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People during 2004 said...

202.180.83.6
Thursday, December 23, 2004

I've been growing San Pedro for ~12 years now - when you start with just 1 cutting, it seems as if you'll never really get anywhere. All I can say is, stick with it, and DO follow the advise on this site about composting, and don't take cuttings that are too small (I you have the material, go for 3 ft ones - but this is of course not completely necessary). wherever possible, always put them into the ground, rather than pots - they will reward you! This is the best site that I have come across so far for these fantastic plants - growing them IS addictive, and if your wife doesn't understand your obsession with them, you're not alone!;) Fantastic site, keep up the great work!!

When I was taught San Pedro rooting, Kate never did 3 ft ones due to the problems of support--they fall over. It was easier for her to stick with 12" ones as they could be set 2-3" deep in the rooting mix and not topple.

But if you simply use a support stake, taller ones can easily be rooted. In fact, I soon began digging holes in a field, back filling with compost/sand and setting 3 ft tips in them about 4" deep with redwood 1"x1" support stakes. I'd lay black shade net(70% shade) over them while rooting.

If you do this in the warm weather (spring/early summer) the plants rapidly root. The following year I could dig up nice plants with fat new growth and pups. Eventually I lined a driveway with San Pedro!

But moving a 5' tall plant with several branches is a bit awkward. I'd wrap them with thick quilts that moving companies use. Then 2 guys with shovels, *gloves*, and a wheel barrow. Don't water in a transplanted specimen right away as you would for a tree.

Let the cut roots heal over (in the soil) for a couple of weeks and leave shade net over it until you begin watering.

216.87.88.23
Thursday, December 23, 2004

holy moly! you got some MIGHTY big san pedros! i envy you to the max! Glad to see that your sharing with every1 else...can't wait to get mine :D!!!!!

12.101.44.66
Monday, November 29, 2004

I had a quick question: I know that San Pedro flower, but do they fruit as well? Are they edible? Some cacti have delicious fruits. I was wondering if San Pedro was one of them.
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San Pedro flowers but does not fruit. If you call a tiny, pithy ball of seeds fruit...but I don't. I know cactus fruit well and enjoy many of them. Some taste like the kiwi fruit but are white. The plant mistaken on ebay for Trichocereus Peruvianus, the Cereus Peruvianus makes wonderful fruit called the Peruvian apple. In fact, there are studies to grow it in Israel for the fruit as a farm crop. But San Pedro -- no! The flowers close up and sort of rot. The seeds form in a small hairy ball that dries up and breaks off. Believe me, if you knew how I like to eat nature's fruits and knew how many flowering San Pedro plants I have raised over the years...well...there is nothing to eat from Trichocereus Pachanoi! If there was I'd be the first to munch them. Now prickly pear---those make delicious red fruit! Watch the nasty fuzzy stickers.

69.225.81.124
Saturday, November 27, 2004

Hey, I bought a cutting from you awhile back and am trying to start it. Anyway, it's been sitting in the dirt for about a month now and doesn't seem to be rooting at all. The cactus itself is still firm and does not appear to be in bad health but it just isnt getting roots started. I have it in the cactus dirt mix i got from ace hardware and I've watered it a couple times. Any advice? Thanks
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Mine, too. Its the time of year. Darn nature! As the days get shorter and colder plants sense the need to "go dormant". I've been growing vegetables and other plants for years and the only way to fight dormancy in the winter is with artificially increasing the length of daylight. A greenhouse can do that but the lights are expensive. Right now I have about 100 plants sitting in soil like yours. No, I'm not dumb...it's just a way to get a head start on next year. The days will start to get longer after Dec. 21 and by February the plant will begin to wake up. When I root over-winter I get a great head start in the late winter/early spring on that year's growth spurt.

Don't water yours, during dormancy, so there is no rot problem. If you keep the plant healthy until spring you'll be very happy. I had 36" tips sit all winter until they rooted. But then they put on a foot of length and got very fat by May. I was blown away! Hope this helps! ;)

PS I have seen growth spurts in the winter, however. In Mountain View, CA we had numerous winter rain storms that come off the Pacific Ocean and they are warm--about 60 degrees. The Pedros thought it was summer in South America maybe and you could see them put on a foot of tip growth from December to February.

