Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Canker disease in Cactus

Happy New Year everybody! Wish you be healthy and happy in 2010.

For the cactus & succulent planters, I think you all should ever have an experience with canker disease. The bacterium in the humid soil and air causes the canker which can occur with the citrus species (such as lime, orange, cherry) and cactus as well. The first symptoms in autumn are shallow depressions at the base of plants which enlarge in spring, completely circling the base of the branch and causing it to die. An amber like gum may also appear. When the size of the circle is enlarged, the circle will look like full sponge, which later become dark brown flakes split button which is rough and hard curve. But the middle will collapse into the sink itself.

How to Treat Canker

If your cactus has the canker, you should be cut out, back to good part, using a knife or chisel - burn the diseased one. The exposed healthy part can be painted with a canker paint available from larger garden centres. If canker is a major problem, spraying with a copper based fungicide (bordeaux mixture is sold by most garden centres), in August, September and October will greatly assist. Three consecutive sprayings are needed for the full effect.

However, the study show some growers use low rates of copper-based products during bud break to reduce symptoms of dead bud. Copper-based products have not worked well under conditions favorable for disease development. Heavy use of copper products is not recommended as Bacteria will resist copper products and the concentrations in the soil can build up to toxic levels in the long term. Now, we can control the canker the organic chemistry. Anyway, I don't know yet how to do and what the exact result is because the organic chemistry is successful with the lime and orange farms. So I'll have to test it and inform you later.