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 poor melocactus...

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lewis
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PostSubject: poor melocactus...   Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:52 pm

Here's what happens when you keep a melocactus too dry over winter:

poor Melocactus ernestii Crying or Very sad it's completely dry rotted.
goes against the accepted wisdom that keeping cacti dry over winter prevents rot.
i think melocacti rot if either over- or underwatered. Rolling Eyes
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Hellonasty
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:05 pm

Hey lewis,

What a bummer Sad All cacti will rot if they don't receive enough water to keep the cells alive, some species are better than others at surviving drought. You will find cacti that are kept in low light with no direct sun will be happy without water for a very long time. However once you introduce intense light, direct sun and or heat and the cacti will rapidly dry up and if not watered the cells die and begin to rot.

Melos arn't partculary prone to rot so I water mine regualry over winter.

Looked like a nice melo too Sad
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Hellonasty
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:08 pm

Also I will add it doesn't look like a "dry" rot. Are you sure it was kept dry ? It's probably just the photo making it look different.
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lewis
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:43 pm

yes, it was kept very dry. probably for months. now i look at it yeah it does seem to appear a lot 'wetter' in the pic than in real life. it was stupidly kept in an out-of-the-way location due to my inherent lack of space problem and i simply and regrettably forgot to water it. when viewed from above the plant deceivingly looked fine. when i discovered it today the soil was completely and utterly bone dry. the slightest pull and the plant slipped out of the pot. very sad indeed. Sad
could it have also been a fungal infection? (so i am less to blame for its' murder lol)
Another idea that come to me now is this: freezing, defrosting then rotting. the plant, like the rest of my collection (except a previllaged few that i gave the luxury of in-door winter nights when i remembered to) was exposed to cold winter temperatures. with this past winter being the coldest in 10 years, the nighttime temps got down to 1-0C on occasion. shallow water froze if left outside overnight. maybe the cold was too much for the poor melo, whom are well known for their dislike of cold temperatures. remarkably my other Melos emerged unscathed (albeit they were watered on a regular basis). could the cold be the cause? If this is the case then this plant was my only winter casualty so perhaps i should be grateful, although i was kinda fond of this little guy.Sad
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Hellonasty
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:05 pm

Hmm it is possible. As you're aware melos like it hot and can tolerate much heat, on the other hand they don't tolerate the cold all that well. I forgot you were in Melbourne and thinking about it more this is a real possibility.

To answer your first Q, It was most definitely a fungal/bacterial infection as is ALL rot. But the infection is only brought on by environmental conditions such as cold, drought, humidity or over watering.

When a plant suffers from a dry rot it is really deflated, like dormancy, but much much worse. The skin usually turns red or maroon and the plant looks lifeless before you see any signs of rot.

I'm from a climate that basically never has a real frost, so I guess I can help much more if this is the case.

Was it in the sun ?

Yeah it sucks to loose a plant, but at least it was......a fairly common plant and not something real special.
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lewis
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:17 pm

Hellonasty wrote:

Was it in the sun ?
yes, but only morning sun. and Melbourne morning winter sun is pretty pathetic.
Quote :
Yeah it sucks to loose a plant, but at least it was......a fairly common plant and not something real special.
yes, that is the only consolation. still sucks though. Sad
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Vicki
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:29 pm

Condolences Lewis. I am in Western Victoria and a couple of my cacti have done the same thing, even though they have been undercover. Makes one despondent about continuing on...you think you are doing the right thing and then they up and keel over Sad . What disappoints me is they made it through winter and have turned up their toes in Spring.
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trigonus
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PostSubject: Re: poor melocactus...   Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:46 pm

Early spring can be a trying time as one thinks it's an optimal time to water heavily, but oftentimes it's best to remain a little cautious at this time.

Melos are crazy, rotting from being too dry, crazy I say!!! pale

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