In most cases, cacti diseases disappear only in case of violation of agricultural techniques recommended for one or another type of this culture. Incorrect watering, illiterately selected soil, violation of the rules of maintenance, installation on the windowsill, where there are drafts and the constant influence of cold air - all lead to the development of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Diseases of succulents often manifest as various root and stem rot. To deal with them is very difficult. It is much easier to carry out timely prevention and eliminate the risk of infection of the plant. But if the trouble has already happened, it is important to understand how the treatment is carried out at home and what methods of treatment of cacti can be applied safely. The description of the main problems of growing succulents can be found on this page.
Numerous photos of cacti diseases will help determine with accuracy the cause of the troubles and reveal the way to combat them:
Diseases of cacti and their treatment (with photo)
If you follow the basic rules of care, then cacti manifest themselves as hardy and little susceptible to diseases and pests of the plant. Hardened, properly cultivated cacti almost never get sick and are rarely affected by pests; weakened, pampered or overfed specimens, on the contrary, are very susceptible to various adverse effects. Therefore, the best protection is the correct culture of cacti. However, even in a well-kept collection of cacti, plants can sometimes be affected by pests and diseases.
The cause of most of the damage and diseases of cacti is improper care for these plants. Some typical cacti lesion manifestations will be described here. We offer to learn about the main diseases of cacti and their treatment at home with the help of simple techniques.
Cacti grow thin with pulling shoots.
If usually characterized by compactness, squat and vertical growth, cacti begin to grow thin and strongly stretch out, so they have to be tied up to pegs, and the dark green color of the shoots becomes discolored and becomes yellow-green, the reason for this is often the very dark content of plants.
See what these cacti diseases look like and their treatment in the photo, where all the methods of therapy are demonstrated:
This happens, for example, with the prickly pear process brought from a Mediterranean holiday in a very dark window of a living room. Such a plant should be moved to a brighter place or alternatively suitable cacti should be selected for a particular location. Similar symptoms may also occur if fertilizer or substrate contains too much nitrogen and, by nature, slow-growing cacti begin to grow unnaturally quickly, causing their tissues to become friable and lose their natural compactness. Such external manifestations of damage can also occur when in a dark winter time too high a temperature of maintenance and abundant watering stimulate the growth of cacti. In this case, it is necessary to strictly observe the rest period necessary for plants.
White or yellowish spots.
Light spots on the top of the head and on the side of the cactus facing the light appear due to damage and destruction of the epidermis caused by exposure to very high temperatures and excessively intense solar radiation.
These damages, called cactus burns, appear when people who are not accustomed to bright sunlight and are kept in dry conditions are suddenly exposed to strong solar and thermal radiation. The danger of such damage occurs when, after a long and cloudy winter, the first bright sunny days come, and it is especially high behind the glass, facing the south side of the window. Burns can disfigure a plant for many years. Therefore, in the first sunny spring days, cacti-grower lovers need to lightly shade their cacti from direct sunlight during hot midday hours, for example, using thin tissue paper. Airing makes it possible to lower the ambient air temperature sharply rising in the sun.
Redness of the stems.
Redness of cacti stems testifies to the "stressful situation" in which the plant found itself. This can be observed in cases where in spring, as the amount of light and heat increases, cacti should begin to grow, but they do not receive the necessary moisture. Or, then, when the root system is not all right, and therefore the plant can not absorb water. Redness of the stems can also be a result of the fact that cacti are transferred very early in an unheated greenhouse, where it is still too cool for them. After the improvement of environmental conditions, the plants gradually acquire their usual color. Some cacti, such as the alpine echinopsis from the pseudo-penitential group or Lobivia (Chamaecereus) silvestrii, are usually painted in spring in a more or less intense red color. Therefore, in these plants, stem redness is not a cause for concern.
Yellowing a plant or its individual segments (chlorosis).
If the whole cactus or its individual segments turn yellow (this can be observed primarily in hymnocalycium), this indicates violations in the provision of the plant with mineral substances. The reason may be a lack of certain macro- or microelements in plants, such as iron, so (much more often there is) an excessive increase in soil pH (alkalization) or accumulation of a large amount of calcium salts in old soil, resulting in nutrients passing into compounds inaccessible to plants. A plant with such damage is best transplanted into a fresh substrate.