67.127.116.204
Thursday, November 04, 2004

My cutting rotted! Why?
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They all carry bacteria, of course. You may know that a human is covered with bacteria, and that soil is alive with it. There are red, yellow and black molds that appear on some cuts.

The goal is a paper white dry cut. When I cut a San Pedro the cut has to dry properly before it can be planted. A fresh cut put in soil will rot--just as a human being with a cut (put in dirt) can become infected. A cutting has a lowered immune system. The rooted, living plants can survive all sorts of damage. But not a cutting.

Cuttings often mold when I cut them outside of the dry, summer months. One of my literature things deals with use of alcohol to sterilize, an electric fan, etc. [ see: page 3 -- Cactus_TIPs_ebay.pdf ]

This time of year--cold and wet is when they rot. Farmers have similar problems with grain, apples in the root cellar, etc. The San Pedro cuttings will keep for a long time in a cool, dry, shady place. They only rot in high humidity--as when I wrap them in bubble wrap, etc. for shipping. Your experience prompts me to place a warning, during winter sales, to unpack upon arrival.

69.225.81.124
Thursday, November 04, 2004

Great site!

69.225.90.51
Monday, October 18, 2004

Hi, I got the San Pedro you shipped to me on Saturday. It was a wonderful experience doing business with you and I really appreciate the prompt service. It leaves a good impression to know that you sent out the San Pedro on the next business day, and the FedEx email updates are a good help too. I will recommend you to anyone I know that is interested in obtaining San Pedro. I assume that you do all of your business though eBay? I hope you will be doing this for some time in the future, as I may order more some day. Are all of your plants kept under fairly similar conditions? Also, what is the best way to get the cutting to root? I would assume that you would place the cactus 3 or 4 inches in the soil. should i not water the soil until i'm sure there are roots growing? I have a clay pot that's about 1.5 feet in diameter. is that sufficient for a 4inch wide cutting, or should I go out and buy a larger pot? I don't mind as i'll have to go get pumice anyhow. thanks, it's been a pleasure that i hope to repeat in the future


Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. You write well and express appreciation that I find rewarding. Your reaction is exactly what I want from customers.

Sure, I have lots to sell. All are grown in very similar in conditions--all from my original specimens cloned for 17 years. As an organic gardener I know the importance of living soil to nourish a plant. So they all get compost, worm compost mulch, fish emulsion, kelp extracts, etc. It is not just potting mix.

I had to dig up all my legacy plants in Mountain View & move this year. Huge job! You can see (above--the kid is a helper) that they are over-wintering before moving on to Oregon. I will need to sell many tips and rooted plants this winter and next spring.

As to how to root them---look at the picture above. The back row in large tubs are rooted stock; legacy plants. But the front row of black pots are all cuttings sitting in 50% perlite/50% local silty soil. No water. In only 3 weeks they are all tugging back when I lift the cutting.

I even pulled one out for examination today and was stunned to see multiple root buds in such a short time (and late in the year). Yes, the secret is the local soil. It is rich silt from the Sacramento valley. Fine textured, cool like silk. The cuttings had first dried for weeks -- you can see some have yellow/white tips from the dark. Now they are warm on that sheet of tar paper in bright diffused light and so ready to drink that they enthusiastically send out expeditionary root buds! I have not watered them yet. They do not need it. Cactus can drink atmospheric moisture through their stoma at night.

Nature is old and wise. The only secret is love. Everything in life thrives on it. ;) Verne

69.225.90.51
Sunday, October 17, 2004

Sometimes I think ebay bidders are idiots.

RE: A group of potted San Pedros that did not sell on ebay--only a couple of them sold. I re-potted the left behinds. They were all such promising specimens that I find myself shaking my head over the poor response. Many of the plants were deeply hurt that no one loved them...and I have been building up their confidence with daily words of encouragement. Anyway, I gave them all a top mulch of fresh worm castings after fish emulsion/kelp fertilizer.

In one month every one of them grew bigger and more lovely! So my tip to you is to up-pot yours--get a 4 gallon or larger container. Break the roots free to encourage new root growth. Potting mix is one thing, but a living soil is another. To make living soil you need compost or other organic material with the right beneficial bacteria and molds. The worm castings, if you can find fresh ones locally, inoculate the soil with healthy bacteria to help feed the roots. Your plant will double in size next year with the right treatment. ;)

Sometimes I think ebay bidders are idiots. Those were great specimens at bargain prices. Oh, well.

