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Author Topic: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti  (Read 12128 times)

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Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2015, 09:24:19 PM »
i have a few sized seedlings to choose from.  I'm considering a 1 cm plant with the marshmallow technique but worry that i will somehow damage the plant by stabbing into it.  although this also seems like a very good way to ensure a strong connection.  what is the advantage of using days old seedlings over larger ones?

Offline Inyan

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 12:20:06 AM »
If you have an albino seedling, it can not provide any nutrients so it will die without grafting. The younger the seedling is when you graft it the quicker it will be to see your cacti flower. The main advantage is getting the next generation or next cross going. Not to mention saving pollen for future crosses. From a conservation or hybridizers viewpoint you want to produce as many seeds with as many good crosses as you can to increase the genetic diversity as fast as you can. To do this you need to practice with seedling grafts till you become proficient if you wish to be most expedient. The older the seedling is the easier it is to graft though. That is the catch 22 of it.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 01:56:45 PM »
i just found a pic of a albino loph.  very interesting.  i had previously only seen albino cactuses grafted to euphorbias a la home depot.  i have always been turned off by grafted albino cactuses as they seem somewhat... unnatural.  and it seems almost pointless to have a grafted albino loph as it will never be able to grow on its own roots or propagate.  ..maybe just one to show off.  for my purposes, i should use grafting as a tool to more quickly diversify my gene pool as you've explained.  i will post pics of my next attempt soon.  thanks. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2015, 09:14:37 PM »
You are quite right from your perspective that an albino or even an all red specimen may not be able to grow on its own and thus, it why grow it if your only interested in creating diversity or adding to the genetic pool so to speak. The reasons I could list are very simple and straightforward. The number one reason to graft such a specimen is it will not live on its own. Next, it may develop variegation later on if saved by the art of grafting. 3rd, variegation if it is going to be passed on... is generally passed on through the mother plant or seed bearer. Different colors on a pejuta... variegation of red, yellow, white, etc. all represent different colors on the medicine wheel and as such a grandfather specimen of such would earn you much kudos so to speak if you were to gift or barter with a member of the NAC or even a roadman. The same can be said of catlinite the sacred stone used to make pipes by the Lakota. While much catlinite is red, those streaked in yellow, black, etc. has a higher or different medicinal quality so to speak. Such a special variegated Lophophora degrafted or even grown on its own would carry a special place on the altar in peyote ceremony whether it was a crescent moon ceremony or crossfire ceremony. Aside from this, the genetics hidden in that Lophophora whether it was albino or variegated would likely be lost if left as a seedling as variegates often are not only slower growing, but harder to grow in general as they can be more prone to root rot. Such a special creation would likely never be eaten in a ceremony, but instead be there to represent the medicine itself. The only way I can describe this is to say that there is such a thing as lightning. Then there is such a thing as lightning medicine. Lightning medicine can be represented by actual lightning, certain stones such as those found in ant hills, cedar, etc. The Wakinyan is another example of lightning medicine. Regardless though, growing an albino or variegated specimen or attempting to graft it and save it gives you a free lesson in grafting seedlings as the seedling would most likely have died if you did not graft it as variegates tend to get easier to grow the bigger they are... you would be saving this genetic material and giving yourself a free lesson so to speak as there is a learning curve when learning to graft and even more so when learning to graft seedlings. Strictly from an educational perspective or a honing ones skills perspective it is worth trying to save any seedling one can from certain or almost certain death.
       With that said, if your growing out more than a few hundred seedlings from any two regions or regional cross chances are you are going to have much more in the way of genetics than you can easily uncover and the task is already great if you are going to try and unearth what hidden genetics lay in even one cross from say a southern region to a northernmost region. What I am trying to say here is that even one simple cross done right and wide enough will yield you more than ample trouble if you are actually interested in unearthing its total potential and many traits may lie hidden for years without enough seedlings being grown. The basic rule to hybridizing or uncovering genetics is that your first cross is going to be your most unspectacular in general. This is your F1 or first filial generation and you can generally get by with a smaller number of seedlings on this one cross. However, your f2 or second filial cross is where you are going to need your larger numbers to uncover much of the hidden genetics. This is simply where you cross your f1 x f1 otherwise known as sibling crosses. However, it doesn't stop there if your truly trying to look for hidden recessives you always want to cross both crosses or your f1's from both crosses back to either parent.
