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Mexican fence post cactus
Mexican fence post cactus
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Mexican fence post cactus
Cereus marginatus
Also known as: Central Mexico organ pipe, Central Mexico pipe organ, Organ pipe
Mexican fence post cactus (Cereus marginatus) is a cactus native to Central Mexico where it is often cultivated as a living fence. This species is planted as a barrier so frequently throughout Mexico that it is also called the Mexican fence post cactus. Mexican fence post cactus grows best in well-drained, rocky soil.
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care guide

Care Guide for Mexican fence post cactus

Drought-tolerant. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering.
Fertilization
Fertilization
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Fertilization once every 2-3 months during the growing season.
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Sunlight
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Full sun, Partial sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
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9b - 11b
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All year around
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Mexican fence post cactus
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Mexican fence post cactus
Sunlight
Sunlight
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Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
9b - 11b
Planting Time
Planting Time
All year around
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Mexican fence post cactus
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
9b - 11b
Planting Time
Planting Time
All year around
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Questions About Mexican fence post cactus

Watering Watering Watering
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Seasonal Care Seasonal Care Seasonal Care
Why Should I Water the Mexican fence post cactus?
Watering the Mexican fence post cactus will help transport the nutrients that it needs from the soil to the rest of the plant. Without enough moisture, the Mexican fence post cactus won't remain healthy or might even become malnourished. Watering should be done when you see some signs that the plant is thirsty. When you're in doubt, you should never overwater as this can be a way to kill them.
The best way to water them is the soak and dry method. When you see that the soil becomes too dry, you should soak them in water until you see that the pot is dripping with water underneath. Then, go for weeks without watering to give the soil a chance to rest.
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How Much Do I Need to Water My Mexican fence post cactus?
Water this succulent efficiently and make sure to cover the entire pot. Set a saucer at the bottom of the pot so the roots will get enough moisture. When you see that the soil begins to saturate, take out the saucer immediately. The holes in the pot and the amount of soil will determine the frequency and the quantity of water you should give your plant. A can of water is often more than enough for the Mexican fence post cactus especially if they are planted in pots.
When you plant them in the garden or outdoors, you need to include the rainwater they receive. About an inch of rainwater is more than enough to last them for a few weeks, so refrain from watering. When they are outside, you need to water them in the morning with about a gallon of water after you see that the soil is bone dry so the sunlight can help evaporate the excess moisture.
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How Often Should I Water My Mexican fence post cactus?
Most of the time, you only need to water your succulents once every two to three weeks in the summer and spring. During the winter and fall, reduce the watering or avoid this as this plant tends to become dormant.
Let the soil dry completely, and it's always a good idea to lean on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering. When they are in the pot, water deeply at intervals to encourage healthier soil growth.
When they are planted outdoors, never water them lightly as this will result in more shallow root growth. Wait for a few weeks and only give them a drink when the soil around them is too dry.
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What'S the Best Method to Water the Mexican fence post cactus?
Another tip when watering this species is to water it from the bottom. This is for the proper absorption of water to the roots, enabling it to circulate the nutrients from the soil towards its whole body. When you accidentally spill water at the top part, this can cause the development of diseases and fungi.
Use sprinklers when you have irrigation systems. Get the small sprinklers if you have Mexican fence post cactused in your garden. It's best to get the revolving ones that allow you to change the water delivery patterns whenever you need them. Avoid turning on the sprinkler on windy days. Make sure to use the soak and dry method regardless if the Mexican fence post cactus is in a pot or your garden. This will evenly distribute the moisture across the root systems resulting in healthier growth.
Some owners might want to get a built-in drainage system for their succulents. This is where layers of porous materials like recycled glass or hydro stones are placed beneath the soil. They will generally be a reservoir for excess water, so it's important not to pour too much water into these built-in systems.
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How to Make Sure That I Water Mexican fence post cactus Adequately?
Before you give this plant a drink, it's always a good idea to check the soil's moisture levels by poking your finger in it or using a moisture meter. This will tell you whether the soil is already too dry or if there's still moisture. It's a technique used by owners of smaller potted plants to know whether it's time to water or not.
