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Disease
I do not like writing about this subject.

The reason is because by providing information on this topic only serves to increase the fear & misconceptions in the minds of people who don't first know how to raise plants at all, let alone in a healthy manner.

Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone Park, and others display pure nature at its most awe inspiring. Yet there are no gardeners trimming weeds, spreading fertilizer, or spraying insects. When a tree dies it is recycled by decomposition from numerous vectors. Nature is balanced. It thrives without human meddling.

I can't help you with how to care for a sick specimen barely surviving in a city apartment.
You need to get out and go visit a local cactus & succulent store. This is because you have to see how professionals raise specimens indoors. I have no houseplants—all are growing outside with fresh air, sunlight, non-chlorinated well water.
Healthy plants don’t get sick
• Over watering, lack of proper light, crappy water, bad care, these all makes plants sick.

• Most insects avoid the bitter alkaloids in the skin. But I’ve seen gophers eat the roots, rats gnaw on the tips. Once through the skin it’s a starchy vegetable to them. Grasshoppers will chew on San Pedro tips, slugs and snails will eat the skin.

I never use chemical pesticides on San Pedro for insects! It is unnecessary plus you’ll kill off beneficial ones such as spiders, green lacewings, etc. Insect damage (other than normal chewing ones such as slugs/grasshoppers) is nature’s way of recycling a plant that is not healthy. I raise thousands of plants outside without insect problems.

The most common problems people email me about:

• They unwrapped cuttings that I ship individually wrapped in paper. Then they lay the cuttings together—unaware this will allow the spines to stick into each other. The result is similar to what would happen if you had been scratched by thorns— an outbreak of small infections/scabs. It is not insects. It is not disease. You caused an infection that will heal if left alone.

• Black bruises are caused by mechanical damage to the plant. Dropped during unpacking, handled roughly, bumped it, etc. The result is the same to the plant as if you bumped yourself and had a bruise to show for it. Leave it alone. It will heal.

• Sunburn. A plant in a small pot, with dry soil in full sun can overheat. The skin will wrinkle and turn grey. What would happen to you if you were stripped naked then left in full sun from morning to night? You’d be in the hospital with severe sunburn.

• Freeze damage. Cactus cannot freeze solid, then thaw out and be OK. Neither could you.

KEY TO A HEALTHY PLANT
Visit a local plant store to ask questions. Well cared for plants do not get sick. Use healthy soil, distilled water, morning sun/afternoon shade, fresh air, not too much nitrogen fertilizer, let the soil dry between watering, etc.

Cactus live just fine in nature without humans fussing over them. Keep that concept in mind. OK? Have fun!
(above) My plants are healthy

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