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Question: Opuntia

Hello everyone.
I purchased an "Opuntia Microdasys" succulent plant in February.
I initially kept it at home. Then when the temperatures get up
I took her outside under a terrace on the south side of the house. This for
let her have more hours of light and because she seemed to plant her at home
tended to "pale". Now the plant has symptoms that I don't know
(given my lack of experience) if I am an indication of illness or what:
The posture: when I bought it it was erected - from a single base
various "branches" directed upwards. Now that big / single branch
starting bent downwards. However, the plant does not seem to me
dead because the "twigs" + young still look upwards ...
in short, it does not look like a withered plant, it still retains some
force in its form.
The surface: on the branches + old I noticed 2 factors. The first is that not
they look beautiful, but on the contrary it seems that a bit of "content" is
been aspired away to. es. with a syringe. The second is that always on
branches + old is formed type a state of "skin + old" of color
white that in some places even looks like a hardening of the
Can you tell me what to do? I hope I explained myself ... I did mine
I also have a question about the camellias: I have 1 small pot.
Once the flowering ended, he immediately started to throw away the new leaves. When
can I repot it? And past flowers, I can take them off or wait
who fall by themselves? Finally, the bread must leave it intact with the racking or
I have to loosen the roots a little so they fit better than the new one
I hope to have your answer soon and I thank you in advance for the
Your help.

Answer: Opuntia

Dear Silvia,
Thank you for contacting us about your plants.
The problem of wrinkling of succulent plant stems is enough
widespread and may depend on various conflicting causes such as too much or
little water .
If this occurs during the winter period it can be considered normal, a
because of limited watering, it is rather worrying if the
wrinkling occurs during active growth (spring-summer).
In winter it is preferable to lack water that is not excess because in
water stagnation conditions, the plants get sick due to fungal problems,
if instead the plant suffers the dry it is enough to restore the quota
water ideal for plant revegetation.
Among the main symptoms and debilitating causes at the setting level
symptom on the plant problem
Soft and rotting tissues at the base with curvature of the stem. Excesses
water with incorrect nutrition (excess Nitrogen)
Soft or wrinkled tissues at the base with curvature of the stem. scarcity
water and poor nutrition
Generalized discoloration of the plant with more pronounced yellowing
in the basal areas Poor quality nutrition and excess water
Growth in rings with irregular sections Water and nutritional heterogeneity
Exile of the stems and curvature due to poor constitutional robustness
Insufficient lighting and poor nutrition.
Progressive yellowing from the tips to the bottom of the plant. Flowering
nothing or very poor. Iron deficiency or very compact soil e
Burns or spongy brown spots Sunburns
Fabrics that from greens become gray and loss of consistency Frost or frost
For a correct arrangement and maintenance of succulent plants, together with
all the normal warnings to moderate watering, this type of
plants to be able to vegetate regularly, require lots of lighting in
all seasons and adequate nourishment.
With the good season, they must then gradually expose themselves to the outside in
so that they can receive non-direct sunlight or better in the less hours
hot of the day. From what is stated in his e-mail we deduce that the
Opuntia is in a phase of water scarcity (reduced tissue turgidity),
while the white formations can be formations of cochineal
(insects that suck the sap).
We recommend progressive watering to restore the correct turgor
of plant tissues. Fighting is difficult for scale insects
precisely because waxy excretions prevent treatments from penetrating,
therefore in cases of strong infestation it is good to try to remove
physically the biggest nests with wad of cotton wool and then repeated
treatments with specific products.
To solve your problem, which we consider quite serious, Le
we recommend, and to treat the plants with the insecticide Cifo "FENI" in
ready-to-use spray pack distancing the jet at least 30 cm from the
For an ideal fertilizer we recommend the product Cifo "LIQUID FERTILIZER
The Camellia belongs to the Teacee family with origin from Japan and
Korea. It is a very shiny, sensitive perennial plant with a persistent leaf
in the cold and in our climates it blooms in spring with large flowers of
color varies from white to red.
In order to grow well, it needs acid and very moist soil, shelter
winter from cold, medium lighting and very humid atmosphere.
It is subject to various fungal and environmental pathologies such as those arising
both for exposure to cold and from intolerance to basic soil e
from hard or calcareous waters but also from the very dry atmosphere.
Camellias, like other plants near flowering, are then very much
demanding in terms of nutrition and require specific fertilizers for plants
They should be repotted every 2 years and pruning is usually done after
bloom eliminating the dry and weak branches, and follows a slight topping
some shoots to make the foliage more regular.