   Still, I may be remiss if I did not point out that to do this properly you have to realize that some traits may be best passed on by one parent or the other... Thus, EL Huizache (mother)x Texensis (pollen donor) may yield different results than Texensis (mother) x El Huizache (pollen donor)
Looking at this further, (Texensis x Huizache) x (Texensis x Huizache) may yield different phenotypes in its F2 than (Texensis x Huizache) x (Huizache x Texensis). The bottom line here is that you have to make your cross every which way you can even with just two different regional groupings if you want to uncover the full genetic potential inherent in just your starting specimens which likely do not represent the full genetic potential of their individual regions. Still, even the most feeble of attempts will yield genetic variation unseen of in the wild when one crosses specimens so diverse they would never have come in contact with each other in the wild such as when one crosses an extreme northern locality with an extreme southern locality. To me, that is the real beauty of hybridizing or making controlled crosses…. You get to pick the parents and select for what strikes your eye as being especially important while at the same time mixing the gene pool in a way that would never occur in nature even when making simple crosses of the same genus and species as the two specimens in question would have been too far removed geographically to have ever bred naturally…. Never mind the fact that some Lophophora (northern) are self-fertile within a species and others (southern such as L.w. Huizache) are not. This shows a clear evolutionary change and yet the two remain completely compatible and fertile. Hybrid vigor springs to mind, but also those crosses that are rare or unheard of… as what may not be possible with one group of L.w. from one region may be possible with another or a hybrid between the two.
This again brings me back to pollen cocktails. There are many ways to make pollen cocktails as they can be tailored to ones goals as one sees fit. One method, such as when one wishes to attempt impossible crosses is to simply mix up several different species of which you wish to cross to your specimen such as a L. w. Huizache which is known not to be self-fertile. I chose this regional variation due to the fact that it is easier to isolate a flower than it is to emasculate a flower and isolate. By making a pollen cocktail mixture of several different desired species you increase your odds and cut down the number of crosses you have to make to ensure you get a cross to take. Next, you may wish to make serial dilutions of this pollen utilizing confectioners’ sugar. The idea is simple. You get an approximate concentration of pollen and equal that with sugar. You remove half of that pollen mixture and place in another similar receptacle with an equal weight of sugar. You continue this several times over each time removing half of your pollen cocktail and placing that half with another equal volume of confectioners’ sugar. Your dilution then will be 1:1, 1:2, 1:4,1:8,1:16,1:32,1:64 etc…. as you go. Now, this could be done with as many different species as you have different pollen stored to literally enable you to make 600 different crosses all at the same time one plant provided that you have no known compatible pollen in the mix …. You would be assured that if you got seed that there would be a very high probability that the resulting seed was from one of those 600 different pollen types you mixed in your original 1:1 dilution. Now, here is where it gets really fun… if you add in a smidgen of compatible pollen, and dilute out with your known or suspected incompatible or at the very least different species pollen you will eventually find a concentration that will yield just 1-5 seeds that will be same species cross and any other seeds produced if any… will be of that other cross or mixture if not prematurely aborted. While it may be harder to prove your cross and virtually impossible to determine what pollen donor actually made its mark on your seedlings… the proof will be in subsequent generations if you are willing to gamble. Remember, you don’t have to add in any incompatible pollen in a pollen cocktail nor do you have to add in any compatible pollen. There are many different ways of going about this depending on your end goals. Pollen cocktails can even be done with just two different types of pollen and when doing serial dilutions this way where one is compatible and the other is not… you will eventually reach a point where you know that there is a higher likelihood that you will have hybrid seedlings and with this method where just two pollens are known… any traits that are obviously not Lophophora for instance can be traced back to the one incompatible pollen.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2015, 11:44:47 PM »
yeah, ok that makes sense.  a free lesson if nothing else.  i think this must be a proverb i've ignored.  and if it does take it's a very interesting novelty plant for sure.  i can't imagine anyone would want to consume it both due to its rarity and lack of psychoactive constituents.  somewhat unrelated, a specimen i would really like to get my hands on one day is a l.w. cristata.  for sure that would earn the most kudos.   

