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Just a quick hello all the way from New Zealand and thanks for all the helpful info on your site. (great photos too) Its been very helpful starting me off with san pedro.

Reguards Glen
Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Funny guy. I'd like also to put (or putt) Ortho (& Scott's outta business). Enlightening commentary.

I highly agree with your regimen; I include all of those except the yucca extract, which I was about to obtain. Googling it brought me to your website.

Can you elaborate further on what you like about the product (or any other available potent or pure yucca extract) and how it works (other than simply adding "micro-organisms") ? What compounds might be inherent and how are they assimilated or utilized by the plant ? Awaiting your response with a chuckle--Thanks !
The yucca extract, ThermX 70 was purchased here: http://www.biconet.com/soil/thermX70.html

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply also has it: http://www.groworganic.com/item_PSA000_Therm_X70_Yucca_Extract_Quart.html

What is ThermX?
ThermX is a concentrated plant extract and meal containing steroid saponin. This natural compound is found in certain desert plants like Yucca. Steroid saponin helps these plants overcome the adverse growing conditions of the desert. When placed in the root zone, ThermX helps crop plants in much the same manner.

How does ThermX work?
Action in Soils: Steroid saponin is a natural wetting agent that reduces surface tension. This action enhances better:

� Water penetration into the soil
� Subbing of beds
� Drainage of excess water from the root zone
� Action on Plants: Under stress conditions, steroid saponin increases the plant's ability to utilize water more efficiently, resulting in:

� Improved seed germination and stand establishment
� Increased water uptake
� Improved fertilizer uptake

Both websites offer the stuff I use and explain it. Read the Peaceful Valley descriptions for Kelp, Yucca, etc., etc. It's all pretty standard for organic growers to use these; I started 20 years back growing many varieties of tomatoes, basil, and peppers for the local Farmer's Market. I sold next to several major organic farms that supplied Whole Foods in the Bay Area. That was great experience--but I always highly recommend Eliot Coleman's books.

I just got in the habit of using liquid kelp, fish emulsion, etc. I'd use a hose end mixer and spray heavy applications over the entire plants every week. They produced tons of produce month after month--even setting tomatoes in October/November in the mild climate of Mountain View.

I'd spray the same stuff on my San Pedro --learning that if you treat them like produce they love the attention!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Beautiful site! Thank you!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hey Vern, Just wondering how the peruvianus seeds I sent you were doing. Last I heard from you you were pretty happy. Send some pics when you've got some time. Pete. sanclandscape@msn.com


They look like last time only a few months older. How about I photo them in the spring?
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hello. I'm from Chile. I was searching information about Chileans Trichocereus (now Echinopsis) and I found your website... I think that is not easy to find Trichocereus glaucus f. pendens RITTER from Arica, Chile -not from Peru- (now called Echinopsis glauca f. pendens). In case that you want to exchange some seeds I have some of Trichocereus deserticola, from Huasco, Chile and also T. chiloensis, from Santiago near my house. greetings from Chile, Florencia & Juan http://www.flickr.com/photos/cactushorridus/sets/


Your website photos are truly the most beautiful, spectacular, mystical, and professional I have ever seen. They make me want to hop a plane to visit those incredible natural locations where you find such exquisite specimens.

As for the nomenclature stuff with Echinopsis...UGH! There is a place in Hell for those who destroy the Trichocereus family and lump it into the other. It is about as ignorant as calling every breed of dog a mutt.

My friend Elton Roberts refers to the "lumper dumpers"1 �as a derogatory way of dismissing them �I completely ignore the Echinopsis dumping as rank stupidity. The old Trichocereus category is just fine.

1) lumper dumper is a derogatory term for those who revise classifications by "lumping together" varieties and "dumping them" into a new category.

From: "Mike" <ml26@rogers.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007

Hi. I'm located in Toronto, Canada, and have been growing Tichocereus Pachanoi since the mid 70's, all peices taken from a good sized mother plant I was able to aquire then. I just ran across your site by accident while looking for some gel rooting hormone, and have to say that you've done some absolutely beautiful cactus landscaping.

Those are wonderful healthy looking plants. Unfortunately our cold winters and relatively short summers don't allow for true cactus gardens as everything has to come indoors in the winter, and it can be a chore at times to keep them healthy.

