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How to repot very fragile cacti seedlings (In this case, Ariocarpus)

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#1 Neptunechild


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Posted 10 September 2016 - 08:57 AM



If you cultivate mexican small sized cacti like Lophophora, Turbinicarpus or Ariocarpus, you might already know that caring for them can be a tricky task. Sowing such cacti needs a lot of patience and if you want to be very successful you need some experience. The worst thing about sowing such cacti is the fact that you need very high humidity for a pretty long time in a closed environment. Algae, mold, fungus and bacteria love humidity and warm temps, so keep in mind that IF you choose to cultivate such cacti yourself, you must invest much time into it. You must control your cacti daily for at least 2 years, altough it's also beneficial to "forget" them for a couple of days.


There are many cacti which you can take out of your closed environment and temperate them to your room, garden or whatsoever. One of them which may interest some of you, is the holy, sacred San Pedro cactus (and all other Trichocereus actually [including Bridgesii and Peruviana]).


Some of you might have an eye on my personal thread "Neptunechilds Cactus Playground", if you do you might remember that I showed you step by step how to sow seeds. I sowed a bunch of Ariocarpus seeds on the 31th january and had to repot them the first time a week ago, after 7 months.


Here is the result and what I did..


Step 2 and Step 3 I forgot to take pictures of...


Step 1: Squeze the pot your seedlings are in and take out the seedlings. DO NOT TOUCH THE ROOTS, I MEAN IT! Carefully shake of as much as you can from the old substrate so that it might look something like this:


IMG_0710.JPG IMG_0711.JPG


Step 2: I don't like to work with gloves, but you need very clean hands. Wash your hands, be sure you don't have nasty fingernails and rub your hands with disinfectant.


Step 3: Many cacti-freaks don't recommend this but I had great experience with soaking the new pots with water. The only reason I do this is because it's not only easier to repot, but your seedlings have a great stand from the beginning. Just make sure that you kept your seedlings very dry for the past 5 to 10 days!


Step 3: Prepare the holes for your seedlings with a useful instrument, anything can do actually. I recommend something with the same size as the taproot of your baby cacti. Just make sure it's clean. I use a Q-Tip where I take the wool of and disinfect it.


Like this:




Step 4: Take your seedlings and place them into the holes, very carefully. You do not want to destroy ANY roots.




Step 5: Turn over your CLEAN AND DISINFECTED Q-Tip and gently push the substrate onto the taproot and benath the cacti.




Step 6: Take pictures, shout out with joy because you've managed it and start over again in a couple of years, or months.


IMG_0716.JPG IMG_0717.JPG


It is very important that you take your time and work very carefully.

It took me nearly 3 hours to prepare everything, soak the pots and repot 100-120 Ariocarpus seedlings.


Blessings and much love



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#2 Skywatcher


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Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:22 AM

Very nice Neptune. I'm going to second the do not touch or damage any of the roots. They are sensitive at the young age and break fairly easy. The little plants need as much feeding ability as they can. In stages earlier than these, I have also used a teaspoon to gently scoop out a small section, roots, soil, and all, to transplant into a bit better pot or soil.


Those little ariocarpus look good.

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#3 Neptunechild


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Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:37 AM

I use the teaspoon Tek on many cacti or might I say used. I've learned that loosing a big amout of cacti can break a heart and even frustrate the living hell out you.

So I've decided to get lose of as much as possible of the old substrate in case there might be anything in it that I don't want in my new pots, mostly fungus or bacteria.


I'm very happy with the result, thank you for your compliment. It's my first Ariocarpus sowing at all.



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#4 Neptunechild


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Posted 25 October 2016 - 05:20 AM



After 6 weeks, I have lost only 10 out of 120+ Seedlings. This proofs not only that you can repot very fragile cacti seedlings into a moist pot, it also proofs that repotting Ariocarpus (and also other rare mexican cacti) is not as risky and complicated like many cultivators and also vendors claim!


A friend of mine has 8 year old seedlings that he still did not repot because he's afraid that he can lose more than 40% of them because of repotting.

I tried to tell him that older Ario's are easy to repot but now with this report I can also show him it's easy to repot seedlings to!




If you repot into moist substrate it is indispensable to keep them dry before you do so!

This means that the substrate must have been complete dry for 4 weeks. This does not mean that you should water them the last time 4 weeks before watering. It means that after you watered them you wait until the substrate is dry and then you wait 4 more weeeks.


Ariocarpus Retusus var. Scapharostroides



Ariocarpus Agavoides



Ariocarpus Trigonus



Ariocarpus Fissuratus



May peace be with you my friends

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