Golden Scab Disease Prickly Pear (Need Urgent Attention)

Golden scab disease prickly pear is a very common disease in cactus gardens. This disease is caused due to the excessive shading.

Factors like poor drainage, overwatering, and poor air circulation may also lead to the development of this disease. There are many different symptoms which might mean it has a disease. Some cacti diseases can be contagious, let’s take a closer look at golden scab disease.

Golden Scab Disease Prickly Pear

What are scabs on cactus?

Scabs on cactus is an edema condition. You can commonly come across this condition among the prickly pear cactus and many other cactus species too. It would literally result in an abnormal increase of the cell sizes.

Eventually it would result in strange patches of the plant surface. However, there could be some conditions which are identical to each other. Hence why it is important to identify the condition precisely.

Having said that one might find it difficult to identify Scabs on cactus with sunscald or with spider mite attacks as they would also tend to come up with the same markings.

To explain further on this, you could spot yellow spots on the surface of the plants when they suffer from scabs at the beginning.

Those yellow spots would tend to take an irregular corky and rusty look. Once the cactus goes through this condition, you could spot an epidemic cell burst out and create lesions which would tend to look like yellow spots / wounds. 

You could significantly spot the scabs among the oldest plant parts. Young shoots would rarely go through this condition. In addition to that there could be some cactus which would be covered with scabs all over the plants. 

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Cactus scab is a condition which you would commonly find among the prickly pear cactus as aforesaid. However, plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbages may constantly go through this condition too.

If your cactus carries scabs, it would make you worried. However, you do not need to be worried about it, because it is not a fatal condition. If you are a cactus lover and if you have experienced this condition occasionally, I am sure you would find this article quite useful.

Why cactus have scabs?

Cactus would develop scabs mainly due to the lapses in your care. However, if you identify this well in advance you could avoid any potential damage to the plants.

Scabs are more like an aesthetic disease. Having said that, if you grow cactus for commercial purposes, it will economically impact you. However, you could easily prevent this condition if you improve the care.

Scabs would usually take place as a result of over watering. In addition to that, low temperatures and poor ventilation may also contribute to this condition.

Moreover, the high light exposures, poor drainage and any injuries to the plants may also cause this condition. Last but not least chemicals could also lead to this condition.

All these root causes are controllable and once you change these cultivation methods you could treat the scabs on the cactus.

Golden scab disease prickly pear :How do you treat it? 

We cannot use any sprays, drenches or any other systemic preparations to remedy the scab treatment.

Further, do not supply any irrigation during cool moist weather and ensure that there is excellent drainage in the soil mix.

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Never expose the plants for waterlogged conditions. If you have placed the plants indoors or in a greenhouse, make sure that you increase the ventilation.

Further I suggest you increase the temperature of the location where you have grown the plants. In addition to that, I recommend you avoid feeding them during fall and in winter.

Besides, never use a fertilizer which has a high nitrogen percentage. Further if the requirement arises , you can consider repotting the plants whilst using a fresh well-draining soil mix.

To sum up, exposure for ample sunlight , right watering practices and moderate humidity levels would work well with these plants. it would avoid any further scab and help the plants to grow healthily.

Do cactus scabs heal?

Generally speaking, cactus can heal and restart to grow them as they used to do once you properly start to care for them.

Cacti are a versatile and forgiving plant which can withstand tough conditions and revive once they get the healthy conditions back. So, to sum up, cactus scabs can heal.

Having said that, if there are a lot of wounds on the cactus, chances are that they would take more than one weeks’ time to heal. Sometimes it may even take less than that to heal during summer.

Golden Scab Disease Prickly Pear

How to prevent cactus scabs

Temperature requirements

Make sure that you don’t locate the cactus closer to cool breezes or any heat vents. You should be mindful to not place the plants closer to cold drafts particularly when the weather is too colder. Instead, you need to keep the cacti cozy and warm.

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Light requirements 

Cacti have prime requirements when it comes to light. In other words, Cacti require bright indirect sunlight to perform well.

However, during colder times, they can withstand lower lights as well. Cacti would grow slowly during winter. Hence, they are tolerant of low lighting during these times.

Water requirements 

You need to avoid over watering when looking after these plants. It is a common requirement of both succulents and cactus as they have water conserved already in the body.

On top of that if you supply water in excess it would only lead to the heath deterioration of the plants. Always supply water to them only if their soil is dry only.

Further when watering, ensure that you saturate the soil and allow the remaining water to freely drain out from the soil. Further remove all the excess water in the saucer as it would not be healthy on the plants.

Over watering could be the main culprit for cactus scab. Further it may also result in rot as well. If you are hesitant whether you need to water the plants, ideally you can check the top layer of the soil and check whether it is dry or moist.

Generally speaking, once every fortnight would be adequate during their active growing season. During winter you can limit watering to once a month.

Final thought

I hope this article gave you an insight on the cactus scab and now that you are well aware of how to handle them. 

Credit to : San Pedro Mastery

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About author

Alyssa Bain is a passionate succulent lover and expert gardener. She has spent years cultivating and maintaining a beautiful succulent garden, filled with a variety of exotic species. Alyssa is especially interested in succulent propagation, and loves sharing her knowledge and tips with others.