Also, my wife isn't too happy about always having to help cart everything indoors till next spring.
I'll be starting some new Pachanoi and Peruvians( at least I hope they're peruvians) seedlings shortly to get them ready for an outdoor summer planting next year, but I've got to say I'm pretty envious of the job you're doing down there and the beautiful set up you have. I hope I'm not bothering you, but again just wanted to say it made my evening to see your photos, and it's great to read your tips on proper cultivation.

Best Regards,
Mike Lant
Thank you so much! I live alone and work hard to farm these plants. City dwellers have no idea how much work and concentration it requires. So thank you Mike. Hey! Please check back for the upcoming night time farm tour by photo flash with little Raccoony. I'll post a photo spread this week.
These poor guys were in containers since I moved from Mountain View 3-years ago. I finally fulfilled my promise to plant them and they are very happy now.
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007
From: Scott Tucker <tucker686@yahoo.com>
Subject: Beauties!

I sent a thank you e-mail for a beautiful San Pedro I received a couple weeks ago and I can't help but thank you again this time for the Peruvian Torch. I recently purchased a cutting from another distributor, exact same variety, but side by side your's puts theirs to shame. The two are the same size in height but the girth, spines and general appearance is so much healthier with yours. I can only hope I can treat mine with the love you obviously show for your cacti.

Thanks, Tucker
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dear Sir, Thank you very much for creating this fantastic website. This is definitely the most authoritative website for San Pedro and Peruvian Torch. Cheers.
Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hi, Very impressive site...I don't know if I can ask this question here...I had a 6' peruvianus which couldn't support itself anymore and fell over. I cut it into 24" pieces--can they be replanted? or is it only with the growing tips? Thanks

I'd first wonder why a 6' specimen couldn't support itself. It should be growing in what they call a "tree pot". A large Peruvianus needs a lot of root space--not the constricted space of a flower pot type container.

Yes, you can root the column sections as shown on this site. The growing tip roots fastest/easiest but column sections will also root if you are patient. It can takes months to root a section but this time of year it may require all winter until next spring.

You may slice it up into as small as 12" cuttings (24" is fine). I highly recommend clonex gel be applied to the cuts that will be in soil. It is late in the year to root so use a fan to speed up drying/callusing (4-5 days).

Get some potting soil from a garden center and a bag of perlite. I recently saw that Home Depot has 3.5 cubic foot bags of perlite for $18. Mix the potting soil 50-50 with perlite. Don't add any water.

Set the cuttings (after 4-5 days in front of an electric fan) in the mix at least 2-3 inches deep. The night time soil temp has to stay warm for rooting (70 degrees is ideal), but protect from direct sun in the day (or you will sunburn cutting). Download my rooting sheet for a guide. It may not root until spring or 2008 since it is so late in the season.

You probably won't need to water the cuttings until spring. Lift up the pieces monthly to look for root buds. Mist the cuttings in the evening when their stoma open to help prevent dehydration if you see them looking like Karen Carpenter (anorexia).

If they do root during the winter, water lightly until spring.
Friday, August 03, 2007

Hi! Your site has been a wealth of information and I really appritiate all the hard work you've done puting it together.

From: "PETER JONES" <SANCLANDSCAPE@msn.com> /Subject: RE: Rivers Source /Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2007


Loved your review on Rivers source... I had the same EXACT gripe months ago with this guy.  I could show you the exact problems...Pathetic. And that weight thing.... I Got the same response/ run around. Whatever. ... I have been using your method of micro nutrients, worm casings, FISH EMULSION, Great drainage an lots of water & big pots for a few months with wonderful results.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but when I went to the green house to grab some photos for you I discovered that my wife had finally done away with all the miserable plants. I had them sort of tucked out of eyesight so I didn't have to look at them. She was the one trying pointlessly to bring them around. I gave up trying to get money back. And that weight thing.... don't even get me started! The plants where exactly like the ones in your photos.... twisted, Pathetic.

I have had wonderful results from seeds from icarosdna.yage.net Check it out. Julio is a wonderful man to deal with.

We do higher end landscape work here in Colorado, and believe me we have to deal with our fair share of outright criminals and scam artists and the messes they make and bad feelings they cause on a daily basis. We applaud what you're doing!!! keep up the good work.