Assess the needs of your Mexican fence post cactus and know that it requires watering every two weeks during the summer. You can go as far as three weeks in the hot season before watering this, but in the fall or winter, there should not be any water at all. Allow the soil to dry between irrigations.
They can be grown in greenhouses and other warm spots indoors and thrive well. When your plant is getting too much light, you can increase the watering frequency as long as you see that the soil is dry. They can also be grown outdoors, where you will need to water them less.
Give it enough water once every three weeks; this should be more than enough. Don't rely alone on irrigations and sprinklers to reach their bases. Use a soaker hose that will hit the ground and spread the water. Make sure it won't hit much of the body of the plant as this can result in diseases.
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What Should I Do If I Waterr Mexican fence post cactusToo Much/Too Little?
When you see that the Mexican fence post cactus begins to turn yellow, know that this can be caused by underwatering or overwatering. When the soil is too wet, then there might be the presence of fungal infections. You should allow everything to dry, and you should not overwater.
Also, the browning and dropping symptoms indicate that your plant is getting too much moisture and water. If there's not enough water, the indication can be seen with the yellow tips that can begin to form on stems and branches.
When you're still in the process of buying the Mexican fence post cactus, make sure to ask first if the soil is properly draining or sandy. When the topsoil does not properly drain, there's a chance that the plant will likely not receive enough water in the future.
Another thing is that the Mexican fence post cactus tends to die when it's constantly getting overwatered and if it's receiving too much rain if planted outside. Use rainwater or distilled water whenever possible as the plants don't like many minerals in their drink.
You can see the squishy stems, drooping growth, and discolored parts that are all signs of too much moisture. It's critical to give the species time to recover and allow the pot to dry. Transfer it to a different container to avoid root rot and prevent it from dripping. If planted outside, you can also transfer it into a pot, especially in the winter, to help it recover.
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Should I Adjust the Frequency of Watering Mexican fence post cactus According to Different Seasons or Climates?
Mexican fence post cactus is very tolerant of drought. This means that you don't need to water them very often. Watering frequency should also depend on the climate where you live. In a dry environment, you can make the watering conditions adapt well to your plants' needs. When they are in their early flowering stages, you might want to increase watering to help them grow. When they are receiving enough sunlight, water only in the morning.
Specifically, they can be watered once every 10 to 14 days during the summer. You can increase this frequency during times of heat waves and make sure to mist the base from time to time lightly. When it's too cold, you can cut back on watering or once every 21 to 28 days when it begins to cool down.
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Should I Adjust the Watering Frequency During the Different Growing Stages of My Mexican fence post cactus?
When you've just repotted the plant, you should wait for a week before you can water your Mexican fence post cactus. When it's time to water them, be generous until you see the water coming out of the potholes but don't make it a deluge. When they have already grown and received medium light, you might want to water them once every 2 to 3 weeks since they are very tolerant to drought.
In the winter, you will further need to cut back on watering. The ideal time is to water it once every 3 to 4 weeks as long as the soil does not feel too dry. Winter is their resting season, so they don't consume a lot of energy or grow at this time.
If you grow the plants outdoors, rainwater can be another excellent alternative when you want to hold back on watering. When you live in an area where you don't get much rain, water at least once every three weeks to prevent the soil from drying too much.
In humid locations, there's no need to water a lot. When keeping the Mexican fence post cactus indoors, you won't have to keep the moisture high, especially if the plant does not receive too much sunlight. When there's too much moisture and not enough light, this can spell disaster for the succulents.
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What Should I Be Careful with When I Water My Mexican fence post cactusin Different Seasons, Climates, or During Different Growing Periods?
The Mexican fence post cactus growing outdoors can thrive with rainfall, but when it’s planted in a pot, you need to be careful while Mexican fence post cactus is still in the growing stage. One way to prevent overwatering is to check the top bottom inches of the soil for moisture. Once again, you need it to be dry so you can water it again. If you're unsure of the amount and the frequency, especially during the growing phase, go with underwatering and slightly increase it when you see a need. It's always a good idea to take a picture of the Mexican fence post cactus and note how it looks after watering it.
