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Active cactus grow for beginner?


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#1 Stroker

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:59 PM

My wife loves cacti from growing up in Nevada, and I love actives. Lol. I live in the Midwest, so they would need to be indoors. Recommendations on what type of cactus to grow? Info to read etc. thanks everyone!

#2 Myc

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:23 AM

Welcome Stroker. 

Trichocereus varieties are active and pretty forgiving as far as grow conditions. If it gets hot where you live in the summer they can live outdoors and take up much water during the grow season. They don't tolerate freezing conditions and must be brought inside before the first hard frost. Then you can just keep them in a dark garage or storage room for the winter to prevent etiolation. 


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#3 onediadem

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 12:49 PM

You can grow them outdoors, and bring them indoors when the first frost hits.



#4 makinbones69

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 01:05 PM

Any trichocerus? I also have been wanting a good species for a beginner and am glad I saw stroker ask. It would be awesome if someone pointed me to a specific one as idk much about cacti yet
I see now I should prolly just start with pedro.

Edited by makinbones69, 05 September 2019 - 01:08 PM.


#5 ElrikEriksson

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 02:34 PM

Not all Trichocereus are active. T. bridgesii is pretty much a sure bet on being correctly IDed and potent. Other strong active species include pachanoi, macrogonus, peruvianus, and scopulicola. Just watch out for the 'PC pachanoi' also known as 'Backberg clone'. If you just want active cactus and are not a fanatical collector don't pay lots of money for clones with fancy names. Get bridgesii seed and hybrids from known good parents, grow the seed, and if your up to it graft the seedlings on pereskiopsis [that lets you get the first 3-4 years of growth done in 1 year before putting it on its own roots].

 

It should be noted: if children are a concern then T. scopulicola is the best, scop isn't the most potent but its a very nice high and it essentially has no spines. It has to be bought as a clone, the seeds are never legit.


Edited by ElrikEriksson, 05 September 2019 - 02:39 PM.

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#6 Myc

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 03:35 PM

Elrik corrected my broad statement very accurately. The included list details all of the active trichos I know of.

I'm a big fan of T. bridgesii and T. peruvianus.

Thanks for setting that straight Elrik - will be more careful with my commentary in the future. ;)



#7 Stroker

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:45 PM

Is there a preferred vender to go through?

#8 NatureIsMagic

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:37 AM

I had the same question. So there's no difference in growing between them, just bridgesii is more potent?

#9 Skywatcher

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:48 AM

The active columnar are not overly picky about soil. They seem to do fine in most well draining mixes. Just avoid anything with a lot of moisture retaining wood or additives (can cause root rot) and definitely nothing with time release nutrients.

 

We don't have vendors at the moment, but perhaps someone else can chime in with a recommendation. I have not bought any new ones for years.



#10 ElrikEriksson

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:39 AM

Misplant.net and sacred succulents often have interesting hybrids between actives [and inactives, and active X inactive crosses] at fair prices.

I single them out because both produce their own seed by hand pollination, instead of getting questionable stuff from bulk suppliers like most.

Bridgesii seed can be cheaply found on your favorite auction site and will usually be authentic.

 

For conditions, most active Trichs are so similar you can treat them the same. When its warm and dry they enjoy lots of water and fertilizer, in the hottest part of my summer I feed them with tomato fertilizer. When its cool and damp reduce the watering and stop fertilizing to reduce chance of rot. Don't water when cold.

The only significant difference in fertilizer responses between the active species is that bridgesii or most hybrids involving bridgesii, when given lots of nitrogen, will produce basal pups. New branches sprouting out of the base. I like this trait as, in the spring, I load up larger bridges with nitrogen and then in the fall harvest their oldest branches. Next spring when I put them back out they don't blatantly look like they were harvested the way other species can. Its essentially only plants with bridgesii parentage that do that, I usually trigger basal pups with 'grow' fertilizer or urine diluted to 1/10th. This year I tried and tried to get this nice looking 2 metre tall skinny pachanoi to branch. I gave it tomato fertilizer half of the grow season and in the height of summer I gave it strong ammonium sulfate every other day. It just put on 50 cm of top growth :laugh:






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