PS. I've had great luck with Koehres in Germany Too.
Pete & Tami Jones - Sanctuary Outdoor Living & Landscaping, Inc. Monument, CO 80132
Office: (719)-488-9113 / Cell: (719)-339-5185

From: "amber and jeremy" <raventree3@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007


I had the same problems you document with Knize, but some of my seed germinated OK. I agree with you that he provides no invoices, no traceable way to pay and no recourse if he doesn't ship...and it takes months! But what I hate is he doesn't provide a lot # on the seed for date of collection, etc. Its a real crap shoot with that guy. I'm glad you mention European suppliers since that is the only safe place to buy seed with viable germination rates.

Thanks! Good web site.

Yeah, my recent KK seed order had zero germination. Knize 2007 (KK242 and KK339) seed was completely worthless; but my European seed order --planted at the same time-- in the same incubation chamber germinated perfectly. Stick with Europe. At least they ship quickly, provide an invoice, etc.
Thursday, June 28, 2007

HI, I just discovered your website, and I can't really say anything that hasn't been said already, so I'll stick with, "It's great!". I recently got into cacti, and since learning about them (through you) I really wanted a peruvian torch.

Well, I now have about 5 different types of cacti, and they are all growing great! I just wanted to thank you for your invaluable help on my ongoing adventure in to the world of Cacti.

Thank you for enjoying the site.
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Short Hello from Europe!
This has to be the best place were one can learn how to grow sacred cacti! Although I have no previous experience with cacti generally, the key thing I think is love, lots of it :-) (and of course humus/worm castings/50% perlite) I've germinated like 30 of them from seeds and they give so much pleasure taking care of them.

Don't know how to put the picture in here but it doesn't matter cause they are HEALTHY! (hope they stay that way) I wrote you an e-mail but no answer yet :D hehehe...guess a lot of work these days! Keep on the good work! Peace

Lot of work? ;) No joke.
Its called farming. Yeah, its a LOT of work this time of year. Thank God for cool evenings, cats, and music to pass time transplanting, mixing cubic yards of potting soil mix, planting...

Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007

hi, you have without question the most impressive site on cacti/san pedro cultivation that i've found, and i've been looking for awhile. the directions, the pictures, the amount of information is really something else. i'd like to make just one suggestion (which might be more trouble than its worth, i don't know how one would do it exactly) and that would be a "site map". there's so much there, pieces of information about how the cactus roots or what that color is or which kinds of things emerge from where, and sometimes i've had trouble finding the same page twice! may you have much happiness growing! thanks, shaiya


Point well taken. The site is like the Winchester House--constant building but no architect. Hell, I can't even find some of the pages anymore.

The key? HOME has the most complete nav bar that leads to all sub-nav bars. But some things are un-indexed by design such as the rooting tutorial. That is only listed during spring-early summer.

Thank you for your comments. Really rare to receive anything so coherent.

Note: thanks! the san pedro i bought from you got scale and is gonna die i think, but i live in new york. would love to get one to live here in my apartment.

I have no experience growing San Pedro inside; I only grow outside.But I know that insects attack plants producing too much carbohydrates or plant sugars caused by too much nitrogen fertilizer. I'd recommend you talk to a local house plant store/expert.

I don't know of scale being fatal, just parasitic sucking...scale, I believe can be killed safely with neem oil?

Give the san pedro non-chlorinated water, less fertilizer --and only during spring/summer. Bright but diffused light lets them grow slowly without etiolation. Like a south facing window with a white gauze?

Insects infect sick plants--not healthy ones. Check the soil? Peat moss based soil mixes get acidic. I use compost instead of peat. If you have acid soil then add limestone. I check PH with test strips and use powdered marble (limestone) for fast acting and ground oyster shell (flour) for slower acting.

I have never known a san pedro to die from insects. Insects, to me are a symptom of underlying ill health. Health = correct type of/and amount of soil+water+light

White spots appeared / Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hello, I bought this cactus from you awhile ago and it's been growing very well, but recently white spots appeared and kinda propagate up (on one side only). It's really disturbing to see that, please advise how to heal this (I checked Disease section but did not find similar images) Thanks in advance


I disagree with your assertion "...it's been growing very well," In fact it has not been growing well at all. It is etiolated. No, there are no pictures of this in the disease section because this site is not about disease; it is about how to naturally grow healthy specimens.
[by the way--the sick plant shown on the Disease page, held up by a twist tie, was later for sale on ebay. I am not kidding. It had healed, yet I recognized that poor thing.] The disease section begins:
Why, why, why, why...do I get emails month after month asking what to do for diseased San Pedro? Is my entire website serving no purpose? Is the attention span of the visitor so superficial that the only thing they find is my email address? Apparently so.