You can take things further by using moisture meters or hygrometers to check the air and soil moisture. These tools are available from various shops and can be valuable when you want to know the readings for humidity and water.
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Should I Water It Differently When I Plant Mexican fence post cactust Indoors But Not Outdoors?
Know that these plants can survive for weeks without any water. This is because they have water storage capacity that can conserve water for a long time. so it will conserve enough water to stay alive even if they are in the wild.
When they are fully grown, water them less since they can survive without water compared to when they were small. You need to give them time to get used to your climate and growing conditions before watering them. If they are indoors, keep them in indirect light and water them less frequently. Avoid using cold water during the winter and months, and you might be overwatering when the plants are located indoors. Give this a rest, especially during the winter and fall.
When they are outdoors, refrain from watering too much. They should be able to get enough humidity, moisture, and rainfall that will keep them alive. Only water when you see that their leaves are becoming droopy and yellowish. Always lean on the side of underwatering as the Mexican fence post cactus is very tolerant to dry conditions. They don't like wet feet and might wilt when you water them too much.
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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Mexican fence post cactus based on 10 million real cases
Scars
Scars Scars
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Fruit withering
Fruit withering Fruit withering
Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Solutions: There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering: Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Low light
Low light Low light
Low light
A lack of sunlight will cause the stems and leaves to elongate and appear lighter in color.
Solutions: Low light can only be addressed by increasing light availability, and these measures will only stop further etoliation; current distortion cannot be reversed. Move plant to a position where it receives more light. Check the requirements for specific species, as too much sunlight can cause a plant to burn. Introduce appropriate artificial lighting. Some people choose to prune the longest stems so the plant can concentrate on healthy new growth under the improved lighting.
Stem rot
Stem rot Stem rot
Stem rot
Bacterial infection can cause the stems to become soft and rotten.
Solutions: If the plant is only infected a little, it can sometimes be saved. This mainly applies to houseplants that are grown in pots. Here's what to do. Remove the plant from the pot and gently shake off as much soil as possible. Using pruning tools that have been disinfected, remove any diseased foliage and roots. Be sure the new pot has good drainage holes and wash it with one part bleach and nine parts water to ensure that it is completely clean and sanitized. Dip the plant's roots in fungicide to kill off any remaining fungal spores before potting into the clean growing medium. Only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry and never let the plant sit in water. For plants that are grown in the ground, it's best just to remove the infected plants and destroy them. Do not plant in the same spot until the soil has been allowed to dry out and has been treated with a fungicide.
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Scars
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Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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Fruit withering
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Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Overview
Overview
Fruit withering is common on many tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums, as well as fruiting shrubs. It is caused by a fungal pathogen and will result in wrinkled and desiccated fruit.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are the most common symptoms in the order that they are likely to occur.
  1. Both leaves and blossom on the tips of branches will go brown and wither.
  2. Gray powdery patches will appear on infected leaves and flowers, and this will be most apparent after rain.
  3. Any fruit that does appear will turn wrinkled and fail to develop.
  4. Branch tips begin to die, progressing back to larger branches, causing general deterioration of the tree or plant.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The withering is caused by one of two fungal pathogens, one called Monilina laxa and the other called M. fructigen. The spores overwinter on infected plant material and are then spread the following spring by wind, rain, or animal vectors. The problem will start to become noticeable in mid-spring, but will increase in severity as summer progresses and the fungus grows. If not addressed, the disease will intensify and spread to other plants in the vicinity.
Solutions
Solutions
There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering:
  1. Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost.
  2. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventative measures include:
  1. Ensuring adequate spacing between plants or trees.
  2. Staking plants that are prone to tumbling to prevent moisture or humidity build up.
  3. Prune correctly so that there is adequate air movement and remove any dead or diseased branches that may carry spores.
  4. Practice good plant hygiene by removing fallen material and destroying it as soon as possible.
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Low light
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Low light
A lack of sunlight will cause the stems and leaves to elongate and appear lighter in color.
