I shouldn't need to send a picture, but will email to anyone who asks.
I have several large, and several small cactii. My favorite of all is
the Golden Barrel. Perhaps since that was the first cactus I ever owned
(owned me?). I have 2 in my current collection, and each is about 6"-7"
in diameter (spines included).
They are exhibiting a strange symptom, which may not be bad. New spines
growing out from the crown have a hard yellow covering at the base of
the new spines. It is quite a color contrast to the white/translucent
color of the rest of the spines. The residue can scraped off with a
fingernail, but not easily.
Another thing is that the new spines feel like they are 'loose', or not
solidly connected to the crown. In fact, they are not that hard to pull
out. They may just be weak as they are new...?
They both have lived in the summer sun, outdoors, since they came to
me, and both from separate shops. I keep an extremely close eye on
their moisture, using a moisture meter.
One more thing... This has happened recently (and the yellow on the
spines has been going on since early summer), but they appear to have
shrivelled a bit too easily. I can't find anything about this, but the
barrels will shrivel at the top, at the crown, by turning white/pale
and "wrinkling" visibly. They suck up the water I give them, and I can
reduce the shrivelling completely within an amazing 6-8 hours! I had to
water them both on successive days due to shrivelling this week.
I have only read that you should only water them once per week during
the growing season... OK, but I have also read that a cactus will tell
you when it needs water. Well, they were screaming at me to water
them-even though it was more frequent than weekly! Mind you, these 2
barrels are apparently as healthy as they can be, and growing fast
(well, for a cactus its fast!)...
Ideas on either of these symptoms?