turned to mush within a few days. It was too late to save the poor thing. Still not sure if the contaminant came on the plants roots or was in the (dodgy) potting mix that I put it in? All I know is the water activated it and death soon followed. I know to be a lot more sparing with the water now.

Also what are your thoughts on this type of rot (or any type really) and overfeeding. Do you think there is a link? Or is just the water as the issue?

Cheers.

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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:54 pm

if over feeding was an issue i would be in huge trouble! i dont think it is due to overfeeding....too much ferts often leads to splits rather than rot. i think it is due to water and a good medium for it to grow on (ie organic debris). if you are like me and use organic pellet style ferts, there is a good fungus substrate right there. that is why i powder my ferts and mix it in the substrate. i found the one above started, or at least was most dense, where 2 or 3 uncrushed pellets were together....this would obviously hold moisture longer than the crushed rocks...so it stayed damp and started to grow. the other problem with mine was it was rootbounds and was not draining out the holes well, so that much more water stayed in.

in my opinion...if you are decently well versed with your plants you can "over" water and get great results...i do. you can even have a shitty substrate and get ok results (i dont like that one)...but if you mix these 2 toghether then its pretty much a sure thing they will show distress in some form. i think that overwatered roots are also likely "weaker" and therefor more susceptible to fungal invaders than a healthy root system

that said i water all mine twice weekly and never had troubles....but here the water was not draining good and i was still watering it full force like its buddies beside it.

thats what i think anyway....if your asking what i know....i dont know Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:01 pm

That pretty much answers my question. Cheers Kada Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:04 pm

Oh and...can I ask what your mineral mix consists of, you have probably posted about this before but I can't remember...

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PostSubject: Re: Orange rot of the fungal kind: why and how and where   Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:33 am

i cant remember the name of that white stuff, its like a puffed up rock. not perlite. i get it from japan, and the bag is all japanese....sorry!

i use that about 30% ish
small rocks 15% ish
coarse grit 50%
and a pellet fertilizer and sand mixed about 5%

give or take, its all by feel i don't measure much Embarassed .

the pic above is how it looks all mixed together.
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