Overview
Overview
All plants require light, and if they do not receive it in the quantities that they require this distorts their growth in a process known as etiolation. In essence, etiolated plants are diverting all of their energy to growing taller in a desperate attempt to reach a position where they can meet their light requirements. Many other growth factors are harmed by this, and so light-deprived plants can become weak and distorted until they are almost unrecognizable. Low light symptoms are most commonly seen in houseplants, but outdoor specimens can also be affected.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Although symptoms will vary in different plants, the general symptoms of low light are easy to spot.
  1. Plant stems grow tall and lanky.
  2. There are less leaves, and both leaves and stems tend to be pale and insipid looking. This is due to a shortage of chlorophyll.
  3. All plant parts become weakened and may droop, as energy is diverted toward too-fast growth as the plant stretches itself toward any source of light.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Plants need sunlight in varying amounts for photosynthesis – a process that produces energy for growth and fruit and flower production. Low light causes a plant to divert all energy to upward (apical) growth in order to find better light. Plant hormones called auxins are transported from the actively-growing tip of the plant downwards, to suppress lateral growth. A drop in cellular pH triggers expansins, nonenzymatic cell wall proteins, to loosen cell walls and allow them to elongate. This elongation results in the abnormal lengthening of stems, especially internodes, or plant "legginess" which is observed in etoliated plants.
Solutions
Solutions
Low light can only be addressed by increasing light availability, and these measures will only stop further etoliation; current distortion cannot be reversed.
  • Move plant to a position where it receives more light. Check the requirements for specific species, as too much sunlight can cause a plant to burn.
  • Introduce appropriate artificial lighting.
  • Some people choose to prune the longest stems so the plant can concentrate on healthy new growth under the improved lighting.
Prevention
Prevention
To avoid etiolation, provide an adequate amount of light from the beginning.
  1. Choose a location that matches each plant's ideal light needs. Many indoor plants do best in or near a south-facing window, which will provide the longest hours of sunlight. Flowering plants and those with colored leaves typically need more light than purely-green plants, as photosynthesis occurs in the green portions of leaves.
  2. Select plants with light needs that match a location's conditions. Some cultivars and varieties require less light than others.
  3. Use a grow light. Darker locations may require artificial illumination. A grow light may also become more necessary during winter, when sunlit hours are at their shortest.
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Stem rot
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Stem rot
Bacterial infection can cause the stems to become soft and rotten.
Overview
Overview
Stem rot is a serious disease and can affect many different types of plants. it can be particularly prevalent when the temperature of the soil is over 16 ℃ and there's a lot of moisture in the soil. This could be from unusually heavy rainfalls or too much irrigation. Once stem rot sets in, it's very difficult to get rid of the disease and most affected plants will have to be discarded. This is especially the case for vegetables, herbs, and other herbaceous plants that have soft stems. This is why it's important to ensure that the soil used for growing these plants is well-drained and that overwatering is avoided. Using good cultural practices also help in curbing these types of fungal diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Plants that have been affected by stem rot will first display a yellowing of the lower leaves. This is followed by obvious wilting and stunted growth.
If the stem of the affected plant is examined closely, there will be some dark discolorations starting near the base and moving upward. If the roots of affected plants are examined, they will appear dark and mushy instead of white and healthy-looking. Eventually, the entire plant will wilt and die.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Stem rot is caused by a variety of soil-borne fungus pathogens. The type of fungus depends on the species of plant that is affected. Two fungi responsible for stem rot are Rhizoctonia and Fusarium. These fungal pathogens live in soil and migrate to the plant when conditions are optimum. This includes warm, humid weather and excessive soil moisture. Commonly, vegetable seedlings are affected by these fungi.
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is another fungus that causes stem rot in plants. This fungus has a host range of over 350 different species of plants. Plants most susceptible to this fungus include many vegetable varieties such as cucumbers, beans, cilantro, carrots, cabbage, melons, lettuce, peas, onions, tomatoes, pumpkins, and squash. This fungus can produce different symptoms in different species. In some cases, the fungus causes irregular spots on stems and other plant material that appear water-soaked. On other plant species, the fungus appears as dry lesions that grow and girdle the stem of the plant.