Your plants are sick because you make them sick. You treat them like "things" and not like living beings. The sickness in your plants is a mirror of the sickness in you.
My website shares information about how I grow plants. It is basic "organic agriculture" which is in simplest terms just imitating nature. Ever noticed how beautiful trees are in a forest? Nature shows us how its done.

Many people think plants are dumb things that they have to control like a pet, or a lab experiment. If "it" has a problem then there must be a chemical or "trick" to fix it. That's wrong thinking.

Plants are living beings that coexist with us in a universe where consciousness pervades everything. The plant becomes a manifestation of what you did to it.

Nature hides nothing from us; but a person who has no eyes can't see that. If you really did buy this plant from me it came with a "Cacti-care" sheet that has been ignored. All plants need sunlight; organic, living soil; clean, non-chlorinated water; and respect for whatever they need to keep themselves healthy. As caretaker of the plant you have to provide it with a natural environment. San Pedro have been growing just fine for tens of thousands of years before recorded history. Their only disease is humans.

How deep do their root systems go?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I need to move a couple San Pedros in my yard that are between 2 to 7 feet high to replace them with a hedge. I was thinking of digging the entire cacti out and moving them roots and all. How deep do their root systems go? Is this a practical idea? Some of the Cacti are peruvianus. I'm not looking forward to moving the big suckers.

Start digging.

Nice new pics
Monday, March 26, 2007

Thanks for the new photos! Nice to know you have documented San pedro being cold hardy to 22 degrees F. Also I appreciate your comments on the problems with cactus seed. I had many problems, lots of work, etc. and when I got some to grow my cat used it for a litter box.

When to repot?
Friday, March 23, 2007

Just wanted to let you know my 7 Peru's arrived today. They all look great ! (despite the mean Fed-Ex tossing) Question: how long until they shall need to be repotted? thanks again!

I repotted a couple months back. That should be good till they show a couple of inches of growth. I can't predict your growing conditions/rates, etc.

Try to up-pot to avoid roots running circles around the pot. You can periodically take one (before watering) out of the 4" pot to check the root ball to see if its bound. It is easier when the soil is dried out.

Go up to at least a 6" round pot next. The more root space they have the bigger the root system, the faster the growth, the less stressed they are with watering concerns. After all, in the earth the roots can dig for the water they need.


Hidden Trout
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The problem with Trout is that he's hiding his identity. He is obviously paranoid that the DEA would show up at his door if they knew who he was. In similar manner his "specimens" are from fictitiously named owners like "Oz"! Probably all these folks grow mushrooms, pot and engage in all sorts of illegal alkaloid usage. Drug use may well explain his substandard writing. If the old fish has an editor he must be one hell of a pothead!

Since these cacti have an ethnobotanical heritage [see: Josh Bernstein] their classification could be understood in that context. Someone needs to document the various Trichocereus varieties as they occur in Peru. What name do the local natives use for a particular plant? Plot maps for the region in which it is found. Photograph actual field specimens with a color correction bar in the photo and the standard meter stick, etc. Such an approach would clear up all the nonsense being generated by the Fish with his minions of fellow drug fiends.

Documenting native Trichocereus is an excellent idea. It would be wonderful to see all the varieties of San Pedro, Peruvian Torch, and Bridgesii as they naturally grow in Peru. If I were a millionaire I'd be on the next airplane to Peru.

Tell it like it is
Sunday, March 04, 2007

Very nice website and great photos. Your comments about that verbose blowhard "Trout" (http://www.trichocereus.com/trouts_snout.htm) are hilarious! Isn't he the "armchair expert"? Not one photo of a specimen growing in Peru, Bolivia, etc. This guy hasn't left his backyard yet pontificates about species native to another hemisphere of the planet.

His writing is a joke. Colleges offer English Composition at the Freshman level for good reason. If a student fails to learn how to organize material, how to write in a clear style--then all their future work will only make readers yawn, roll their eyes and toss it aside. Trout's paragraph long sentences are as ridiculous as you point out. His stuff reads like one of those classic 1950's Japanese direction manuals on how to assemble "mower machine lawn."

You must have read Pirsig's classic Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The author made fun of the bad instruction manuals while making a compelling case for excellence in technical writing. That certainly changed my view of and tolerance for bad writing. I don't respect anyone who thinks their first draft is perfect. Like Hemingway said "The first draft of anything is shit." Yet snot nosed know-it-alls refuse to allow editors to alter one word of their crap. Its a joke.