69.225.90.51
Sunday, October 10, 2004

Just got my cactus yesterday, and I was a little concerned - it has mold on both ends. Is this something to worry about? Can it just be cut off to no ill effect?

Oh, sorry. :(

Yeah, sometimes being wrapped up for shipping they can't breath and will mold. Yes, you have to re-cut it.

1) Slice a thin section (1/8th inch) off each end--enough to be sure the newly exposed end is clean. If you see any dark area after cutting then slice a little more off. Look at this picture and it should be this clean: san_pedro_cactus_section.htm

2) set the log in a warm, dry, shaded location. Put a small electric fan, on low, where it will blow air over the log. This will dehydrate the cut end in 24 hours. You will see the end sort of suck in and look like white paper. That is good!

3) If you have some rubbing alcohol you can splash the cut end and/or disinfect the knife to prevent infection. I use a squeeze bottle to wash the cuts. There are fungicides sold at garden stores but these have all sorts of nasty chemicals so I never use them.

This procedure (above) is not necessary during the warm, dry summer months. My cuts all dry in the shade no problem. But this time of year (autumn) the nights are cool and a bit damp and mold spores take hold. But just re-cut the moldy end and use the electric fan. After the 24 hours, when it is dehydrated, you can then let it rest in a dry, shaded place (in a closet is good) for a week to 10 days until the cut is healed enough to plant.

The end that goes in the soil is far less likely to rot if you use dry potting soil mix and do not water for weeks.

69.225.90.51
Thursday, October 07, 2004

Any idea how cold-hardy this little bugger is? We'll end up in the teens in a month or so. Over winter in garage? House? I usually wrap the frost hardy in burlap, but this one isn't rooted so I have no clue what to do. Any ideas?

Teens no good! Brrrr....

I had tips freeze and die at 26 degrees (3-nights) but the main stalks lived. They all re-budded and grew 2-3 new tips/each. Take into the garage for winter is OK. do not water till spring if it is that cold. The house is OK if it can get some good light. Then you can water once in a while. A rooted San Pedro will tell you it is thirsty by doing a Karen Carpenter imitation with the ribs sucked in. Plump ribs=lots of stored water.

If the plant is in the ground...I dunno. I live in California. Ask local garden center experts how to cover cold intolerant plants? Down ski parka? ;)

69.225.90.51
Thursday, October 07, 2004

I was wondering if it would be ok to root my cactus in my cactus mix of garden soil and perlite. I have this huge bunch of soil and pot, but no sand.

Matt, Long explanation here: san_pedro_cactus_potting_soil.htm Shorter one here: index5.htm Sand is necessary to prevent "hard pan". Non-sandy soil can harden up like packed dirt. Sand prevents it. Home Depot has 50 lb bags for $4. Try to get a course sand with little tiny pebbles in it--not smooth play sand or 30 mesh. River sand, sharp sand, etc. like used to mix with cement for rough work. Compost on top and a living soil with microbes underneath churning up the soil will work, too. A compost mulch, 1-2" thick (after rooting) is excellent. When you water it will soak in instead of hard-panning the dirt surface. Root in 1:1:1 soil/sand/perlite. Do not water. After rooting, when it is growing OK, mulch with compost and/or worm castings--these help to create a living soil instead of a container of dead "dirt." The plant will be much healthier. ;) So yes, GET SOME SAND!

69.225.90.51
Friday, October 01, 2004

I have a question.. I bought san pedros and they have new growths on them .... I don't like the way they look coming off the logs, so can I just cut them off the log and try to root them??? Any help/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Timm ..............

Oh yes! That is what I do. I just cut mine--the larger ones from this picture have since been harvested at small tips to root into new plants. index8.htm Just slice off about 1-areol (pores where spines grow out of) above the log. Let dry in a cool shady place for 2 weeks then set in potting soil. This time of year rooting will be slow as nature goes into dormancy for the winter. Just keep the rooting tips warm, dry and with shady light. Check for roots every month. Don't water until you see root buds. If you don't water all winter they'll still be fine. They do not need water until they root and start to grow.

