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Degrafting Lophophora off Pereskiopsis.


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#1 Burger

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 11:54 PM

Recently I have had a few PM's from people asking how to degraft cacti that are grafted onto Pereskiopsis, in particular Lophophora.

Rather than answer them one by one via PM, I thought I would post a brief guide with pics describing a technique I have used successfully.

Getting grafted Lophophora to grow on their own roots is a simple process, and the following can also be applied to other types of cacti grafted onto Pereskiopsis.

The graft used in this thread is approx 14 months old from seed. Its growth had noticeably slowed, indicating it was ready to be removed.

Watering the graft well a day or two prior to degrafting will help hydrate the Loph, keeping it slightly turgid, which will assist in its removal.

1.
Take the Pereskiopsis graft and remove the leaves from the upper part of the stem. They come off very easily with a slight twist.

2.
Cut the stem of the Pereskiopsis leaving about 3 - 4 inches still attached to the Loph.
Leaving some of the stem makes it easier to handle and remove from the Loph later.

3.
Remove the thorns (glochids) from the stem using a paper towel, folded over several times.
Gently rub the folded paper towel up and down the stem to remove most of the glochids.
Those who have worked with Pereskiopsis will know that glochids are a nuisance and are best avoided where possible.

4.
The Loph is now ready to be removed.
I like to use a surgical scalpel, any sharp, fine pointed blade will do.
Sterility here is advised, a quick wipe over with isopropyl alcohol will ensure the blade is clean.
After the alcohol has completely evaporated from the blade, position the loph upside down on a clean surface, then slowly and carefully begin to cut as pictured.

The flesh of the Loph is very soft yet the stem of the Peres is quite hard, so it is quite easy to 'feel' your way around the stem as you cut.
Positioning the blade to cut on an angle as shown, will allow for easier removal, and the Loph will heal faster, with less chance of infection due to the shape of the wound having more surface area exposed to fresh air.

The depth that the Peres stem penetrates inside the Loph differs slightly for each graft, and will determine how deep the cut will need to be.
If the hard stem is hit when making an incision, just remove the blade and cut slightly deeper.
Work completely around the stem until there is nice circular cut.

Gently tilting the stem will show any areas that are still firmly attached.
The stem does not have to be completely cut out, just the majority.
Any remaining contact can be snapped off by carefully pushing on the stem while gently twisting (a firm specimen is easier to break off than one that is soft and spongy).

If the stem feels like it is still firmly in place, carefully work your way around again with the blade, gently cutting away any area that offers resistance.
Cutting out the stem like this ensures the majority of the Loph remains intact, where if a straight/flat cut was used, up to a third of the Loph can be lost.

Once the main stem is removed, use the blade to further remove any small remaining stem pieces still inside the Loph (the dark spots pictured).
They dig out easily and their removal will assist the wound healing cleanly, and help prevent orange rot.
If your environment is rather humid, now would be a good time to apply a small amount of fungicide to the wound. I usually skip this step as my environment is very dry.

5.
The Loph is now left with the wound facing up, in a dry place out of direct light for approx 2 weeks to heal.
When the wound is well healed/calloused, the Loph is placed onto a bed of propagation sand under weak light, and provided warmth.
I find it best to just sit the loph on the top of the sand rather than bedding it down into the sand.

I use completely dry sand, but every few days I lift up the Loph and lightly mist the sand beneath it with water, then replace the Loph.
This stops the sand from becoming too wet and encourages faster root development.

The roots in the pic appeared in just under 3 weeks, some root faster, others take more time.
It is not uncommon for Lophs to shrivel and soften slightly during this time.
They will rehydrate and harden up when they have had a chance to reabsorb water through their newly developed root system.

6.
After roots appear, the Loph can be carefully potted up into your preferred cacti soil mix, taking care not to damage the roots.
I like to use a simple 50/50 mix of screened mineral based loam and medium grade propagation sand for my Lophophora. It is cheap, readily available, free draining and they seem to like it.
Because the small root system that has yet to fully develop, water is applied sparingly for the first month or two.

Single headed Loph's are straight forward to degraft.
When you have a variety such as caespitosa or one that has grown many pups (offsets) the stem can be difficult to get at.
In this case a pup or two will need to be removed to allow access to the stem.

The removed offsets can also be forced to grow their own roots or be regrafted onto another stock.

**Propagation sand is also sold as washed river sand, or coarse sharp sand.
I included a pic for easier identification. It can be purchased from most garden suppy stores cheaply.

Other fine sands like beach sand and builders sand should be avoided, they can do more harm than good.

Well that is pretty much it.

I hope this assists those getting into cacti grafting.

Comments and any questions are welcomed.

Good luck and happy (de)grafting :)

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  • paph, Teonanacatl38, Frequency and 1 other like this

#2 usagolden

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:41 AM

nice write up
what is that perez cutting going to do?
peyote pups perhaps?

