Natural corking on Cactus & Succulent plants

Hi Guy’s πŸ™‚

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.

Corking on cactus plants

Corking on my Trichocereus pachanoi X peruvianus cactus Β from environmental causes

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.

Corking on cactus plants

Corking on my Parodia magnifica cactus at the base due to natural aging.

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 on cactus plants

Corking on my Trichocereus grandiflorus cactus due to environmental causes.

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 ofΒ 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.

HoweverΒ 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.

Natural corking on Echinopsis cactus due to maturity

Natural corking on my Echinopsis cactus due to maturity

Natural corking on Euphorbia s due to maturity

Natural corking on my Euphorbia Β Succulent due to maturity

Corking on Rhipsalis cactus due to environmental causes

Corking on my the stems of my Rhipsalis cactus due to environmental causes

Corking on Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on my Cacti Pilosocereus and Myrtillocactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on my Parodia magnifica Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on Trichocereus Cactus at the base due to maturity

Corking on Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on my Ferocactus Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on Cactus from the base up due to maturity

Corking on my Opuntia Cactus due to maturity

Corking on Euphorbia obesa from the base up due to maturity

Corking on Euphorbia obesa succulent due to maturity

Corking on Euphorbia obesa from the base up due to maturity

Corking on my Euphorbia obesa succulent from the base up due to maturity

Corking on Schlumbergera truncata on stems due to maturity

Corking on my Schlumbergera truncata ‘ Thanksgiving cactus due to maturity

Corking on Aporocactus Flagilliformis due to maturity

Corking on my Aporocactus flagilliformis cactus due to maturity

Corking on Euphorbia Succulent due to maturity

Corking on my Euphorbia Succulent due to maturity

Sending lots of love and happy growing and hope this will be a great help to all of you XXXXX πŸ™‚

 

 

15 thoughts on “Natural corking on Cactus & Succulent plants

  1. Good post! I do believe its signification, just like you find on trees and shrubs as they grow. The plants produce special woody cells containing lignin, which is tough and on trees is replaced by bark. Perfectly natural as you say.

  2. Useful blog as corking can look as if it signals the demise of a perfectly healthy cactus. As a picture speaks a thousand words the photos and video were well worth including. As you say just enjoy the effect knowing you have raised a plant to maturity.

    • Thank you so much Roy for your wonderful comment and so happy you enjoyed the video and the photos, and I think the corkiness on these mature plants adds character to them πŸ™‚ Sending you an abundance of love and happy growing from Ireland XXXXX <3

  3. Thank you for your post… i really thought my cactus was starting to rot…it was so relieving to know that they are fine…have a gteat day!!!!

    • Hi Carol πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your wonderful message πŸ™‚ so sorry I have only just seen it now as it was hidden on my website I don’t know why, so please accept my apologies for only just seeing your lovely message now <3 Sending you heaps of love and tons of happy growing from Ireland and have a FANTASTIC day πŸ™‚ Lotsa love Lyn XXXXXX<3

  4. Hi Lyn; I only just discovered your YouTube channel 2 months ago and it has quickly become one of my favorites to watch. I have learned so much from you. Thank you

    • Hi Donald πŸ™‚ Thank you so very much for your really wonderful message πŸ™‚ I am so happy that you found my You Tube channel and that you have learned so much from them and enjoy watching the videos πŸ™‚ thanks a million for watching πŸ™‚ sending you an abundance of love and happiness and lots of happy growing from Ireland and have a FANTASTIC weekend Lotsa love Lyn XXXXX πŸ™‚

  5. It’s very interesting site and impressive thoughts are there on this site. I am impressed with your site, You made this site for giving such a nice useful articles. Sure we followed this site and your thoughts. Thank you all

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful message :- sending you much love and happiness and happy growing from Ireland and have a fantastic day πŸ™‚

  6. I have an epiphyllum orchid cactus that I recently purchased from a greenhouse in a going out of business sale. The epiphyllum is older and has a lot of corking at the base. This is my first experience with an orchid cactus and I have been watching your videos to learn more about them. You mentioned that any mold should be cut away. I have been sterilizing my shears but I keep finding more spots on the leaves, sometimes at the top of the leaf, other times on the side of the leaf. I am cutting down about an inch from the grey spots but as the leaf heals over, more grey returns. I purchased a new pair of shears and sterilized them with boiling water at each cut. I have also tried pouring a 50% bleach/50% water solution over the shears between each cutting. What to you suggest?

    • Hi Cheryl πŸ™‚ So sorry for only just replying to your message now I never got anny notification of your mail so my apologies for not getting back to you much sooner πŸ™‚ it sounds like there is a possibility that your epiphyllum has a virus that is internal epiphyllums have a tendency to virus’s and although they often are isolated to the one plant and do not spread to the other ones it can effect their appearance and cause spotting and greying, you are doing everything right with cutting back your plant and sterilizing the shears, the best thing I would suggest is to purchase a systemic fungicide and ideally one that you can water into the plant so that the plant takes it up internally, I have had to do this myself with some of my Epiphyllums that have had a virus and it does seem to work and stop the virus and the new growth grows healthy. Continue to cut back any growth with spots and greying and treat your plant with a systemic fungicide, if you can’t get one that you water into the soil then try to get one that you can spray directly onto the plant as this will also be taken up internally by the plant by the stems. Some fungicidal sprays come already mixed πŸ™‚ Good luck with your plant and let me know how your plant progresses over the coming weeks πŸ™‚ sending you much love and happy growing from Ireland πŸ™‚ Love Lyn XXXXX <3

  7. Hi Lyn:] Happy New Year. I saw your recent video on water PH. It just so happens my young nephew did an expieriment in class on this. Both of you provided me with terrific information. I have a echnopsis that is not looking so good. It has been steadily yellowing for a year. It is still firm, but there are spots that are lemmon yellow in the mid highth region of th stalk. The cacti is 4ft tall, sits on my patio in full sun ( it is in a green house now ), only gets watered when it rains and once a month with water from my fish tank.I stopped watering in November. The roots look fine and when I planted it I used lots of 1in lava rock in th mix for drainage. I did a soil test and the results showed that there was very little if any nutriants in it. I am not sure how to procede with it. I dont want to bring it out of dormancy by watering, yet we have had 9 days of temp in the 70’sF and the green house got up to 103F one day(oops). Should I restrict how much light it gets? Should I water with a PH solution? Should I fertilize?

    • Hi Donald πŸ™‚ Thank you so very much for your wonderful message and I am very sorry for only just replying back now I had no notification email that you had commented so only just got reading this now and so sorry if this advice is too late as it was a month ago. Thats so wonderful that your Nephew has done an experiment on Ph of water in his class πŸ™‚ So wonderful to hear that you have an Echinopsis cactus and WOW at four ft tall your cactus sounds a beauty indeed:-) I find that my Echinopsis plants like a lot more fertilizer than a lot of the other varieties and if I go a few weeks during Summer without feeding them i notice that they do tend to go yellow on their stems. Because we are in March now and its Spring at last YIPPEE you will be absolutely fine to go ahead and start watering your Echinopsis and also to give it some fertilizer too, I like to use tomato feed as it helps to encourage blooming and I use it at half the strength that they recommend using it for tomatoes:-) I also use a fertilizer called Baby Bio that is an all purpose plant feed but I find it works well on the cacti for greening them up πŸ™‚ Please let me know how your cactus is doing now as this was a month ago as I am curious to how your cactus is doing today πŸ™‚ so sorry for late reply again and sending you lots of love and happy growing from Ireland πŸ™‚ Lots of love Lyn XXXX 3

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