67.124.140.112
Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I bought a 3 foot long cactus around 5 months ago and it's been growing well over the summer. I have a few questions though: The 5 flower buds that were on it fell off. Is that normal or a bad sign? Also, in the past few weeks I have noticed yellow-ish streaks running along the cactus, particularly towards the bottom. Is that a bad sign, and if so, what does it mean? It has been hot here, so maybe that is a factor? Please give me some tips on how to care for my cactus.

1)  Send me a photo? Flower buds falling off is OK. It'll flower each year. You can't always get a cutting to flower the first year. May have been a bit stressed from leaving home and being rooted by a stranger? ;)

2)  "Growing well..." Does it have roots? Tug back when you lift on it? They can "grow" (longer) without roots. My point is that if it has a tentative root system, not well developed, it can't handle much full sun.

3)  Is it in full sun? If in a black plastic pot this can overheat the roots and you'll get a generalized yellowing. I keep mine in a 30% shade cloth enclosure to ensure rich emerald green color. Yellow streaking can be heat stress that will disappear in time when conditions are less stressed--more shade, more roots, lower temperature. In fact, I have had bright yellow ones that survived.

Yellow streaks can be something else--variegated. This is a rare cactus and succulent event that is prized. In fact, Dr. Poot asked permission (which of course I gave him) to snap off one of my yellow variegated branches. He is rooting it to grow that as a variegated plant. My biggest mother plant had occasional variegated limbs. Nature does this stuff, you know?

67.124.143.232
Thursday, September 09, 2004
06:47 PM -0500

>>Would it be possible to cut the 18" logs into, for instance, 4 or 5 slices and root each of these after letting the cuts dry out? <<

Your hypothesis seems to be based on a bud growing from nutrients obtained through the roots. This is false. In fact buds will grow on logs that have no roots (see Smart Survivor: san_pedro_cactus.htm just as logs without roots have been observed to flower (index30.htm

Rooted stumps will bud and grow rapidly as one would expect: (index23.htm But un-rooted logs will also bud and grow the bud from stored energy.

The formation and growth of buds seems related to the amount of stored energy in the cut log--a larger log will have more energy to produce bigger, faster growing buds before the log has developed roots. Therefore, the smaller you cut the log the less stored energy is available to grown new buds.

 12" is the shortest log I recommend. That can be laid horizontally or planted 3-4" deep vertically. Both seem to work very well---but a vertical is more natural to keep as a normal plant. I usually only harvest tips from horizontal logs when the tip is 8" or taller and more than 2" diameter.

Cutting up a log into slices might work, but will be slower and produce smaller, less vigorous tips. In fact, I have some small pieces that budded and they produced finger sized tips that are cute but slooow to grow.

68.123.33.57
Saturday, August 21, 2004
03:22 PM -0500

On ebay some seller was getting big bucks for cuttings of Cereus Peruvianus. I could immediately spot that it was not a Trichocereus Peruvianus. I researched and found this:

>>> Cereus Peruvianus: Ornamental cactus often confused with T. Peruvianus. This common ornamental cactus contains no mescaline and is not known to be psychoactive. http://leda.lycaeum.org/?ID=14676 <<<

82.77.98.27
Monday, August 16, 2004
04:24 AM -0500

Hello friends, check it; http://www.loser.com [URL changed]

Site Admin: Another place so desperate to sell overpriced cuttings that they sneak into our guest book trying to attract customers. ebay auctions set the price for fair value, not these clowns.

68.123.33.57
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
11:13 PM -0500

Hi - I was just wondering if you could e-mail me instructions for re-potting these.

Go to Home Depot and buy some potting soil. Check out: index6.htm Horizontal or vertical, ah, that is the question.index7.htm

If vertical which end is up? Ah! index16.htm

Secret: Don't water. If they get thirsty they'll root. If you water'em they rot. Give'em time/keep in shade. Check monthly for roots. Then water, let dry, water again. Once rooted water and fertilize regularly. Introduce gradually to full sun or they will burn (sun burn). Never move a plant that has been in full sun unless you keep the same side facing the sun. The "back side" can sun-burn if you suddenly turn it into the sun.

67.124.140.158
Saturday, July 10, 2004
04:58 PM -0500

Q) ...They're also developing a light blue tint to the skin. Can you recommend any nutrients to give them to enhance the blue?