At the same time, the old earthen room is not left, but the old soil is removed from the roots as completely as possible. Since in this case damage to the root system is unavoidable, the plant is first watered only a few days after transplantation, and very carefully, and contained in the penumbra.
Look at these succulent diseases - you can get information about typical manifestations of root eating disorders with photos:
Corking plants from the base of the stem.
Ugly brown spots spreading from the base up the stalk are the result of negligent care: irregular watering, frequent watering with very cold water or improper feeding and nutrient supply of plants become the cause of such damage. True, in some cacti, such as, for example, individual astrophitumens, echinopsis or trichocereus, like stumping the stems is a natural process, and it is almost impossible to avoid it.
Dropping or underdevelopment of buds.
When the buds stop in their development and fall off, this may be due to the fact that after planting the flower buds the position of the plant relative to the light was changed. This is observed, for example, in "Christmas" cacti. In addition, it may happen that the flower buds laid in a variety for further development did not have enough moisture and nutrients, light and heat, if, for example, weather conditions changed dramatically or an amateur was on vacation. Some cacti buds usually lays more than they later develop.
How to cure a cactus from fungal diseases
In their homeland most often cacti grow in dry climatic conditions and on weathered mineral soils. That is why they are especially susceptible to fungal diseases. In cacti with not yet dried and not prolonged injuries that are not covered with a protective cell film, there is a danger that the ubiquitous pathogenic fungi that inhabit the warm and moist humus particles of the substrate penetrate into the succulent tissues and thereby cause the stem to rot quickly.
Before you cure a cactus from a fungal disease, you need to understand one simple thing - only complete replacement of the entire contaminated soil will help. Fight fungal diseases almost impossible.
The so-called fungicidal plant protection products are not able to completely kill all the mushrooms and their spores, and can only temporarily muffle the infection. The best way to fight fungal diseases is to prevent them.
That is why experienced cacti growers prefer well water and air-permeable and mainly mineral substrates. Accustomed to a dry climate, cactuses with turnips are planted in pots in such a way that the root neck and the upper part of the root are in a particularly porous, mainly gravel substrate.
All cacti, including seedlings, after transplanting into dry soil, are carefully watered for the first time only a few days later, when the possible damage to the roots has healed. Before planting the cuttings for rooting into the soil mixture for cacti and moisturizing the substrate, they must be dried so that a layer of protective film (callus) is formed at the cut point. Cacti should be cultivated not in the conditions of warm and humid stagnant air, but in constantly well ventilated rooms.
There are a number of different fungal diseases of cacti, which can only be distinguished only by a specialist. Almost all infections lead to rapid loss of the affected plant.
If in the sowings the whole areas of the seedlings became vitreous and died, it can happen within one night, the affected area of the crops must be carefully removed from the bowl along with the substrate and destroyed. The remaining seedlings are sprayed with a 1% solution of quinosol. After that, all crops should be kept at a slightly lower humidity and let the substrate dry out a little.
If an adult plant softens and falls, it must be immediately destroyed along with the substrate; The pot can only be reused after thorough cleaning with hot water. Sometimes you want to believe that the cactus, affected by rot at the base of the stem, is still healthy from above. In this case, you can try using a sharp, alcohol-disinfected knife to cut off the top of the stem and re-root it. However, in the majority of such cases, it has to be stated that the pathogen has already got through the conducting vessels into the seemingly healthy part of the plant and causes decay also here.
Special care is required in the case when on the epidermis of a cactus, for example in the area of the apex of the stem, black spots suddenly appear. These spots are completely safe, but they can also indicate a rapidly spreading fungal disease.
Therefore, cacti with such lesions should be immediately isolated from other plants. In a separate, drier place, the affected plants must be carefully observed to see if the spots will be drawn out or will spread further. Such fungal diseases occur primarily in the warm season, when cacti, for example, were sprayed in the greenhouse in the evening with water, and then, due to insufficient ventilation, were kept in a warm and humid atmosphere of stagnant air for a long time.