#3 Guest_jay pheno_*

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:58 PM

:eusa_clap awesome man ! :headbang::headbang:

#4 |dw|

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:09 PM

My FOAF just grafted some "test" pedro seedlings. Next the lophs ... then 11 months and he will need this write up. :)

Thanks

#5 mr. pink

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:45 AM

Burger you are king of grafting!:bow:

#6 Lopho

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:03 PM

Fantastic Burger! I've been looking forward to this thread for some time now! This is a huge help...

I can't thank you enough. :thumbup:

#7 LordLuke

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:54 PM

Your process looks foolproof to me. It makes a lot of sense that you'd want to separate scion, and stock, with as little loss to the scion as possible. Swim wonders if there is a way to induce a graft to root while still grafted.

#8 Burger

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 06:08 AM

Swim wonders if there is a way to induce a graft to root while still grafted.


I have had a few grafts sprout their own roots while still attached to the stock.

Old grafts can sometimes send out roots if the stock is spent, and isn't providing for the scion.

Also, if the stock isn't getting enough water, the scion can send out roots of it's own in search of moisture.

#9 LordLuke

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:14 PM

Interesting, thanks for the info Burger. Perhaps this calls for further experimentation. It would be useful, if it were possible to have root growth reasonably established, before degrafting.

#10 greenkurma

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:54 AM

Burger, your post was very informative. Thanks!

That is a very nice graft, huge! It looks like a gaint spider butt.

I've found a great way to degraft that does not require misting. Placing the healed degrafted button into gel2root. You can watch the roots grow too. So far I've done a half dozen this way.

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#11 NappyCappy

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 10:39 PM

Thank You For The Write Up Very Informative And Just What I Needed To Know =)

#12 theMallacht

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:30 AM

Great write up man... Bookmarked for sure...

#13 Lopho

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:36 PM

Hey Burger,

I'm wondering... How are the roots on that degrafted lophophora doing? How big are they compared to what a seed grown lophophora would have? Do the roots ever fully recover, so that at time "X" you couldn't tell the difference between a graft/seed grown plant?

Would be interesting to know.

#14 ou3308

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:47 AM

Dude, you amaze me!!!

#15 alex.dm

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:28 AM

Do the roots ever fully recover, so that at time "X" you couldn't tell the difference between a graft/seed grown plant?

Unfortunately roots will never be recovered to natural grown form and size. Also degrafted peyote have to be watered much rare than natural grown cacti.

#16 Burger

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:37 PM

Hey Burger,

I'm wondering... How are the roots on that degrafted lophophora doing? How big are they compared to what a seed grown lophophora would have? Do the roots ever fully recover, so that at time 'X' you couldn't tell the difference between a graft/seed grown plant?

Would be interesting to know.


Degrafted Loph's don't usually take on the form of a typical large, single 'carrot shaped' tap-root. Instead, over time, they form multiple smaller tap-roots, with alot more capillary roots.

Having these smaller tap-roots and capillary roots is good imo. It lets the plant absorb water and nutes quickly with less chance of rot from over-watering.

Unfortunately roots will never be recovered to natural grown form and size. Also degrafted peyote have to be watered much rare than natural grown cacti.


As mentioned, watering should be applied sparingly at first, until growth is visible. I water degrafted Loph's and seed grown specimens on the exact same schedule once growth is visible, and while I don't like to 'push my luck', believe that established degrafts could probably take more water, due to the lack of that one large tap-root/water reservoir (once that tap-root is full, over-watering is alot easier).

A large tap-root is obviously needed in natural habitat to survive long periods without water. In cultivation, where watering can be totally controlled, it is not as important.

I have read of growers actually trimming back the tap-root on certain spieces every few years when repotting, to encourage the development of capillary roots, saying it allows for more regular watering, resulting in faster growth, with less chance of rot, and I personally know of a grower who uses this method on his Astrophytum collection, his plants look awesome.:eusa_droo

#17 fucgubarn

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:35 AM

Hi Burger,
you are an inspiration to me!
Thank you!
Will start grafting ,degrafting and regrafting again.
Last year did many many grafts and just now looking what is left,survived the winter and beginning to wake them up.Many have died from the first look over the wardrobe.

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#18 Guest_jay pheno_*

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:14 AM

Hi Burger,
you are an inspiration to me!
Thank you!
Will start grafting ,degrafting and regrafting again.
Last year did many many grafts and just now looking what is left,survived the winter and beginning to wake them up.Many have died from the first look over the wardrobe.



man you did alot of grafting , awesome man !:cacti::eusa_danc
i think though if you had of put them all under cfl lights , you wouldnt have had the etiolation an they would be better off now .
putting cacti into dormancy seems to me to be more suited for standalone cacti on there own roots or larger grafts like pedro/loph , pere's grafts an seedlings do real good under lights indoors .:rasta:

Edited by jay pheno, 20 April 2010 - 10:25 AM.


#19 fucgubarn

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:13 AM

yes,had lights :):)
that little space had to be turned into oyster incubator :):)

#20 fucgubarn

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 01:41 AM

a degrafted and rooted ariocarpus lloydii,
don't remember ,but almost 2 years on peres and then rooted,hope this season the plant will flower :):),
seeds (just 3 seeds) were brought to me from Thailand,

had somewhere several albino (yellow) discocactus grafted ot peres but can't find them :(

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