The third type of fungus that causes stem rot is Phytophthora capsici. Plants that belong to the cucumber family are most susceptible to this fungal infection. This fungus manifests as water-soaked lesions on the stems that then turn brown and girdle the stem.
All of these fungal pathogens are transmitted to the plant by water splashing from the soil up onto the plant. That's because the fungal spores live in the soil where they wait for the right conditions to infect the plants.
Solutions
Solutions
If the plant is only infected a little, it can sometimes be saved. This mainly applies to houseplants that are grown in pots. Here's what to do.
  1. Remove the plant from the pot and gently shake off as much soil as possible.
  2. Using pruning tools that have been disinfected, remove any diseased foliage and roots.
  3. Be sure the new pot has good drainage holes and wash it with one part bleach and nine parts water to ensure that it is completely clean and sanitized.
  4. Dip the plant's roots in fungicide to kill off any remaining fungal spores before potting into the clean growing medium.
  5. Only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry and never let the plant sit in water.
For plants that are grown in the ground, it's best just to remove the infected plants and destroy them. Do not plant in the same spot until the soil has been allowed to dry out and has been treated with a fungicide.
Prevention
Prevention
For outdoor gardens:
  1. Raking the garden thoroughly in the springtime will help to cut down on pathogens that may be living in the soil.
  2. Using a copper fungicide on plants in the springtime will cut down on fungal growth and prevent the spread of infection.
  3. Placing a heavy layer of mulch on top of the soil will also prevent pathogens from splashing up onto the stems of plants.
  4. Place plants at the recommended spacing to encourage better air flow between them.
  5. Water plants at the base instead of overhead to prevent excessive moisture on foliage.
For indoor plants:
  1. Avoid overwatering houseplants and ensure the roots do not sit in water.
  2. Make sure that indoor plants receive adequate air circulation and light.
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Best Perennial Plant to Grow

Plant Collection Best Perennial Plant to Grow China rose See More The China rose (Rosa chinensis) is a Southwest China native. The plant has been cultivated for so long that it has become hard to tell the difference between wild and cultivated varieties. With medium-sized clusters of flowers and a long blooming season, it isContinue reading “Best Perennial Plant to Grow”

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Suggested Plants to Build a Garden That Blooms All the Year Round
Suggested Plants to Build a Garden That Blooms All the Year Round

Plant Collection Suggested Plants to Build a Garden That Blooms All the Year Round White mulberry See More BloomTime:Spring A unique and easy-to-grow edible landscaping plant, the White mulberry is prized for its tasty fruits as well as its exquisite ornamental appeal. Originally native to China, this plant was valued for its role in silkContinue reading “Suggested Plants to Build a Garden That Blooms All the Year Round”

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Mexican fence post cactus
Mexican fence post cactus
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Mexican fence post cactus
Cereus marginatus
Also known as: Central Mexico organ pipe, Central Mexico pipe organ, Organ pipe
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Full sun
Sunlight
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Care Guide for Mexican fence post cactus

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Mexican fence post cactus
Cereus marginatus
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
9b - 11b
Planting Time
Planting Time
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Questions About Mexican fence post cactus

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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Mexican fence post cactus based on 10 million real cases
Scars
Scars  Scars  Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
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Fruit withering
Fruit withering  Fruit withering  Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Solutions: There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering: Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
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Low light
Low light  Low light  Low light
A lack of sunlight will cause the stems and leaves to elongate and appear lighter in color.
Solutions: Low light can only be addressed by increasing light availability, and these measures will only stop further etoliation; current distortion cannot be reversed. Move plant to a position where it receives more light. Check the requirements for specific species, as too much sunlight can cause a plant to burn. Introduce appropriate artificial lighting. Some people choose to prune the longest stems so the plant can concentrate on healthy new growth under the improved lighting.
Learn More more
Stem rot
Stem rot  Stem rot  Stem rot
Bacterial infection can cause the stems to become soft and rotten.
