Hi Guy’s 🙂
This Blog is about the brown ‘woody’ or bark like corking that you very often see on many mature Cactus plants and sometimes on older Succulent plants such as Aloes as well as on the stems of some other houseplants too.
At the bottom of this blog I have shared some photos from my own personal cactus collection of some of my cacti that have this natural corking on them
The reason why I wanted to write about this is because so many people especially if they are new to the hobby, may easily mistake this natural corking on plants as rot, and end up throwing away perfectly healthy plants, or worrying that their plants are dead or dying from a disease.
If you have grown any Cacti plants for a number of years then you will have inevitably noticed that as these plants age they start to turn brown and ‘woody’ at their base and on their stems.
This ‘Corking’ is a completely natural phenomenom and is part of the aging process of many Cacti and some Succulent plants.
The reason why corking occurs at the base of these plants is because the plant dermis is undergoing a hardening and strengthening just like how the trunk of trees would go very hard and woody over the years.
Corking can also commonly occur due to damage to the plants skin due to either environmental reasons such as being kept in a place that is too hot, too cold, high humidity, insect damage, being knocked etc,
Corking is not to be confused with Spider mite damage because the two can often look very similar, but Spider mite damage is often seen at the top of the growing tips of cacti plants.
Because Corking is a completely inevitable part of a cactus maturing, you can not treat this completely harmless condition, so instead enjoy its beauty and wackiness, I personally like to see corking around the base of my plants and I always think that this adds beauty to a maturing cactus plant.
However If the base of your cactus is turning brown or black from the base and is soft and squishy then this can be a sign of rot and needs to be treated as soon as possible, the same goes if it is going black from the top or in the middle.
Here is a video I made for my You Tube channel Desert Plants of Avalon showing some examples of natural corking on some of my cactus plants and you can watch this video below.
Here are some photos from my own Cacti collection that will show you what this natural ‘corking’ looks like on a few different types of cactus plants.
Sending lots of love and happy growing and hope this will be a great help to all of you XXXXX 🙂