A) No. The blue is a wax the plant exudes. It rubs off. There is no information I am aware of that shows any correlation between blue wax production and plant fertilizer. I only have observed that excessive heat/light can cause San Pedro to reduce chlorophyll and become yellow tinted. Some cacti are inherently bluer--look at some of the bluish specimens at Bob Ressler's site: CEREUS-- http://www.columnar-cacti.org/cereus/index.html AZUREOOCEREUS; http://www.columnar-cacti.org/azureocereus/index.html TRICHOCEREUS; http://www.columnar-cacti.org/trichocereus/index.html However I think your question is related to a myth that blue equals higher mescaline content. I would classify this as a mere urban legend. http://www.urbanlegends.com/

67.127.116.204
Monday, July 05, 2004
11:13 PM -0500

RE: What kind of cactus do I have? Send me a picture and I'll try to help you--but send a decent photo (not a blurred blob) and no more that 800 pixels wide. If you do not know how to make email sized pictures have someone teach you to crop and resize, then use JPEG compression. Your cactus may be a generic Cereus species (quite common) so look here first: http://www.columnar-cacti.org/cereus/index.html

144.138.57.251
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
12:10 AM -0500

I realize this is a question not a comment-but here goes anyway. I have an 8 ft. high cactus identical to those in your photographs aside from the fact there are many branches and it grows from one main trunk. Can this be a San Pedro ? Ardelstane.

24.140.6.113
Sunday, June 27, 2004
09:39 PM -0500

i have just got a cacti that looked like the san pedro exept it has 5 ribs. im not sure what it is. if you have any idea what it is i would appreciate it. thank you. if it helps i got it at a nursery.

63.170.118.182
Monday, June 21, 2004
11:25 AM -0500

Hi, I just wanted to say that your pictures are amazing, I have a San Pedro approaching the 2 ft. mark (terrible two). I recieved it as a cutting when it was almost a foot and a half. It is growing but the top diameter is way too small. The ribs seem full but I'm sure I'm not doing something right. If I need to water more, how much water should I be giving it per week? I'd appreciate your help, Jesse

Skinny tip is too much growth with not enough roots, and insufficient light. It is growing without the "food" to fill out. Give it rich soil, a bigger pot for a bigger root system, and feed it plant food. All day sun under 30% shade netting is perfect to keep San Pedro dark green. Too much sun and they yellow (reduce chlorophyll) to protect themselves. If you correct these factors the plant will eventually stabilize, fill out and grow normally. Remember--this is a tree sized species--don't sweat the childhood years.

63.170.118.182
Thursday, June 17, 2004
11:45 AM -0500

The mix I describe is a perfect growing media for rooting and afterwards in containers. The drainage provided by the perlite will help prevent rot from over watering. But rooting can be done in vermiculite only, sand only, and/or perlite only. I never have done it that way--only with the mix I described.

That mix allows me to pull up the tip to check for roots--it gives way easily and then can be scooped back to let it keep trying to root. Some tips take a couple of months. Usually in 2 month the cutting is rooted strongly enough that it pulls the entire pot up when I tug--I can pick it up pot and all by the tip. That is a good root system. 50% perlite mix is also good for container growing because the total soil weight will be light enough that you can move a 25 gallon container without killing yourself.

I used to just root them in plain local dirt + sand. Works fine. Think about this--for millions of years San Pedro rooted itself in whatever dirt it fell on. I have rooted tips only by setting them on leaf mulch (on the surface of fallen leafs), sitting on top of hard clay (forgot about the poor cutting and discovered it months later...) etc.

By "organic" soil I mean dirt that has humus added. Humus feeds roots with the minerals, without it the plant can't feed itself very well. A San Pedro will live in crappy soil but not grow as fast or be as healthy. I always recommend "planting out" in the local dirt after rooting. I had hard clay in Mountain View so I'd dig a pit and back fill it with compost, sand, and sifted dirt. But in your area the plants will freeze to death! Use large "tree pot" containers so you can dolly them or hand-truck them into a house, garage, etc. when the winter arrives. Below 26 or 28 degrees tips will die. Below that for more than a few days the whole plant will die. They can go dormant in a garage for the winter. Don't water them until spring. They'll be fine.

63.170.118.182
Thursday, June 10, 2004
05:36 PM -0500

ebay is the only place for decent priced cuttings I know of...