Solutions: If the plant is only infected a little, it can sometimes be saved. This mainly applies to houseplants that are grown in pots. Here's what to do. Remove the plant from the pot and gently shake off as much soil as possible. Using pruning tools that have been disinfected, remove any diseased foliage and roots. Be sure the new pot has good drainage holes and wash it with one part bleach and nine parts water to ensure that it is completely clean and sanitized. Dip the plant's roots in fungicide to kill off any remaining fungal spores before potting into the clean growing medium. Only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry and never let the plant sit in water. For plants that are grown in the ground, it's best just to remove the infected plants and destroy them. Do not plant in the same spot until the soil has been allowed to dry out and has been treated with a fungicide.
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Scars
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Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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Fruit withering
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Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Overview
Overview
Fruit withering is common on many tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums, as well as fruiting shrubs. It is caused by a fungal pathogen and will result in wrinkled and desiccated fruit.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are the most common symptoms in the order that they are likely to occur.
  1. Both leaves and blossom on the tips of branches will go brown and wither.
  2. Gray powdery patches will appear on infected leaves and flowers, and this will be most apparent after rain.
  3. Any fruit that does appear will turn wrinkled and fail to develop.
  4. Branch tips begin to die, progressing back to larger branches, causing general deterioration of the tree or plant.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The withering is caused by one of two fungal pathogens, one called Monilina laxa and the other called M. fructigen. The spores overwinter on infected plant material and are then spread the following spring by wind, rain, or animal vectors. The problem will start to become noticeable in mid-spring, but will increase in severity as summer progresses and the fungus grows. If not addressed, the disease will intensify and spread to other plants in the vicinity.
Solutions
Solutions
There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering:
  1. Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost.
  2. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventative measures include:
  1. Ensuring adequate spacing between plants or trees.
  2. Staking plants that are prone to tumbling to prevent moisture or humidity build up.
  3. Prune correctly so that there is adequate air movement and remove any dead or diseased branches that may carry spores.
  4. Practice good plant hygiene by removing fallen material and destroying it as soon as possible.
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Low light
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Low light
A lack of sunlight will cause the stems and leaves to elongate and appear lighter in color.
Overview
Overview
All plants require light, and if they do not receive it in the quantities that they require this distorts their growth in a process known as etiolation. In essence, etiolated plants are diverting all of their energy to growing taller in a desperate attempt to reach a position where they can meet their light requirements. Many other growth factors are harmed by this, and so light-deprived plants can become weak and distorted until they are almost unrecognizable. Low light symptoms are most commonly seen in houseplants, but outdoor specimens can also be affected.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Although symptoms will vary in different plants, the general symptoms of low light are easy to spot.
  1. Plant stems grow tall and lanky.
  2. There are less leaves, and both leaves and stems tend to be pale and insipid looking. This is due to a shortage of chlorophyll.
  3. All plant parts become weakened and may droop, as energy is diverted toward too-fast growth as the plant stretches itself toward any source of light.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Plants need sunlight in varying amounts for photosynthesis – a process that produces energy for growth and fruit and flower production. Low light causes a plant to divert all energy to upward (apical) growth in order to find better light. Plant hormones called auxins are transported from the actively-growing tip of the plant downwards, to suppress lateral growth. A drop in cellular pH triggers expansins, nonenzymatic cell wall proteins, to loosen cell walls and allow them to elongate. This elongation results in the abnormal lengthening of stems, especially internodes, or plant "legginess" which is observed in etoliated plants.
Solutions
Solutions
Low light can only be addressed by increasing light availability, and these measures will only stop further etoliation; current distortion cannot be reversed.
  • Move plant to a position where it receives more light. Check the requirements for specific species, as too much sunlight can cause a plant to burn.
  • Introduce appropriate artificial lighting.
  • Some people choose to prune the longest stems so the plant can concentrate on healthy new growth under the improved lighting.
Prevention
Prevention
To avoid etiolation, provide an adequate amount of light from the beginning.
  1. Choose a location that matches each plant's ideal light needs. Many indoor plants do best in or near a south-facing window, which will provide the longest hours of sunlight. Flowering plants and those with colored leaves typically need more light than purely-green plants, as photosynthesis occurs in the green portions of leaves.
