Some of you perhaps are familiar with the concept of grafting cactus. Maybe some of you are not, so this post is directed to anyone that does not know or that just wanna see some grafted gymno haha.
Okey, grafting is a technique that consists in "merging" two cactus together, forming a new plant. Far from a fusion at DBZ style, the grafting is not a mixture that combines two different plants and "evolving" into a new one. It simply is using a plant that can sprout roots and has chlorophyll to support one that doesn't.
That's why you may be able to see cactus that are red, pink, yellow, orange or even a mixture between them. They have these particular colors due to their lack of chlorophyll. And that is also the reason why they can't survive on their own: they can't produce their "food".
How to graft? It is both simple and not so simple. The theory is the following: you have to cut two compatible cactus and "glue" them together (you don't use any glue, is just figurative speech) on the cut extremes. It is advisable to use rubber bands or something else to help them "stick together". If you have luck, once both cactus start healing their cuts, they "connect" between them and now the foot of the graft is the one that provides food and water trough its roots and chlorophyll.
Here there are some of my past grafts. I mean past because most of them died (mostly because of my fault). But then again... sh*** happens.
You can see that the foot (a Hylocereus) was turning brown. Perhaps it wasn't going to happen anything bad, but I thought they were rotting so I decided to cut them right above the "damaged" areas. They even started rooting again, so it looked like they will survive the butchering... But a few weeks later they all started dying. I had no choice but to try to remove the Gymnocalycium (the colored ones) and find new grafting foots...
You can see the "bone" that grew from the Gymnocalycium and into the Hylocereus.
These little pups went to different foots. None of them made it. Just one was able to "connect" with the new foot (a Cereus peruvianus), but after a month of so of growing and hopes, it suddenly fainted and later died.
At the time of writing this, only one soldier survived from this disgrace. I don't have the most recent picture here available for you to see. But I'll leave you guys with a relative new (from 2 months ago or so). In future posts I'll show you what happened with the Hylocereus!! Hint: they lived!! Hahaha
That's it for today! See you guys, stay safe!! Remember you can follow me at cactaceasml if you like to see cactus photos on a daily basis!
I am a big fan of cactus. I have never tried grafting. Your article is very useful.