Empty seedlings

Empty seedlings

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Question: what do my plants have?

How come some of my succulent plants seem to deflate from inside and then die? do they have any disease?

Empty seedlings: Answer: cactaceae and watering

Dear Dado,
generally when the succulents, and above all the cactaceae, tend to empty themselves from the inside, to then dry, they are problems related to rot, which develop inside the stem, literally consuming the stem of the plant, but from the inside. Or it is a problem of persistent watering shortages, so the plant is forced to use all the reserve water it contains in its tissues; in this case there is no drying out of the plant, but it simply seems to diminish in volume, to then widen again when we resume watering it, without changing its consistency or the color of the epidermis; often in this case we have cacti with bizarre development, with a narrow stem, which then widens. I would say that these are diseases, which are closely linked to the cultivation method you put in place, which favors the development of rot or the use of water in tissues. In fact, we often hear people say that cacti are the easiest plants to grow, since they don't need watering; in reality it is false to say that these plants never need watering, and it is equally false that they are very easy to grow: the climate of the areas of origin is very different from the climate present in our country, both outdoors and in the apartment. If it is true that succulent plants are properly evolved to survive even in areas with very low rainfall, the fact remains that to store water inside them, in some months of the year a little excess water will have to find it in the pot; in addition to this, in the semi-desert areas of origin of many cactaceae, rainfall is few, but in some periods they are present; and moreover, in a semi-desert climate the temperature changes between day and night are huge, so much so that every day the presence of dew on the ground is caused. There are also thousands of species of succulent plants, some of which prefer a drier climate, others need more watering; some fear the cold, others may also bear frost. So, first of all, it is good to learn what species and variety is the plant we are growing, to understand its needs; in general most of the cacti loves direct sunlight, so let's place them outdoors, even on the terrace if desired, where they enjoy at least a few hours of direct sunlight. Watering should be provided when the soil is well dry, or about every 2-3 days in July, and sporadically in winter. Winter watering should be adjusted according to where we keep our cacti: if they are at home, water them every 10-15 days, lightly, only moistening the soil; if they are outdoors, let's not water them, and avoid them getting the rain water.