Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mammillaria bocosana ~ RIP

Mary Sarton once said, “A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.” That is certainly true for me. Some of my experiments to correct problems are successful—others fail miserably, such as with this Mammillaria boscana with the long nipples that I wrote about a few months ago.

Still green, but not quite right

I thought that those extra long nipples signaled a problem, so I gradually moved it into a brighter location and watered it more frequently, but didn’t overdo it. It probably received water 10 percent more frequently than before. It grew more “hair” because of increased light, and all seemed well. I stopped watering most of the Mammillaria earlier this month as they transition into winter dormancy, and this cactus was no exception.

Today as I surveyed my cactus collection, I noticed the M. bocasana looked a little odd—sort of shrunken and discolored on one side, and some of the hairs and spines were loose. The nipples were still green, but something just wasn’t right with it. I poked it a bit with a probe stick, and could tell immediately that it had rotted. In fact, the center was completely dry rather than the putrid mess usually found inside a rotting cactus, so it had been rotting for quite some time.


So much for experimenting. I’m not even sure the extra water caused the demise of this cactus. Over the course of 10 weeks, it only received one extra watering, hardly enough to result in rot. There are also other causes of cactus rot, but I don’t perform cactus autopsies. The cause of death will remain unknown. There will be no funeral.


JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...


I don't know all about plants but from catusses I know that they HATE water, so they like to stay as dry as possible. i wonder how they get along....

I just returned from Paris,
Look/listen to/at my Paris and Holland slides :)

Have a wonderfull weekend:)


Julie said...

Oh Aiyana, it seems like you just had the funeral for this poor cactus!!! It sure was a strange, yet cute little feller! I'm sorry for your failed experimentation. This has to be a rarity for you!!! You are the most exceptional cactus maven!!

Eaglehawk said...

poor cactus, I love cacti but my wife won't let me plant any because of our kids. oh well.

Kylee said...

Aiyana, is that what my 'hairy' cactus is? I know NOTHING about cacti except that they hurt when you accidentally bump into them. Well, my hairy one doesn't. LOL.

kate said...

Ah, the poor cactus ... I hate when this happens. I doubt the one extra watering did it either. Sometimes plants have bad karma too, I figure.

I am still laughing about the GTS post I just read - and 'stating the obvious'. I do that with great regularity!!