  2. Select plants with light needs that match a location's conditions. Some cultivars and varieties require less light than others.
  3. Use a grow light. Darker locations may require artificial illumination. A grow light may also become more necessary during winter, when sunlit hours are at their shortest.
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Stem rot
plant poor
Stem rot
Bacterial infection can cause the stems to become soft and rotten.
Overview
Overview
Stem rot is a serious disease and can affect many different types of plants. it can be particularly prevalent when the temperature of the soil is over 16 ℃ and there's a lot of moisture in the soil. This could be from unusually heavy rainfalls or too much irrigation. Once stem rot sets in, it's very difficult to get rid of the disease and most affected plants will have to be discarded. This is especially the case for vegetables, herbs, and other herbaceous plants that have soft stems. This is why it's important to ensure that the soil used for growing these plants is well-drained and that overwatering is avoided. Using good cultural practices also help in curbing these types of fungal diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Plants that have been affected by stem rot will first display a yellowing of the lower leaves. This is followed by obvious wilting and stunted growth.
If the stem of the affected plant is examined closely, there will be some dark discolorations starting near the base and moving upward. If the roots of affected plants are examined, they will appear dark and mushy instead of white and healthy-looking. Eventually, the entire plant will wilt and die.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Stem rot is caused by a variety of soil-borne fungus pathogens. The type of fungus depends on the species of plant that is affected. Two fungi responsible for stem rot are Rhizoctonia and Fusarium. These fungal pathogens live in soil and migrate to the plant when conditions are optimum. This includes warm, humid weather and excessive soil moisture. Commonly, vegetable seedlings are affected by these fungi.
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is another fungus that causes stem rot in plants. This fungus has a host range of over 350 different species of plants. Plants most susceptible to this fungus include many vegetable varieties such as cucumbers, beans, cilantro, carrots, cabbage, melons, lettuce, peas, onions, tomatoes, pumpkins, and squash. This fungus can produce different symptoms in different species. In some cases, the fungus causes irregular spots on stems and other plant material that appear water-soaked. On other plant species, the fungus appears as dry lesions that grow and girdle the stem of the plant.
The third type of fungus that causes stem rot is Phytophthora capsici. Plants that belong to the cucumber family are most susceptible to this fungal infection. This fungus manifests as water-soaked lesions on the stems that then turn brown and girdle the stem.
All of these fungal pathogens are transmitted to the plant by water splashing from the soil up onto the plant. That's because the fungal spores live in the soil where they wait for the right conditions to infect the plants.
Solutions
Solutions
If the plant is only infected a little, it can sometimes be saved. This mainly applies to houseplants that are grown in pots. Here's what to do.
  1. Remove the plant from the pot and gently shake off as much soil as possible.
  2. Using pruning tools that have been disinfected, remove any diseased foliage and roots.
  3. Be sure the new pot has good drainage holes and wash it with one part bleach and nine parts water to ensure that it is completely clean and sanitized.
  4. Dip the plant's roots in fungicide to kill off any remaining fungal spores before potting into the clean growing medium.
  5. Only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry and never let the plant sit in water.
For plants that are grown in the ground, it's best just to remove the infected plants and destroy them. Do not plant in the same spot until the soil has been allowed to dry out and has been treated with a fungicide.
Prevention
Prevention
For outdoor gardens:
  1. Raking the garden thoroughly in the springtime will help to cut down on pathogens that may be living in the soil.
  2. Using a copper fungicide on plants in the springtime will cut down on fungal growth and prevent the spread of infection.
  3. Placing a heavy layer of mulch on top of the soil will also prevent pathogens from splashing up onto the stems of plants.
  4. Place plants at the recommended spacing to encourage better air flow between them.
  5. Water plants at the base instead of overhead to prevent excessive moisture on foliage.
For indoor plants:
  1. Avoid overwatering houseplants and ensure the roots do not sit in water.
  2. Make sure that indoor plants receive adequate air circulation and light.
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Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink
Red
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer

Symbolism

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