Experiments in salvaging caudex plants

I bought a dormant Kudu lily in September and at the time I wondered about the dark line near the base of the caudex, it's visible in the picture if you look carefully. Caudiciforms are notorious for rotting if the roots are disturbed, or they get cold. The root seemed healthy enough so I planted it and decided to wait and see.

Pachypodium saundersii.jpg

Six weeks later, new leaves had emerged but it was clear that there was something unwell about the base and I reluctantly unpotted it. I have the idea that denial is a good thing when it comes to caudex plants because they usually die on you. Of course, this was what I found:

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The clear demarcation line corresponded to a definite separation between rotten and healthy tissue and although the instruction is to cut above the rotten parts until you see no dark marks and then dust with fungicide.

inner.jpg

This picture shows the clear demarcation between living and dead tissue and I figured that it had already healed and fresh cuts might only lead to more rotting so I left it as is and put it on a windowsill out of the sun.

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I asked around what the general prognosis for rotten kudu lilies is and was told that they reroot readily if there's no more rot and
25 days later I saw the beginnings of roots

root_formation.jpg

To get those root buds growing well, it's time to put it back into soil, water a little and hope for the best.

kudu lily.jpg

I'll know if the roots are growing successfully if the stem loses it's shrunken look and the leaves start growing actively. I've lost a couple of caudiciform plants, especially over winter so I'll be pleasantly surprised if this one makes it. It will also be interesting how the plant grows after losing most of the base and the tap root.



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31 comments
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Looks healthy in the last picture with the new leaves 🤞 I admire you for trying to salvage this plant. I tend to go into denial and hope for the best or to just give up. I hope your kudu lily makes it 🙂

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Thanks! We're not out of the woods yet but I figured I might as well try

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I know the rotten look so well. I have been pulling some cacti now an then with the same rotten inside. Nasty look.

Some time ago I was watching some videos of people shaping Adeniums. They were basically cutting off the bottom part with roots and let the new rots grow from the sides only.
If it works on yours, it might look pretty cool.

Can't find the vid I saw, but this is very similar:

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Looks interesting although I am a sissy, I can never bring myself to butcher plants like that

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I would never do it to a healthy plant. Yours did it on it's own :)
Fingers crossed it recovers.

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Oh no.
This year I also faced a few times rotten plants, also cut the rotten parts and the new roots started to grow. Fingers crossed for this guy!!

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Rot is quite common but it's deadly in caudex plants

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I'm rooting for you! Nice info in this one. I'll make sure to consult you if I ever have trouble with a succulent.

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You're welcome to although sometimes I think my advice is dubious 😃

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That's a pretty feisty looking plant! Looks like it can handle anything.

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It pretty much has to... It needs to deter grazing mammals that could find it tasty.

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Such an amazing plant, such an incredible beauty! Caudex plants are so so nice! Seriously thank you for give it to new life, I really appreciate it:)))

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I can see the beauty of this creature. ehehe.
a !PIZZA ?

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Thank you! I'm very partial to these creatures

!PIZZA

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(Edited)

several times I was considering of getting myself one, too -- I mean exactly this kind, not the same as yours, but I think, they are relatives:

(it is pretty well-spread indoor specie here), but after a while my obsession with it somehow covered with dust :P

I mean I am partial to it too. theres smth that touches me.. ;)

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A completely different family of plants, those are Euphorbia milii, also called "Christ Thorn". Not a bad idea to not have inside the home, Euphorbia sap is toxic and can cause considerable irritation to eyes and skin

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completely different family, oh? hmm.. the shapes looks similar to me, not the same, but.. ok. I dont have any room and light even for myself, not speaking of the plants 😜

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(Edited)

🍕 PIZZA !

I gifted $PIZZA slices here:
qwerrie tipped nikv (x1)
@nikv(1/5) tipped @qwerrie (x1)

Send $PIZZA tips in Discord via tip.cc!

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When I saw the sign of life in the plant, I had a smile on my face. "I'm still alive and here," he says. Despite everything, she clings to hope. In fact, if only we could do like these plants. I wish we always grow with hope :)

When I cut my rotting cactus to save it, I caused it to die. It was a cactus that I loved, and I was upset about it. I will leave it alone without cutting it again. Fortunately, this article was instructive for me, thanks.

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Hey @nikv,
I hope you've been doing well!

I don't believe I've ever seen these type of plants before. You've piqued my interest, I might have to see if I can find one and will do a little research on it tonight.

If I'm to guess, these things don't like a lot of water and perhaps enjoy having their roots dry for a brief while in-between waterings.

It kind of looks like a little ancient magical tree, my imagination is running wild with this one.

I believe it's going to do just fine under your care, not everyone has the ability to save plants from rot, that is impressive.

Thanks for sharing with us, I look forward to hearing how this one grows for you, I think it's going to grow very nicely.

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We'll see but I am hopeful. These plants actually like a lot of water in summer, they are adapted to surviving long dry spells of a couple of months, they can go for about 6 months without water over late autmn, winter and early spring. They do like heat and strong sunlight but I'm not sure if they would appreciate the fan in a grow tent. They are one of the easier pachypodiums to grow, just keep them dry and warm in winter

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Thank you for the care tips. Being able to go a half year without water is impressive.

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You're going to call me crazy but I immediately thought of grafting it on adenium haha, although to be honest I have no idea if it's possible or not, I don't have this kind of plants.

I sincerely hope that everything goes well.

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Haha I would have been surprised if you didn't. They are the same family and difficult pachypodiums are grafted although I don't know what is used. These are easy enough to grow on their own roots though

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