So thank you for being the only website I know of to tell it like it is. Trout has done a huge disservice to the Trichocereus varieties. The lack of color photos, and the absence of color standardized ones is as unforgivable as his endless snapshots lacking scale objects. And your point about his choice of specimens is worthy, too. Small cuttings and buds in flower pots have little in common to the real specimens grown to full size in the earth. K in Ga

Thank you!
Saturday, March 03, 2007

I've just found your site. I haven't explored everything you've written about cultivation yet, but I will. Found your cats...that was much appreciated...I had two who lived for 18 years each and have passed now...yes, cats respond if you treat them with the dignity and thoughtfulness you'd give a human. Thumbs up to you and may your cats prosper. Re. cactus. A couple years ago, I inherited a single extremely long slim cactus (it was about 5') in a narrow pot from a friend who was moving out of the area. Looking at Google images, I'm guessing that it's a San Pedro, but the oldest branch (or trunk? what do you call those?) has only 3 ribs...the other two have 4 and 5. I have treated it with the basics, or most of them, but would like to move on to better care. I've never raised a cactus before, so here's what I've done; what should I do differently? I've wintered it in a coolish room (down to 60-65 at night) with lots of windows, where it gets daylight indirect light ; I water it sparingly in the winter but never cut the water entirely off; in the summer, I wean it to outdoors light, placing it on a covered patio where it does get afternoon direct light from the West. It generated 2 more branches/trunks/spires from the bottom, so there are 3 spires. I inherited it in a yellowish green state, and that's the way the original spire looks now; the 3rd is a nice darker gren. All are now in 2 segments. The bottom segment in each of the 3 always plumps up or thins down, depending on watering, but the top segment never does...it's always extremely thin, or flat. With occasional fertilizing, that's about all I've done. The plant is surviving, since it's made it through a couple winterings and late spring/summers outdoors, but what can I do to make it thrive better? I had thought this spring to change its soil and get it in a wider flatter pot (It came in a long narrow one, with what looks like cactus potting soil in it). Would that matter? Is there a time to prune these plants or shall I continue my usual when I don't know about a plant: keep care going and let it do what it does? As for what planet I'm from...well...someplace where things grow. I'll explore your site.

Thank you!
Saturday, February 03, 2007

i really enjoyed the pics of your pedro and peruvian, bridgessi monsters that you created, i did not get to purchase one this year but would like to in to coming year! keep up the good work!

Thank you! This coming year I'll document some "upside down" grafts and "split in half grafts."
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have one four feet tall San Pedro with five new pups . Two of the pups look bruised on the tips and have a oily ooze coming out of tips . The other three Pups are fine and all pups are aprox. 8 inches Long . I have several others Large San Pdero Cactus that are in a different room that are fine .They are all growing in the house . As I live in Arkansas and it is very cold outside I in the Winter . Here is a picture of the tips . Any Help would be appreciated . <img src=http://members.aol.com/sryoufin/sanperdo.jpg>
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have one four feet tall San Pedro with five new pups . Two of the pups look bruised on the tips and have a oily ooze coming out of tips . The other three Pups are fine and all pups are aprox. 8 inches Long . I have several others that are in a different room that are fine .They are all growing in the house . As I live in Arkansas and it is very cold outside in the Winter
Friday, January 19, 2007
Hello, I have a 8 inch Trichocereus Peruvians, the top of my baby is black, it appears to be going down the shaft. How do I save my cactus. Can it be graphed. Should I graphed it. Please tell me what I can do to save my plant. I have had this plant for 6 years
Friday, January 19, 2007
Hello, I have a 8 inch Trichocereus cuzcoensis, the top of my baby is black, it appears to be going down the shaft. How do I save my cactus. Can it be shafted

You have posted similar messages from 3 different IP addresses
� Your AOL image URL leads to a "Page not found" error.
� You claim to have an 8" cucoensis, and 8" Peruvians (sic) and also 8" San Pedro pups.
� You say the 8" Peruvians (sic) is 6 years old, yet an 8" would only be about 2 to 3 years old. A 6-year old Peruvianus should be the size of a person.

You insulted me in return-email when I replied to you. Nevertheless, I have discussed similar issues numerous times on this website over the years�search the past forum topics, and other pages on my site to answer your questions.

This site is about how to raise healthy plants. If you want to save your cactus � learn how to provide them with a healthy environment.

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