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Thread: Noooooo! Succulent 911! Moisture/temperature shock in Jatropha podagrica

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Noooooo! Succulent 911! Moisture/temperature shock in Jatropha podagrica

    My kitchen is being renovated, so a bunch of stuff from the kitchen/living room moved in with my warm plants temporarily the other day. Or so I thought... the project is taking much longer than expected, and I just noticed that they'd been in there for over two weeks.
    Last night around midnight I was stepping over the big jumble of pots when I noticed something looked off with my Jatropha podagrica. I felt it - soft to the touch! ^@&$%#!!! Then it hit me - most of those plants had been outside as little as two weeks before being moved in with my lowlanders. I violated a basic tenant of succulent culture taking them from cold to warm so fast, and also stomped all over "the rules" in general by aggressively watering shortly before the move.
    So, I took it back into a cooler room to get it into easier conditions. I immediately spotted an earthworm when I brought it under a lamp. My blood pressure started rising at that point. I got some spare kitty litter trays and carefully tipped the pot out; there were a few pillbugs and baby earthworms, and probably a bunch of smaller stuff I didn't see, but not as bad as I had worried. But I noticed a few problems; the media was compressed and there isn't nearly as much aggregate as I remember adding. There's enough LFS mixed with the cactus soil that most of it was loose, but there was a clump of peat and sand around the rootball. Aaaah! Stupid nursery! (Actually, stupid me for not removing that when I repotted.) Can't catch a break. The roots don't look unhealthy to me, but I don't know what they should look like in general. They don't seem to have multiplied the way I'd hoped when I put them into that big pot, but they're long at least.
    My solution was to remove all of the media. Not knowing what else to do, I tossed as much as I could remove with my hands, sprayed the roots clean with sink and then RO water and used a blow dryer (alternating low and no heat) to remove as much moisture as possible. I then put it in a bowl next to one of my light racks on dry paper towels and covered it lightly to do what I could to prevent temperature shock without holding too much moisture in.
    What else should I do? I love this plant dearly - I care much for all of my plants but this one is closer to a pet or maybe even a child (maybe not my favorite child, haha.) I have a seedling from it but the stem cutting I took may have failed; I let the bottom go mushy on that one too! :/ The seedling probably needs another 10 years before it will look like it's mama. I think I caught this early but I'll take whatever actions necessary to try and save it. I don't want to leave things to chance. I was thinking about moving it into APS and peat, but uncertain. I want to use a larger form of ceramic aggregate that I found, but it needs washing before use so it will be somewhat wet if I try to repot immediately. I've used APS unwashed before but I don't like to in general. Jatropha podagrica's natural distribution overlaps with many Mexican Pinguicula, but it seems to be more moisture-tolerant from reports I've seen. I think my combination of cold and moisture from having it on the porch this fall may have exhausted its tolerance, though.
    Any help would be great - thanks guys.
    ~Joe

    PS - Cut the stem... things don't look good. I got some fresh-looking material from the very top, but based on the rest of it I don't have much hope at this point. Miracle cures would be handy, if anyone has some.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    I wish you luck with it but anytime I see a succulent going to goo I just deposit it in the nearest trash receptacle.

    Same with anything I find mealies on. I've given up trying to fight them it's been almost a year. I just tossed my three madagascar ceropegias who were just beginning to look awesome but they were asclepiads and they're like crack to mealies and I found some on them on my last inspection. Once they get a taste of them it's all over, they'll never go away no matter what you try.

  3. #3
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Not quite goo, but it doesn't look great. I wouldn't be shocked if it came through this, but I'm not holding my breath. :/
    I got one cutting from it that I think will take, and another from the top of the older cutting that I almost killed. :s Besides that I have one seedling that's two or three years along and three seeds that I soaked and planted. I guess I just have to hope for the best...
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  4. #4
    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    They were asclepiads and they're like crack to mealies, they'll never go away no matter what you try.
    for the simile but for the truth

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