24.140.6.94
Monday, June 07, 2004
10:15 PM -0500

does any body know where to find cuttings, at a decent price? ive been wanting to grow cacti for a long time ive heard these are the easiest ,the hardyest, and one of the most butiful around. That and they dont have very big spines! thanks for all the info kh

63.192.33.59
Friday, May 14, 2004
01:38 PM -0500

Q:Note: I have read elsewhere that the cutting must be "healed" before it can be rooted. Is that in fact true? (I have read through your planting instructions). A: Yes is true. But it is healed by now and will be ready to plant when you get it. A fresh cut is a wound and needs to have a scab so it does not infect when planted. When freshly cut, they are wet and can mold which leads to rot. This time of year it is warm and dry here so any cut section put in a shady place will dry/heal without problems. In the wet rainy season they tend to mold so the alcohol wash/electric fan technique helps. The fan dehydrates a cut end even if the humidity is high. After 24 hrs the end like paper and the cutting may then be left to fully heal without it molding. 2-weeks to 1-month is great to allow healing the cut.

63.192.33.59
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
03:58 PM -0500

Other cactus you ask? Grow by seed?
All I have is the San Pedro. A project from 17 years ago that multiplied into a forest! Many cactus are propagated from cuttings--seed growing is for professionals with the temp controlled germinators, etc. Cuttings root so easily that growing by seed strikes me as bizarre. It would make sense for a commercial operation but not for a home hobbyist.

As an ex-farmers market grower I started thousands of vegetable, herb and flowers by seed each year--but never cactus. First I would not trust the seed. Is it viable? (commercial sellers have to verify germination rates) Is it a pure strain? Maybe the flowers cross pollinated and the seller has no clue. One could end up with a hybrid inadvertently. In fact, there is a pachanoi-peruvians hybrid being sold.

Cuttings are cloning. You propagate by cuttings always in horticulture when you collect to ensure purity from the specimen. For example: You select a mint or a flower you like and take a cutting. Why? Because all plants easily cross breed and there are huge variations in the texture, growing habit and flavor of something as supposedly pure as say "spearmint". In fact there are many sub-varieties of most plants.

I would not raise a plant from seed unless the grower was a commercial establishment with known plant strains/germination rates/ etc. I buy seed from "Seeds of Change", for example, and you may enjoy visiting their site and get a catalog. Read about their collection of heirlooms to get an appreciation of the situation.

I'd pass on anyone's "Pachanoi" seed unless they could be proven to be a reliable source--is it a pure strain or a hybrid? Then you'd have to have a temp. controlled germinator, high cleanliness (no mold) and a lot of patience! I know one person who is experimenting with seed growing and hope to collect his experiences since he is a tech by trade who records data very well like a scientist.

Cuttings are so reliable and fast it makes seed growing look silly. But if you wanted to produce 1,000 plants then seeds would be the economical way to get started. But I created a forest of Pachanoi with only five cuttings. Many times I had to thin out thickets of them. I simply chopped them down and threw them away. That was before ebay! ;)

Other cactus? Check out this excellent resource: http://cactiguide.com Trichocereus is now in the echinopsis family: http://cactiguide.com/Echinopsis.htm I have some Echinopsis spachiana which are beautiful and fast growing. I am growing them from cuttings, too. http://cactiguide.com/graphics/e_spachiana_a_600.jpg

When I move I want to grow some prickly pear and barrel cactus. You may want to look for one of these books: http://cactiguide.com/Sources.htm ;)

Russell R.

63.192.33.59
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
12:46 AM -0500

