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Cacti Thread

Dragon fruit update: 
 
Much have I learned.
 
1) the desert cactus starch method of inducing rooting in a dark place does not work for me.  However...
2) The drop method does produce better results. This  is just placing a mature cutting on the ground with the end to be rooted facing east. Usually within a few days roots will appear.
3)  This can also be accomplished with cuttings you had to knife into.
4) Grafting dragon fruits is possible. You can accomplish this with a mature root stock and a scion using a cleft graft. This will speed up your fruit production considerably. Once I have a successful graft I may post a picture.
5) night bugs that crawl into your dragon fruit flowers destroy the longevity of your pollen. Thus, it is best to use a vacuum to suck all the pollen out before the flower opens. That way, the bugs don't destroy as much, and your pollen keeps much longer.
6) 2 bladed dragon fruit shoots should be cut off the plant, as they will not support the weight of the fruit and are just sapping plant energy. Ideally 3-4 sided shoots are better. 
7) the 2 inch max rule is MANDATORY when planting cuttings. This means do not bury the rooted end more than two inches in soil or you risk inducing rot. And you will definitely lose cuttings this way if you bury them deeper. 
8) seeds can be sprouted using a spoon and some potting mix. Just wet the potting mix and lightly stir the dirt on top. Then sprinkle seeds around and lightly stir in, but not too deep. Water lightly then place cup in shaded area. Will sprout within a few days. Palora/Yellow might be the exception. They are trickier. 
9) Some dragon fruit are self-sterile, some are self-fertile, and some are geitonogamous (same plant different flower.) 
10) Epsom salt supposedly helps the health of the plant, although I have not tried it. In conjunction with some black cow in the soil. 
11) Once cuttings have been induced to root using the Drop method, cutting should be immediately moved to the sunniest location you possess, and buried no deeper than 2 inches. At this point if the cutting is large enough, you can fasten it to a trellis. They will happily grow up it.
12) Cut off all branches except the most vertical one. That way it will grow up the trellis. Then let it branch out toward the top .
 
Varieties I currently have or am getting mailed to me:    Connie Mayer, Asunta 1, Frankie's Red, Condor, S8 Sugar Dragon, Physical Graffiti, Purple Haze, Mr. Woo, American Beauty, Hana, and a few selected seedlings. 
 
Seedlings are progressing. I lost a few on an initial test run in soil. I concluded the seedlings were too small to sun plant at that point. So I am letting the 2nd batch grow out more and then I will gradually introduce them to sun to hopefully improve survival rate. 
 
dragonfruitseedlings2.jpg

 
spaugh2.jpg
 
I planted these Echinopsis hybrids 5/7/2020.

They are slightly stunted because I didn't have them under nearly enough light at first.

I had them under a 170W LED fixture and they just didn't grow well so I put them under a 300w CMH and they finally started growing well.
P_20201017_125454_vHDR_Auto.jpg



The other pic is the main collection. Mostly seedlings of grandiflorus hybrids.

Most in the photo were sown in 2018 and are about 3 years old.
P_20201017_125503_vHDR_Auto_1.jpg


I also have a lot of Delosperma, Sedum and Sempervivum in addition to a number of Echinocereus.
 
dragonsfire said:
Thanks! Up to about 70 cacti now, 65 individual species and a few duplicates. Running out of room/window space for them inside during the winter. In the summer they all go out on the deck. Likely going to buy or build a greenhouse for them and some other plants this spring though.
 
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