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Official best time to harvest? Options
 
Asher7
#1 Posted : 6/14/2019 4:53:35 AM

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I’ve heard a good number of suggestions on when the best time to harvest is but I’ve never heard anyone say it with certainty. Has it become official on when the best time and what the best technique is for ensuring maximum potency? It would be nice if things got to a point where there could be something written in stone.
 

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Wolfnippletip
#2 Posted : 6/14/2019 2:18:31 PM

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I used to harvest at the end of the Season but now I do it in the middle of the Season because it makes the cacti pup out really fast and with lots of pups.

These Torres y Torres Pachanoi went bonkers after I cut them back:
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Asher7
#3 Posted : 6/14/2019 3:09:15 PM

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See that makes sense to me. The cacti is wide awake and actively growing presumably at it’s peak performance. That sounds like it could be backed with fact.

In terms of potency I’ve heard things like stressing through dehydration for example but I wonder if in that case the cacti just loses a lot of stored water so if you’re measuring dose by weight you would get more plant matter compensating for the weight of the water loss.

Has anyone come up with confirmed ways of influencing a cacti to produce more mesc? I would think, like with taking the cuttings and getting maximum pup output, wouldn’t peak potency also be at the time it’s at peak growth output? Can you even influence a cacti to increase mescaline or is it all genetics?

Honestly I’m not even sure how you would test unless you took samples at different intervals throughout a year (or the cacti’s entire life) and scanned them. So say a 3 year old may be less optimal than a 8 year old cacti etc. Or maybe during the flower/seed production there could be a spike. Things like that.

Many, many people know cacti a lot better than I do so I’m wondering if anyone who has had them around for years has noticed any patterns or if ideally someone has actually looked into it from a scientist’s point of view (and who also has lab equipment).
 
0_o
#4 Posted : 6/14/2019 5:38:58 PM

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Those are all good questions worthy of study.

There is a lot that remains to be known.
The plants are not well studied and are still rather obscure in many ways.
Learning more is one my goals.
 
Grey Fox
#5 Posted : 6/15/2019 1:13:53 AM

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Yes these are good questions.

I haven't noticed a difference in potency based on the time of year that cuttings are harvested. But I don't do extractions. It would be interesting to see someone do extractions and measure the yields based on time of year. But just from eating raw cactus and drinking tea, to me it doesn't feel like there are big variations in potency based on time of year.

For propagation purposes I really like to plant cuttings in the winter. I plant in ground, so this may not apply to cuttings that are planted indoors. But outdoors in the winter the cacti go into a dormant phase where they barely grow. So cuttings planted in the winter don't try to push out any new vegetative growth. But they do grow roots during this time. So in the spring when the temps warm up again and vegetative growth resumes they already have roots established below the soil line. This really helps a lot with limiting etiolation. The cuttings can better support the new vegetative growth because of those roots and the new growth is less prone to being etiolated. December is the ideal month to plant cuttings from what I have seen, and I guess the Southern Hemisphere equivalent would be June.
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Nathaniel
#6 Posted : 8/8/2019 1:22:44 AM

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Grey Fox wrote:


For propagation purposes I really like to plant cuttings in the winter. I plant in ground, so this may not apply to cuttings that are planted indoors. But outdoors in the winter the cacti go into a dormant phase where they barely grow. So cuttings planted in the winter don't try to push out any new vegetative growth. But they do grow roots during this time. So in the spring when the temps warm up again and vegetative growth resumes they already have roots established below the soil line. This really helps a lot with limiting etiolation. The cuttings can better support the new vegetative growth because of those roots and the new growth is less prone to being etiolated. December is the ideal month to plant cuttings from what I have seen, and I guess the Southern Hemisphere equivalent would be June.

I wanted to chime in since my pedro is blowing up and I was considering when to cut it. So you just plant them in winter, but you cut them earlier? I know it's best to take cuttings during active growth, but I really don't want to cut mine right now. I was thinking maybe October, or next spring.

But etiolation is another quandary. Potting during dormancy should help? I'm just wondering since I'll have to bring my plants in for the winter, and that may mess with their dormancy and cause etiolation. I have a pedro cutting that is growing skinny at the top even though it is a fat tip and gets direct sunlight. Is this because the growth correlates with how much roots it has? I don't want my beautiful cuttings to grow all skinny and I don't know what to do exactly.
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Wolfnippletip
#7 Posted : 8/8/2019 1:34:27 AM

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They will etiolate if they don't get enough light and aren't dormant, but newly rooted cuttings will etiolate until the roots are fully developed. I like to go ahead and let new cuttings grow skinny a full Season and then cut them back in the middle of the next Season, that way it will pup quickly and the pups usually are fatter since by then the roots are good.

I always am hesitant to cut them back, but go hog wild once I start.
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Nathaniel
#8 Posted : 8/8/2019 3:01:07 AM

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Wolfnippletip wrote:
They will etiolate if they don't get enough light and aren't dormant, but newly rooted cuttings will etiolate until the roots are fully developed. I like to go ahead and let new cuttings grow skinny a full Season and then cut them back in the middle of the next Season, that way it will pup quickly and the pups usually are fatter since by then the roots are good.

I always am hesitant to cut them back, but go hog wild once I start.

Thumbs up Thanks for the tip! I was hoping my little pedro cutting would continue growing fat, but I guess I'm going to have to cut it back.

I'll have some nice cuttings after this season so I would like to keep them growing fat. I might have to try potting them in the winter!
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twitchy
#9 Posted : 8/8/2019 7:31:21 AM

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I read somewhere once that Jasmine has some chemical signal in it that can trigger cacti to produce more alkaloids. I don't remember where I caught that, but it was definitely one of the guys that knew their stuff and was developing strains and the like. I'll see if I can't dig it up, anybody else remember that one?
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Nathaniel
#10 Posted : 8/9/2019 2:16:01 AM

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Wolfnippletip wrote:
They will etiolate if they don't get enough light and aren't dormant, but newly rooted cuttings will etiolate until the roots are fully developed. I like to go ahead and let new cuttings grow skinny a full Season and then cut them back in the middle of the next Season, that way it will pup quickly and the pups usually are fatter since by then the roots are good.

I always am hesitant to cut them back, but go hog wild once I start.

Do you store your cuttings in the meantime before planting them?
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