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Help with New Roots

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Rising Star
Hello everyone. In response to my original welcome essay, no fewer than three Nexus members suggested that I look into growing/trying San Pedro cactus. I took that advice to heart, and now have a small tribe of SP cactus, the humble start of my entheogenic garden.

I ordered the cuttings from a vendor in California, and when they came in the mail, I potted them using "cactus/succulent" potting mix from the garden nursery. I live in NW Washington State (climate zone 8a), and the cactus were potted the first week of April and placed in a large window seat next to our happy jade plants and some other cacti. The window is east-facing, so it gets bright, direct sunshine this time of year from early morning until about noon, and then diffuse light for the rest of the afternoon and evening when it is hotter outside. Anytime now I am planning on moving the whole tribe outside into the garden for the rest of the summer.

After almost two months in the pots, I had seen no pups, but the cuttings that were "top" pieces were starting to grow (although stretching out tall). About two weeks ago one of my children accidentally knocked over one of the cactus pots, and I was devastated to find no roots on that cutting.

Just today I noticed that two of the cuttings finally have new pups growing! However, when I carefully looked to see if any roots had started to grow, none of the plants have any roots.

From what I have read in my research, I thought that the cactus would do better without full sunshine until they had roots. I also read that the cactus didn't need much water, if any, until they had started growing roots, and too much watering could lead to rot. For that reason, the cactus have only been watered three or four times (including the day they were potted) in the past two and a half months. The soil drains very quickly, so I am not concerned about rot, but now I am starting to doubt the amount of light / water the cactus are getting. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

EDIT: The first image is what the cuttings looked like when they arrived in the mail.
The 2nd image is the cuttings freshly potted.
3rd image is showing the new growth at the top of one cutting after about two months
4th and 5th images show new pups just discovered.


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There are definitely others here who can better answer this, but...
I have always used some sort of succulent mix soil from Walmart. I'll let the cut portion of the cacti callous over, and the only cut part I plant upright is the top portion, the horizontal cuts get lightly pressed into the soil, the upright one burried maybe 1.5in.
I then proceed to bottom water all of my pots, making sure the soil becomes damp but not wet on the surface, while rooting my cacti have preferred part shade, moving to full sun once they pup.
It's also my experience that they spend some time rooting before sending new pups up.

Also, I found the cacti to not mind water, I'm leaving them out in the rain this season. So they have been pretty wet lately, no signs of rot yet
Welcome to the cactus growing club Cascadia!

I think its a good idea to provide cuttings with the best conditions that you can, and then leave them be to do their thing. When the roots first emerge they are very delicate and can easily be broken off by digging a cutting out of its soil. If you are seeing new vegetative growth that is a good sign and the roots will grow too. Best to just leave them in the soil for a long time and let the process carry on, IMO.

As far as water and sun go, it depends on your soil and climate. I'm in a hot, dry climate. In the spring and fall I water once a week. In the summer I water twice a week. And in the winter I dont water at all. Maybe people growing in more temperate climates can chime in with their watering schedules. Once I see new vegetative growth emerging from a cutting I start watering it on the regular schedule, just with somewhat lighter waterings until the cutting really gets going.

If you havent moved your cuttings outdoors yet I would encourage you to do it now. Most of the day the sun is overhead, and a window just doesnt allow for that kind of light exposure. Morning sun and afternoon shade has always worked well for me, but in a more temperate climate you may be able to give more light than that.

Keep in mind that these cacti are pretty tough. Trichocereus can take more water than most cacti, but of course waterlogging them will create problems.

Best luck!
Thank you both for the advice and encouragement. I have always enjoyed gardening indoors and out, and I am thrilled to get started on my psychedelic garden! I have moved the cactus outside to the front yard, where we have our vegetable garden, and hope they will be happy surrounded by the other fruits, vegetables and flowers that we care for. The summers are relatively mild here in the Puget Sound region west of the Cascade mountains, and I think once the cactus get established they will thrive being outdoors for the summer and fall. Anyone else growing cactus in this region please chime in with advice on watering schedule. I'll be keeping a close eye on my tribe, and post updates as they start to grow more. Thanks again to this community for helping a fellow psychonaut!

I'm also looking forward to expanding the variety of species in my magic garden this season. I'm thinking about trying some Lophophora Williamsii and/or other cactus from seed. Also looking into getting some Salvia plants, and I've already started work on my indoor shroom project. There is something about the prospect of "growing your own" that has really struck a cord with me. I'm so excited to learn about caring for these special plants (and fungi), and to discover what effect, if any, raising these plants myself will have when it comes to the the psychedelic experience with them.
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