i like all this enthusiasm about growing from seed.  i've kind of been focusing on the 'what if they end up with some undesirable trait' side of the story but your talking me into accepting the value of exploring the undiscovered traits frontier.  i guess you could consider it giving back to the plant too.  i guess i need to track down some different specimens. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2015, 12:20:51 AM »
I've seen some crested ones recently. I have to admit, I like the crested form as well. There are a great many traits to breed or select for. http://www.lophophora.info/e_index.htm Has some very nice pictures showing some of the different regional variations.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2015, 01:40:49 AM »
this site is a great reference.  thanks.

Offline HorribleHippie

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 07:31:31 AM »
What was that grafted to in the first pics on this thread? I can't make any sense of it(no offense). Did you graft a seedling to a seedling?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 07:33:55 AM by HorribleHippie »
If I go insane let it be said: I once was sane before I was dead.

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2015, 11:15:58 PM »
non taken.  it was an older columnar cacti i got from a nursery.  probably 3 years old.  i'm making another attempt next time a get some free time.  this time a seedling to a pereskiopsis.  both the scion and the old taproot are actively growing now.  the taproot now has two heads.  makes me want to chop all of their heads off and plant them. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2015, 06:07:23 PM »
Grafting stocks
Pereskiopsis sapthulata is preferred by many for grafting as it is hard to kill by overwatering. However, it may cause slower growing cacti to split as it may cause these slower growing cacti to grow too fast and abnormal characteristics such as Kikko traits in Astrophytum may be exaggerated. The bottom line is your seedlings may not look natural when you use this stock if you are not careful with your watering regime. This is a good stock to get your seedlings started on, but it is generally not looked upon as a long term solution to grafting out your cactus so regrafting will generally be desired.
Opuntia compressa is another good specimen for grafting seedlings onto and has the added benefit of staying small and being a long term grafting stock. As your specimen gets bigger it will eventually hide this smaller cactus altogether resulting in a faster growing more natural looking specimen. Another benefit of this stock is it can withstand freezing temperatures and does not rot easily due to  overwatering. You will in effect get a much more natural looking specimen with earlier blooms if your interest is hybridizing or making more seedlings then this is a good choice especially if you live where you might have a hard time keeping your specimens from freezing or you are guilty of overwatering on occasion. This cactus can even be found wild in southern Ontario.
Opuntia ficus-indica is yet another good stock plant as it can be found in spineless forms. You can graft with these forms without worry of getting those nasty glochids stuck in your fingers. It is more cold hardy than Pereskiopsis, but slightly less so than Opuntia compressa in my experience. Like Pereskiopsis, both of Opuntia compressa and Opuntia ficus-indica can be used to graft seedlings on without the need to add pressure, but there is less chance of getting floaters with these last two specimens. Another positive for using Opuntia for grafting is that you can more easily graft multiple seedlings on a single specimen; however, if you should choose to do so you may need to regraft at a later date.
Trichocereus pachanoi is still another cacti that can be used as a grafting stock for seedlings. I prefer to graft seedlings on very top of T. pachanoi making my cuts now lower than 1 inch from the actively growing top for seedlings. A side benefit of T. pachanoi as a stock is that it can also be a permanent stock like the Opuntia stocks previously mentioned and it can also withstand some overwatering. This is another good stock plant for those in Canada, but it does not have the same cold tolerance as our Opuntia compressa.
Selenicereus grandiflorus is yet just another cacti good for grafting seedlings and it is forgiving to those who might overwater it as well.
My own personal thoughts on the matter are to use Opuntia compressa in colder areas such as Cananda down to Georgia, United States when your main desire is to keep your seedlings looking natural and on a permanent stock while still getting an earlier flowering specimen without the fear of rotting that is especially prevalent as a danger when working with slower growing desert cacti and even more so when dealing with rare variegated specimens of desert type cacti. For those who don’t have access to Opuntia compressa, a good alternative is Opuntia ficus-indica as a more permanent stock as you can and should use the spineless forms for ease of grafting seedlings. Again, this will give you a permanent stock so no need to regraft those seedlings which can and will slow down the growth of those seedlings for the time period it takes them to readjust to the new graft.
Methods of grafting are many and varied for seedlings. My personal favorite method is to use parafilm or saran wrap for very small seedlings as it enables them to be held down in place to avoid floaters as well as aiding in the maintaining of moisture which can be critical to keeping the surfaces intact between the scion and the stock as the graft union is forming. This added pressure also keeps air from getting underneath the scion if it dries out. Again, this should not be an issue if one is using saran wrap or parafilm to hold the scion in place as the parafilm or saran wrap will also hold in the humidity. The benefit of parafilm over saran wrap is that parafilm will breath and can be used for both young seedlings and older more mature cacti scions as well. Self-adhering coban is another cheap alternative that can be used for grafting larger cacti. The benefit of coban is that it, like parafilm, breathes and it can also stretch a little enabling you to keep it on longer, but not as long as you could parafilm. As a general rule, never graft unless your cacti stock is actively growing and well rooted. However, if you make a cut or remove a large cutting of stock that is actively growing and immediately use it for grafting it does not matter if it is rooted or not for small seedlings as it will maintain enough juices to continue with the grafting process. If one wishes to add additional humidity to your grafts done in such a manner with saran wrap, coban, parafilm it will not hurt and certainly might help. You can do this via many different ways such as placing a cut clear milk jug