There are numerous ways for outdoor cacti to come into touch with fungus spores. Spores can be found in soil, blown in by the wind, or picked up from splashing water. The plants most severely impacted are those with continuously damp stems or pads. Fungal lesions are more likely to form when warm temperatures and rain or high humidity are present.
In the spring, fungus patches on cactus pads are increasingly frequent. Additionally, they are improved by overhead watering especially in places with high humidity. Without sufficient ventilation, greenhouse specimens may be especially vulnerable. Condensation increases the humidity in the air, which helps spores develop.
Another contributing element is soil. Numerous soils contain fungus spores, which can survive for many years before the proper circumstances are met. Even store-bought potting soil could contain fungus spores.
Method #1: Cut Off The Infected Area
To start, use a sterilized knife or pair of clippers to remove any patches of fungus on the cactus plants.
Then, depending on the fungicide you use, treat those healthy areas once every two weeks for six to twelve months.
Follow the directions on the fertilizer container to fertilize your plant as necessary to encourage development and stop further disease outbreaks.
Additionally, make sure that it receives consistent watering throughout this time and try to avoid letting it become completely dry in between waterings since too much moisture may result in black patches in addition to root rot issues!
Method #2: Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Making a solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is one of the most used techniques.
Pour two teaspoons into an empty spray bottle along with one quart of warm water.
Whenever you notice any indications or symptoms, such as leaf spot, that fungus on cactus plants has resumed its attack, spray your cactus plants well until they are completely moist, including the undersides and tops of leaves.
For six weeks straight, you should perform this procedure at least twice a week to completely eradicate the fungus on your cactus plants.
Method #3: Make Your Own Fungicide Solution
In an empty spray container, combine one tablespoon of liquid soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda with one gallon of water.
To totally get rid of fungus on cactus plants, spray it abundantly onto your plants every two weeks for at least six months!
Method #4: Spray With White Vinegar Solution
Another choice is to carefully dip the leaves into a solution of one part white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) to four parts water in an empty plastic bucket or container. Do this until the leaves are completely moistened but not dripping wet.
The fungicide that has remained on the surface should be allowed to dry naturally rather than being rinsed off because doing so will only remove around half of it. It is therefore better to leave it alone.
This remedy must be used within a week if it is homemade. If you purchase it, be sure to keep it in a dry, cold environment.
Method #5: Clean Your Cactus Plant Thoroughly With Soap and Water
The easiest option is to just give your cactus plant a thorough washing every day, or at least every other day, with soap and water, especially after working near them while they are dusty.
Before applying fungicide using method number three above, make sure to clean up any dust since it acts as an insulator to prevent fungi from drying out.
Spray two quarts of lukewarm water with one tablespoon each of liquid soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda to clean all leaves, including the undersides.
Method #6: Use a Fungicide Solution
Fungicides can be used to treat your cactus plant if it develops a fungus infestation.
Fungicides come in a variety of forms, some of which function better than others and serve distinct needs. Be careful to pick the proper one for your situation!
Keep in mind that even if just one or two leaves exhibit symptoms, it is still crucial to spray them down because, if left untreated, this disease will soon spread throughout the entire plant.
What exactly is that white growth on my cactus?
All of us enjoy the colors found in nature, especially at this time of year, but none are as brilliant as red.”
Red has always been a popular hue in societies because it is associated with risk and bravery, revolution and conflict, violence and sin, desire and passion. (1) When Spanish conquistadors discovered the Aztecs selling an exceptional red dye in the major markets of Mexico in 1519, no red dye was as vivid. They referred to it as cochineal or grana cochinilla.
“When Cortes arrived, he was astounded to see Montezuma and other lords wearing bright, vivid red robes. The fact that the hands and breasts of the native women were painted the same vibrant hue astounded him as well. He discovered bundles of dried cochineal brought to Montezuma in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), which were swiftly conveyed back to Spain. The dye was so much more vivid than the others and became very popular in Europe. By 1600, silver was the most expensive import from Mexico, followed by cochineal. (2)
The Opuntia engelmanii, or prickly pear cactus, is home to the scale insect known as cochineal. It eats the cactus’ delicious juices as a rasping, sucking insect. To ward off predators, it creates a cottony white covering. The insect is removed from the cactus, dried, and dehydrated before being exported all over the world to be used in a variety of ways. Cosmetics, food coloring, artist’s paint, and textile dyes (such as wool) all use dried cochineal. Today, it is frequently utilized as a red colour in dietary beverages. Cochineal’s most well-known application was to colour the jackets of the British troops “During the Revolutionary War, redcoats.
Live cochineal are displayed to children in the City of San Antonio Natural Areas Education Classes on the cactus, and dried cochineal is used to paint on rocks, paper, and wool fibers. While dried cochineal is still available today, synthetic colors with longer shelf lives have mostly taken its place.
The scientific study of the interactions between people and plants is known as ethnobotany. Cochineal is a fantastic technique to demonstrate to students how plants and insects were used by Native Americans and early settlers in Texas. They discover the history of this insect as well as its link to and relationship with nature. The pupils enjoy reading the ingredients list on their preferred red food product and seeing the name of cochineal extract (labeled as carminic acid) “use Sobe Life Water, a bug juice.
Cacti can grow mold.
Fusarium rot affects cactuses, however it is not specific to them. This infection manifests as a quick wilting and the growth of a pink to white mold close to the plant’s base. This illness gradually dehydrates the cactus to the point when its husk collapses into a withered heap. Remove the cactus from the area and sterilise the soil if fusarium rot is discovered on it to reduce the chance of infection.