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Bog-Ponics, freaks, and some grafting gone wild

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Rising Star
The following are some of my playtime activities. Please enjoy. If you are at least 5 and have any problems replicating anything you see here please ask as nothing I do is so complicated a 5 year old could not reproduce it.


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Another variegated seedling made itself known to me today.

Meet variegated Trichocereus validus hybrid. Parents are Trichocerus validus mom x variegated Red grandi (dad)... so it looks like we know where the variegation came from with this cross. With that said, I'm betting on this seedling having some notable girth and colored flowers in addition to her already stunning variegation she is starting to sport.

Could life get any better than this?


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Here we have a little update. It is the 22nd of December here and fairly cold out. Trichocereus scopulicola x Trichocereus terscheckii seedlings were grafted today. And my cacti in water buckets were checked on. Everything looks great so far.


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Frost damage is seen in my bog-ponics area so I decide to sow out 1000+ more freakishly awesome Trichocereus seed. Nothing but grade A seed gets planted as I have limited grafting stock and I aim to graft 100% of my seedlings when possible.


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Are you just chopping up perioskopsis and grafting on each chopped part? I usually only graft using the growing tip of perioskopsis which limits the amount of stock that I ever have.
I rarely graft on the actual tip of Pereskiopsis. Instead, I graft on the middle after the top is cut off and sometimes on the sides as you can see here.


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Brief description of what your looking at.
1. soak seedlings/ this helps to clean and hydrate. 0min-24 hours (min-max range) I generally soak 5 minutes -1hr
2. Wrap your stock. The obvious leaves etc. must be removed first. 1 inch piece of parafilm or so is needed for this.
3. Piece for top of graft to hold scion/seedling in place
4. slowly stretch that puppy out nice and tight so it feels like saran wrap or slightly thinner
5. Put a seedling in your mouth to hold it in place/grab razor blade and slice stock to create a nice smooth surface
6. Place your seedling on cut surface/offset

7. Gently drape parafilm wrap over seedling and slowly bring all sides down without putting pressure on seedling itself. You may wish to hold seedling in place by placing a slight bit of pressure over seedling while drawing down sides of parafilm. After seedling is secured off center and without pulling on parafilm you may twist parafilm around sides to draw the seedling in tighter. Larger seedlings may get a little pressure or more man handling without fear. 1-2 week old seedlings may be crushed if you are not delicate.

8. Prepare your label and place label.

The size of the seedling used in this grafting procedure is the size I use when I want 99-100% of my grafts to take and I'm not rushing things.

The size you see already grafted and growing in the last slide... those were grafted at 1 week of age and came from the same batch of seedlings. I tend to graft seedlings at the 1-2 week mark when I don't mind losing a few or there is an albino/variegate that I want to speed up and I'm worried they won't make it. Grafts 2 weeks old give me a 95-97% success rate with this method. 1 week or less grafts give me 80-90% success rate on average. As with everything there are always other variables that may come into play to bring your success rate up or down with any particular batch of seedlings. Did the weather drop in temperature?

Was there a marked change in humidity?....not as much of a factor for parafilm grafting, but is important with non-parafilm grafting. Did I use a fresh razor blade for stock and a new razor for scions? A dull razor will effect your success rate. If using a separate blade to remove leaves and cut stock from scion... i.e. two blades are used I will tend to only graft 25-50 seedlings per blade. If I go away from my project I will discard the blade or use it only to remove leaves which will then give me 3 blades per graft.

Expect your percentages of successes and fails to change rapidly with this method, but don't fret if you notice some back and forth as you continue to learn.


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And a quick run down with different stock


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More photos taken today

Huarazensis x scopulicola

Bog-ponic update


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I sometimes need to support even cacti that aren't grafted as it almost goes without saying that the shallower the roots and the smaller the stock the more likely a heavy top will topple over. I will sometimes wedge small boxes or such on either side to keep them upright. Such is life. However, if you want to grow big specimens fast... don't keep them on Pereskiopsis. Remove from pereskiopsis and grown on Trichocereus as fast as you can. As you can see from this example... the one on Trichocereus was a very small pup from the father on pereskiopsis. Suffice it to say the son has almost caught up with the dad.


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I present pictures for how I wrap my seedlings for those that like that sort of thing. I am of the opinion that if your at least 5 years of age... you should be as good with these simple techniques.

Important: Do not crush seedlings. Place stretched out parafilm like a drape over seedling that is off center as in picture 1. Lightly pull down without exerting force on seedling. You can reposition one hand or get a helper to lightly hold seedling in place if you need to, but seedling should not move if no pressure is applied. As your wrap a bit at a time around the stock... your seedling will naturally be drawn into the stock. If at the end you suspect not enough pressure is on your seedling or your seedling is not secure enough... you may then make a light scrunching motion at the scion where you first wrapped the scion. This should draw your seedling down a bit more and create a very tight union, but be careful... it is easy to get that seedling union too tight. This will result in a smashed union and your grafted seedling will eventually turn to mush and or dry out. I am doing this as some say grafting is hard. I would rather over simply an easy procedure that looks hard and have everyone able to graft as I do than take something as simple as this for granted.


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Just thought I would post another picture of one of my cacti in the bog. There is a pretty heavy big of green algae in the bottom of this one as you can tell


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Do you get much frost where you are? I'd love to try this but it's been freezing nights for the past three weeks here and at least two more weeks to follow. Therefore I'm somewhat cautious. I lost a couple of nice Stetsonias at the start of winter through carelessness with cold damp.
Good point about damp + wet + frost as not being very good for many Trichocereus seedlings. I lost more seedlings than I would like due to the frost + wet + damp this year and even more stock plants were lost. Those I have I left are hardier than those I have lost so I really don't feel like I lost all that much in the long run.
That's certainly a way of providing some forces of natural selection to optimise your stock!

This has to be an incentive for me to sort a proper greenhouse, though.
downwardsfromzero said:
That's certainly a way of providing some forces of natural selection to optimise your stock!

This has to be an incentive for me to sort a proper greenhouse, though.

Speaking of stock, its that time of year again when I feel the need to propagate a bit of stock for the winter months.

My methods tend to be simple and inexpensive.

Here, I am simply taking my cuttings and placing them in a plastic bin so they can root. Prepared this way, if I wish I can graft seedlings directly to my cuttings before or after they root and then place them out in trays to continue growing.

Next picture... shows how the roots develop over the course of the year in my stock Pereskiopsis grown out in a bog type setup.


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Someone aka Pete666 pointed out grafting to areoles was not covered in this thread. So, I'll be adding some pictures to explain how to graft to areoles quick fast and easy. Pete666 is going to take this information and then surpass my grafting skills, at least that is the game plan and I see it succeeding.


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