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6 month old seedling

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Grey Fox said:
Do you propagate by cuttings too?

Seed must be a great way to get a lot of plants fast and experiment with new genetics.
I take cuttings of plants that do well.
However I find that growing from seed is the fastest way to generate biomass.
1 seed verses 1 cutting and the seedling will catch up pretty fast. They are about even.
However 50 seeds is a lot like 50 cuttings... It's super easy to quickly end up with more cacti than space with seeds.
I have a breeding strategy and goals and lack a commercial interest and don't grow to use at this time so my efforts and intention are geared differently than those of most.

I intend to have new true breeding varieties of Trichocereus with specific traits.
Yes I can see how growing from seed would make sense if those are your goals. More and more people are becoming interested in breeding these cacti and one would hope that the future will be full of many useful new clones because of these efforts.

The trichos that have been in my collection the longest are from 2012 and they have not flowered yet. None of the plants in my collection have flowered yet. All my plants are in the ground and I believe that it lengthens the time it takes to reach flowering because in ground trichos have a lot more room to stretch out their roots before feeling like they've spread out enough to start flowering, compared to potted trichos. These plants are not like cannabis, where one gets to seed in a single season. Its a lengthy commitment from start to finish and I wish you all the best with your work.

But I have found it really rewarding to grow from cuttings and I would have to disagree with you somewhat that seedlings quickly catch up in size to cutting-grown plants. I've seen 12 inch cuttings grow into multibranched 5 foot tall plants in the matter of a few years and I dont think you'll get there as quickly with seedlings. But everyone grows with different goals and under the circumstances that are uniquely presented to them.

Thanks for sharing your findings with us.
I've grown them around 20 years and started with cuttings and was amazed myself when seedlings outgrew cuttings that had years on them, it's something that is hard to believe until you see it.
I would imagine the seedlings catching up to bigger plants is due to genetics... I'm still wondering what type of light you are using and how close it is etc.... The amount of growth you're getting is insane.
Spiralout said:
I would imagine the seedlings catching up to bigger plants is due to genetics...

I would have to agree with this. All things being equal, a cutting just has such a huge head start on a seedling in terms of mass and stored energy. Everyone I've ever talked to about this has agreed that you get to a big plant faster by cutting than by seed. Maybe 0_o has some seedlings with good genetics for vigorous growth compared to cuttings of plants that weren't as strong of growers? Sometimes trichos can slow down in growth rate, especially after having been stressed. I've seen this several times with older bridgesiis that seem to go into a long term dormancy and not do much for years at a time.
I've seen some cuttings take some time to establish. First they root and then they start growing slowly to establish before they start growing well. In that same time a seedlings can often match it's size. I've seen plants reach 18 inches tall and 4 inches wide from seed in 18 months. I've seen 12 inch cuttings reach 18 inches tall and 4 inches wide in 18 months from the day it was cut.

The lights are just 5000K LED, about 26000 lumens... 6 to 8 inches from seeds, a bit more than 60W per square foot. Some seedlings turn purple, it's a sign of health actually but not all plants do it, it has to do with genetics. The idea that the purple is a bad sign couldn't be more wrong.

Genetics play a role in growth rates, heterosis is a huge factor. Hybrids like PC grow much faster than pure species and PC grows fast but not that fast. Pure species display inbreeding depression and a hybrid from seed doesn't take long under ideal conditions to rocket past them in growth.

A lot of what people report, for example about seeds verses cuttings, comes from poor conditions as well as misconceptions about care and ideal conditions. I've got 8 month old seedlings growing inside a baggie for example, they aren't even an inch tall and wide. Just because a method works doesn't mean it is good and a lot of the experts do not actually know what they are doing. It's funny actually, because my results aren't even that good, if I transplanted earlier and didn't have issues with gnats the plants would be much larger. What I depict is good compared to some but it's only so so in my experience.
I honestly never even though about the heterosity aspect...

What temperatures do you have? How long do you wait before you start feeding them or do you start feeding more or less righ away?

I'm still trying to dial things in and figure out what I"m doing wrong..."

Yes misconceptions about growing seem to run rampant... It would be much appreciated by many people if you were to put together some kind of grow guide/introduction to growing trichocereus I bet....

What do you think of fish fertilizer for cacti? I've never used it before but it is really light (although not balanced I don't think)... Just saw gallons for only 16 bucks at wallys and was thinking of getting some for my cacti and young plants...
I do not sterilize the mix I start seeds in.
In my experience that caused problems.

I start feeding the seedlings immediately in most cases.
As soon as the seedlings are out of the seeds I expose them to dry air, bright light and I start feeding them.

Fish based fertilizers work fine for cacti, but I don't like to use them because of the smell. I've used fish emulsion in the past and it works well.
You have some interesting theories there 0_o. I agree with you that there is a lot of bad information out there about these cacti and their care. But there is also some really good info provided by people with a lot of knowledge and experience. When what I think diverges greatly from what those who have come before me have to say, it causes me to take pause and think hard about why that might be.

Thanks for sharing what you have been learning. I think that more specific info regarding growing conditions, especially lighting and when you transition them to outdoors (if at all) would be helpful to people. All the best with your grow.
I have yet to see really good info outside of KTrouts work.
From websites to forums to facebook groups I've seen a lot of people spreading bad info alongside pretty pictures. There are exceptions, extraction info is occasionally great. The grafting info is often great. One also finds some people know about germination, fertilizer and lighting, which is the same for cacti as it is for many leafy plants.

However those are exceptions to the rules.
The results speak for themselves.
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