Thursday, September 11, 2014

Torturing cacti!

Good day to all of ya!

Here you are, on my blog and thinking: 'What the hell?! Torturing cacti?!'.

Yeah... Nothing will be always 100% like you would like it to be and this unfortunately also applies for cacti. This was hard year for me as cacti-breeder! Besides the damaged plants and a little boredom at work, life's very nice to me.

Now what do we have here...

Armored Scale-insects

Armored scale insects. Their name is cool, but they really suck, literally. These little, parasitic monsters also go by the name Diaspididae. They feed themselves on the sap that they suck out of plants and can do serious damage to their host.

Where the hell did they come from and why are they only attacking one plant? No idea, but they were spread all over my Weberbauerocereus johnsonii. I've tried to cut them out, but there were more than just a few. I could not even separate a decent cutting, so I've had to give up and trow the plant away.

Sun-burned cacti

Normally you can recognize it quite easy when your cactus (or other succulent) is getting burned. The plant will slowly start coloring red (keep in mind that some species are supposed to have that color!) and if you notice it on time, you should put it in the shade immediately. Mostly the plant will recover quickly without any damage, but sometimes you're too late.

As you can see, this Echinopsis subdenudata has some permanent damage. The plant won't die, but it ain't pretty either...

And then there is also another scenario...

I should have paid more attention to my balcony-greenhouse. During the summer it was opened day and night and when it got colder and the UV-index was below 4, I've kept it closed. I thought the summer had ended and autumn was on its way, but I was wrong... Two very pretty and sunny days melted a couple of my plants! Holy crap! Not entirely, but they do have some serious damage. Earlier this year I've had the same problem with a couple of my Saguaro seedlings:

Sun-burned Saguaro seedling

And here is the solution to this problem. As some of you know, I'm kind of addicted to IFTTT (pronounced like gift without the G) and I have already made a lot of recipes. Some (in my wife's opinion all!) of them are completely useless and others are quite handy. Check out this one:

IFTTT Recipe: If current UV index rises above 3, then send me an email connects weather to email

The idea is to receive a warning when there is a possibility that my plants get burned. During the beginning of spring, for example, cacti are much more sensitive. After a long winter without much light, they suddenly get struck by stronger sun beams. Now I'll now it on time and will be able to provide some shade. Or it will warn me to open up the greenhouse again when I think summer is over and it's actually not...

I have another IFTT that warns me whenever the wind speed rises above what my green-house can handle, so that I'm on time to save my plants before some sort of storm starts raging on my balcony.

Beating up cacti

What?! No, it wasn't in purpose! Sometimes you accidentally hit or step on a cactus or let a pot fall on the floor and sometimes the guy that is supposed to replace the windows in your house brutally mutilates a Selenicereus hondurensis by closing a window! Arg! Okay, breath in, breath out. Shit happens and it's a plague anyway, but it still sucks monkey-balls when a plant gets damaged!

Smashed Selenicereus hondurensis

The End

That's about it for this blog. Let's wait and see if I can still turn them back into beautiful plants. The'll probably be alright and maybe even flower next year. In their natural habitat they're used to hard and brutal circumstances and are kind of famous for being tough bastards! Well... Next blog I'll blend in some pipes, whisky and bullshit stories again, because this blog is a little bit too serious. Of course this isn't a funny subject! Haven't you seen all the damage?! Pfffff.....

Another thing! I'm back playing Go again and I am slowly getting better and better (I can almost defeat the CPU on level 2... Damn bastard!). Of course this is the place where I'll try to convince you all to play Go and I'll probably bother some persons about my new hobby!

Check out these sites:

And I wouldn't be Stan if I didn't add a real Go Board to my present-wishlist:

Now go practice Go and till next Blog!

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