The cut end has to be dry (healed) and it will be when you get it. Then just set it in potting soil and leave it alone. I like to add lots of perlite for drainage and so the roots don't get bound up in hard dirt. To prevent rot: don't water the cutting!. It is a cactus--that means it keeps its stoma closed in the day but can store energy from light for photosynthesis. At night the stoma open and transpire. This is all grade school plant science, I know. Anyway, cactus open their stoma at night NOT DURING THE DAY like other plants such as trees. This lets in air with CO2 for the energy/sugar making cycle thing. They also can obtain H2O from air at night. Then they close their stoma during the hot day so they don't lose water. That is a cactus! The secret to rooting a cutting without rot is neglect (don't water them), time of year (spring!) and low humidity (spring/summer warmth). They will send root buds out from the buried end without any water having to be present. They are exploring for water...if the soil is wet all the time it rots them as microbes start doing their job. After a few weeks just moisten the soil every few day or once a week. Keep them in a bright but shady place. If you live in a wet, rainy, humid area try rooting in vermiculite or sand. They are free of soil bacteria so you will not get rot. Then when the plant has roots it will feed, strengthen its immune system and not be bothered by normal soil microbes. So if you just set a cutting in soil, in the shade, in the warm spring or summer time and neglect it the cutting will kick into survival mode and make roots. But if the pot is too small and in direct sun you will cook the roots, so keep the pot shaded or cool. No, not in the refrigerator. ;)

63.192.33.59
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
03:00 AM -0600

I am not an expert in container growing. The thing to remember about how I feed my plants is that I grow out in the ground--not in containers. Outdoors I can apply top mulches of worm compost in the spring. I use a hose sprayer (shown in the hand out) for large scale watering with miracle grow --as an easy way to apply a balanced fertilizers-- but prefer fish emulsion (also in the hose sprayer) most as I do for my tomatoes. Liquid kelp is also applied by water hose sprayer as it is great to folar feed. Kelp contains plant growth regulators and strengthens plants against diseases. But I also use organic "rock powders" such as green sand, rock phosphate and oyster shell or dolomite lime. Then there is compost tea, something else I do to inoculate with beneficial micro-organisms.

This stuff is all explained in books on organic farming. Or just get the catalogs and read those. Peaceful Valley farm supply http://www.groworganic.com/ is a great source. Get their catalog and look it over. Full on good info as it is from farmers near the University of California agriculture programs in the Central Valley. The point is that plant roots can't feed without humus. With humus they don't care where the ions come from--calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron, nitrogen, etc. In a container this is a problem as roots get bound up tight, use up the humus...and mineral salts build up.

San Pedro can only be grown in containers like you can grow apple trees in containers. It is called Bonsai. I have never seen a 12 foot tall San Pedro in a pot. Have you ever seen an apple tree in a container?

I grow my plants in the ground, not in containers. So how one feeds container plants is not in my area of expertise. My plants are only rooted in pots, then planted out in mother earth.

63.192.33.59
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
02:38 AM -0600

Q: Do you use chemicals on your cactus? A: Problem is that non-farmers do not understand the organic issues--there are chemicals allowed for "Certified Organic" that are still controversial. When people ask about organic chemicals I point out that gasoline is organic. Crude oil comes from mother nature herself--bubbles naturally out of the ground. Copper sulphate is technically inorganic but allowed for use in Certified Organic. Copper sulphate is a deadly poison. So is Rotenone insecticide but since rotenone is from a plant root it is allowed for organic agriculture but only is applied so many days before market, etc. A plant root can't tell the difference between a phosphorus ion from a "chemical fetilizer" and phosphate rock. Phosphate rock is a natural chemical fertilizer and standard of "organic agriculture" yet it is an inorganic chemical. I could go on. But I do not use any insecticides on my plants or other poisons. But if the fish emulsion fetilizer is made from fish...well fish have PCBs and mercury in them. There are chemicals in the water people use to water their plants...etc.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004
11:56 PM

Logging works but is not very efficient. They seem to take longer to establish themselves. But that may be because I never did anything more than toss then in the weeds. They use the stored energy from the tissues to root and bud. If they were helped by having soil mounded around the sides and more watering than I have done -- they would establish faster. ***Vertical logging may be better. As long as you know which end is the "up" end. I have simply set tips on the ground, supported by a fence and they rooted themselves in one season. A tipless log would do just as well, and bud 2 or three tips at the blunt cut up end. Again, deliberately setting the bottom inch in loose soil and water once in a while would speed it up. I believe that rooting from the end, instead of out the sides is more efficient. I believe that growing buds from the vertical cut is more productive than budding out of the side. Logging to me is really fun lazyness--to toss pieces on the ground and have them miraculously sprout into plants.

Thursday, February 26, 2004
11:30 PM

This is cool!

Friday, January 09, 2004
11:26:45 AM

I am a teacher in Evanston, Il, and we are studying cactus because San Pedro is very inspirational. We needed a picture for our report. Thank you!

 
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