Can I save my frailea castanea?


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Monroe, WA
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I’ve had this guy for over a month and it’s been fine. I’ve watered sparingly especially since it’s Winter, and it’s in cactus & succulent soil which is well-draining. Its been kind of squishy-ishy since I got it but the seller assured me that’s normal as it’s in dormancy.

But now it has what appears to be white mold growing in the center, and it’s still very mushy. The green coloring along the bottom is fairly new; it used to be a bit darker. And even though it’s been planted over a month, it hasn’t rooted at all. Is this normal for this plant, or is there something wrong? Can I save it?
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Greetings , welcome to the Forums.

The answer to you question is in the first line of your post. It is winter and the cactus is dormant. Do not water it. Let it sit in bright light in a windowsill a cool room. It should not be watered until the days grow long and warmer. I don't begin to water mine until the end of March at the earliest. I also keep mine outside on a porch in a dry partly sunny spot. In Washington you will need to give it more protection from winter cold, but dry dormancy is of paramount importance. It may shrivel somewhat by the end of doramncy, but that is much better than rot. I am not certain if rot has started or not. The white in the center appears to be trichomes on the young areoles, but that cavity in the center looks ominous. Frailea castanea is a beautiful yellow-flowered dwarf cactus, native to Uruguay and southern Brazil, but it is not the easiest cactus to cultivate. Good luck.
 
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Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
12
Location
Monroe, WA
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Thank you! That’s very helpful. I’ll keep it dry and give it plenty of light. The little hole was me trying to gently scrape to see if it was scale or something but it just poked right through with almost no pressure :( fingers crossed it’ll survive!
 

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