over the tops of your prepared scion and stock, placing them in clear plastic tubs with lids, etc. Use your imagination. So long as the humidity is increased during the crucial first few days to two weeks your bound to have some success. The biggest detriment to newly attached grafts is pushing the growth too much as this can cause floaters if the scion is not held down, drying out… as the cut surfaces will pull away from each other, etc. You can help your graft along by not poking at it, peeking at it, and otherwise moving it around or bumping it. I’ve lost several grafts due to peeking under the hood so to speak to see where the graft is at before it was fully grafted. This is even more of a problem when you are making a seedling graft as you may inadvertently jar the just grafted seedling partially lose or fully loose from the stock plant by moving it or otherwise dropping it or having it fall over. Stability is key! A well done seedling graft can easily take a fall or be turned upside down within 3 days of being grafted, but that does not mean that it is smart to try this. This is something you learn from trial and error and many mistakes. If your seedling is a valuable specimen, rare, or otherwise unique or hard to find…. You don’t want to experiment with grafting that seedling until you have at least an 80% success rate with your grafts. The exceptions of course might be if you have a variegate or albino specimen that might die otherwise. Keep track of any peculiarities of a seedling you might choose to graft. Some traits may only be seen at the seedling stage, but may hold some clues if remembered to traits later seen at the adult stage. If you can remember and keep track of these differences seen in the seedlings and later relate them to only occurring in a certain phenotype as adults then you can save yourself much time in future crosses and these clues can help you choose future seedlings to graft later on down the road. One trait I always stay aware of for my personal interests regardless of whether I am grafting cacti, trees, etc…. when working with dicotyledons is the number of seedling leaves. If I see 100 dicotyledon cacti seedlings, but one of those seedlings is a tricotyledon I mark it out for selection. If it has more than three seed leaves it gets that annotated as well. What cross did it come from? If that is known and you have an unusual phenotype arise in those seedlings produced it might be advantageous to cross those seedlings back to either parent or to similar seedlings themselves from your filial generation 1 to get an even more pronounced effect in your filial generation 2 of F2 generation for short.
Back to securing your seedlings. Parafilm can be first wrapped around forming a ring around your Pereskiopis, Opuntia, etc. type stock. This is done to provide a sticking surface for your parafilm, coban, etc. that will be placed over the seedling. Parafilm and coban both like to stick to each other, not to the cacti itself. So, by providing a complete ring around your stock of either parafilm or coban you are providing a surface to which your thinner portion of coban or parafilm can thus attach. Now, you have your ring. You make your cut into the stock. Make another thin cut into your stock and leave that in place. This keeps the surface area from drying out while your prepare your scion. Make your cut into the scion and immediately place or slide the scion onto your cut Pereskiopis or Opuntia while also sliding the thin slice of stock off so as to minimize drying times. Next, you can place your parafilm strip onto and over your Scion and Pereskiopsis attaching the parafilm over the scion and to the ring of parafilm you made earlier. If using saran wrap, you can hold the saran wrap down and over the scion with a clothes pin placed horizontally beneath the graft union so as not to interfere with the actual graft. Now, you can increase the humidity further if one wishes by placing a plastic coke bottle bottom cut off over the top of your grafted wonder. Save the top with cap for reducing the humidity. When two weeks has passed, remove the one coke bottom and replace with coke bottle top and cap. Unscrew the cap, but leave on loosely. After a few days, remove the cap. A few days later, remove the bottle altogether.
I hope I'm not confusing you further with these instructions. What works best for me, may not work best for you. Practice will get you through the hurdles though if you have enough time, seedlings, and stock to play with.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2015, 11:21:50 PM »
a bit confusing, yes, but a big help indeed.  i like the idea of pre wrapping the stock for a gripping surface, I will use that technique for sure.  i had no idea about opuntia either.  i have a bunch of those around.  i can't find any pics of completed grafts though. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: first attempt at grafting loph to columnar cacti
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2015, 06:21:33 PM »
I have a keen desire to see you succeed at grafting if only so I can see you begin to get more experimental in your grafting. For example, many will use areoles for grafting to produce many more of a single specimen than they could produce from simple horizontally cut scions. Vertically cut scions inserted so that the areoles are aligned with the areoles of the stock cacti are of particular interest in my own research in that I am hoping with a little luck and a bit practice someone may one day be able to perfect this and get chimera type specimens to form in such a manner that perhaps one could reliably get a specific chimera to form. Trichocereus Lophophora chimera specimens might be nice if one could induce them rather than have them haphazardly happen due to grafting accidents. While this idea is not new, I have yet to see it done on a large enough scale to learn enough from the practice to say it can't be done. In theory, a single T. pachanoi for instance could be sliced in half and mated with a T. peruvianus in such a way that the aeroles are precisely cut in half and aligned with each other producing several opportunities for chimera formation on each side of the grafted union. Wait a few months for the graft to take and if you also did another T. bridgessi + T. pachanoi variegated for instance and you could continue the matching process each time the graft healed. In effect, you could have as many different types of cacti grafted to a single column vertically as you have ribs. This would definitely increase your chances of getting an induced chimera. Mind you, I think that a Lophophora inserted lengthwise into the sides of a T. pachanoi would be more interesting in the long run. I can envision a 12 ft tall Trich/Loph with many hundreds of Lophophora blossoms and if lucky a few chimera type pups forming.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born