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My Technique for Grafting Stock
Peyote & Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation:   LiquidK. "My Technique for Grafting Stock: An Experience with Peyote & Cacti - T. peruvianus (exp44639)". Jun 8, 2006.

Quite a lot has been written about the grafting of slow-growing cacti onto a faster growing base stock, and much of that has pertained specifically to accelerating the growth rate of Lophophora Williamsii, also known as Peyote. However, most of what has been written has merely been about the actual grafting techniques, with vague references to the amount of growth acceleration. While performing my own experiments with these illicit little wonders, I have come across some very interesting findings.

First and foremost, let me say this; I began growing cacti about two years ago. I started with seeds, and after a month or so I had about twelve tiny Peyote seedlings, and eight Peruvian Torch seedlings sprouting from my seedling tray. These grew indoors under a constant false summer climate for about a year before I grafted eight of the Peyote on top of the Peruvian Torch stock. Unfortunately, this being my first time grafting any species of cacti, only two of the grafts survived. This left me a bit heartbroken, but I still had four young Peyote growing on their own, and two that were growing exponentially.

At this point, my Peyote growing experience has hit the two and a half year mark, and certain things have come to light that will help me with future projects. As it stands now, my two and a half year old cacti are doing amazingly, and my grafts are now one and a half years old. While both Peyote grafts have only reached about one and a half inches in diameter, they have matured far past that point, and are both now beginning to sprout pups. I have recently begun rerooting the larger of the two, and things are looking up.

What I noticed, however, is that the growth of the Peruvian Torch stock has halted almost exactly at size at which they were used for grafting. This actually piqued my interest several months ago, and I have since tried a small experiment, with tremendous results. This new Peyote experiment has actually given me much insight into speed-growing these little wonders, which may in the future help keep this endangered species from being completely annihilated in itís natural habitat.

I began one day when I noticed that the Peruvian Torch, which I continued to grow after their Peyote grafts failed, were growing quite large and healthy. I then compare them to the ones with surviving grafts, and noted a very remarkable difference in size and health. This concerned me a quite a bit, so I set out that day and purchased a new Peruvian Torch. The difference with this one, however, was that it was several years older, and about twelve inches tall. When I came home that day, I picked out one of the surviving four Peyote I had left. At this point the cacti were about two years old, and very healthy. I grafted this Peyote on top of my new Peruvian Torch, and have babied it over the past several months.

It has now been about six months since that last grafting, and things have become painfully clear. The new graft has reached, in a course of six months, almost the same size as my two and a half year old grafts. While this didnít quite surprise me (common sense tells me that a more mature cacti would accelerate growth a bit more), what did was that which I noticed upon further inspection. When I looked closely, I noticed that, while the Peyote was, in size, comparable to the two and a half year old specimens, it had not reached anywhere near them in actual maturity. It was much like looking at the differences between a baby giant and an elderly dwarf. While the two and a half year old specimens are already beginning to produce pups, the six month old graft of the same size is barely more than an enormous seedling.

While this is hardly a controlled experiment, I can cull from this experience two things. One is fact; the amount of growth achieved by a graft is directly affected by the age and size of the grafting stock. The other is theory, but one that is proving itself to be sound; the rate of maturity of Peyote, while affected by age and size of the stock, is not in direct relation to actual growth rate, and is proportionate more to the amount of time the Peyote is grafted. I believe this is an essential piece of information; one could, in theory, graft a three year old Peyote on top of a twenty five year old Peruvian Torch, or other graft stock, and in a matter of months accelerate the growth rate years ahead.

I, personally, will continue studying this relationship for quite possibly the rest of my life.

Exp Year: 2005ExpID: 44639
Gender: Not Specified 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jun 8, 2006Views: 21,944
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Cacti - T. peruvianus (69), Peyote (42) : Not Applicable (38), Cultivation / Synthesis (31), General (1)

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