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Quest for most potent cactus - from seeds with help of pereskiopsis grafting Options
 
pete666
#1 Posted : 7/21/2018 7:54:45 AM

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I decided to start this topic because I am at the beginning of my journey of growing mescaline cactuses. As many I would like to get the most potent specimen and clone it, so it would provide enough medicine to heal my soul.

The first obvious attempt is to buy many commercially available cuttings, root them, grow for year or two, take cut and extract to identify the best one. Then multiply to get an army of soldiers of the same qualities. It would be much better to acquire some potent cutting from someone experienced, who already went through this quest. But I don't know anyone, so I have to help myself. So I bought about 40 various 20-30cm cuttings which are currently being rooted. Subsequent strategy for multiplicaiton has been decided in this topic with kind help of Wakinyan.

But this topic is about different strategy, running in parallel. Again, the idea comes from Wakinyan. If I understand it correctly, hundreds of seeds are germinated and grafted onto peres. After some grow, the potency is tested by taste - the more bitter pieces are regrafted or rooted. The less bitter are either discarded or rooted and used as a rootstock.

This grafting technique can be seen here

Very nice topic with motivating pictures about this kind of grafting can be found here I suggest reading it all

Wakinyan's description of this technique can be found in this post

Before I begin with this project, I would like to optimize it, so I get the best results within reasonable time.

Question (1) is : Is it possible to detect any bitterness with week or two weeks old seedlings? Or is it too early? It would be nice if the first selection happened already here. I can imagine cutting them in half, checking the taste of the bottom part and grafting the top.

Because my climate zone is not allowing me to grow anything outside for 6 months in a year, I will have to setup indoor growing box. This will be just for growing peres and grafting of seedlings. I am planning to use 120cmx60cm shelves with 4x54W(T5) fluorescent lighting. I don't have an idea what would be the ideal height of one section. I can imagine there has to be the pot, peres and grafted seedling. And 3-5cm distance from the tubes. I am planning to graft in the autumn and have it running for half year. I don't have an idea, what would be maximum growth of the grafted cactus, which is important, so I won't run out of space. And I don't have an idea about pot size for peres.
Questions (2) : Is it better to have all peres plants in one container or is it better to have them separated? What is the ideal height of the container so there is an optimum root mass and there will be maximum of plants per m2? If it is better separated, what would be the optimal pot widht and for one peres plant?
Question (3) : What is the optimal peres height as a rootstock and what is the maximum grafted cactus growth, so I can figure the necessary height of one section?

I understand there might not be direct experience with indoor growing, but I would say some estimates based on outdoor experience could be done here.
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Wakinyan
#2 Posted : 7/21/2018 9:58:50 AM

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I have never been able to detect any appreciable bitterness in seedlings 1-2 weeks old.

I have been able to detect bitterness in a very few rare specimens grown from seed the size of ones thumb, with it being a bit easier to detect bitterness by the time the seedling has reached 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in length with 6 inches or 15 cm of growth being the most preferable time to test via the lick test. Any specimens that I can't taste may indeed still be potent at that size, they simply are not selected by me at that size for further study.

My taste buds may not be as sensitive as yours... time will tell. What I can tell you is that you will likely find that some specimens will have a bitterness that will linger for much longer than others in your mouth. This is how I selected Fat Bottom Girl to be the first and only cacti I have named. After many thousands of seed grown specimens grown up over many years that particular specimen was the most bitter I had ever tasted. It is also why Fat Bottom Girl was originally named Bitter Girl.

My method might seem pretty antiquated by todays standards as it can literally be done by anyone with a tongue, but I look at it just like others might look at wine tasting. When you take a sip of wine... you taste it. You judge its qualities. I do the same each time I take a cutting, propagate, etc. I have to take a lick first. That is my first test.

I wish you luck in your journey my friend as there is no greater pleasure, in my mind at least, then growing your own specimens out from seed.

With that being said, I will help you or anyone else who does not know how to graft to quickly become a grafter with 98.5% success rate or better. Of course, there are many others here who are just as good a grafter or better that may also come to your aide. We are all here to help and there are many different styles to grafting cacti seedlings. Each style works for the way that particular grafter grafts.

Much luck my friend
When I graft you graft we graft
 
pete666
#3 Posted : 7/21/2018 6:29:07 PM

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This information is deeply appreciated! All written and understood is a gold for me. Thanks!
Acceptance of the fact that our reality is not real doesn't in fact mean it is not real. It just leads to better understanding what real means.
 
Wakinyan
#4 Posted : 7/21/2018 6:38:51 PM

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As you expressed a desire to grow indoors... I will share this method of growing Pereskiopsis in seed trays. Individual cells each house one Pereskiopsis.

Perfect for growing indoors!
Wakinyan attached the following image(s):
Pereskiopsis in seed trays 4.jpg (1,110kb) downloaded 706 time(s).
When I graft you graft we graft
 
Elrik
#5 Posted : 7/21/2018 10:14:40 PM

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Unless your rolling in absurd amounts of money you do not need to begin by purchasing many named clones. The best way to get the diversity your seeking is to get seeds of hybrids between known-potent parents and grow them out.
You can see some of those potent parents in the table Here
I agree that starting on pereskiopsis would be a big initial help. Particularly since, like me, you'll be keeping them indoors and dormant 6 months a year once they are on their own roots. I'm very suspicious of bitterness as a gauge of potency since most alkaloids are bitter and many dont add to the experience. But as a first step in selection it is convenient. I also dont think tasting the flesh of a stem actively growing on pereskiopsis would be informative, as it likely would not be representative of what the specimen would do on its own and would invariably be watered down in strength. What I would do if I wanted to do a large organoleptically guided selection of a hundred or more seed growns is to grow them a minimum of 8 months on pereskiopsis, degraft by cutting the top of the pereskiopsis stem, and laying them in deep shade for 3 months [on newspaper in case one liquefies]. After they have aged for 3 months I would cut off the bottom 1.5 cm [if pereskiopsis is still in the stem at that point take another slice and just throw it away]. The top portion would be calloused and rooted, the bottom would be assayed. Either assaying by taste or by the ninhydrin based semi-quantitative procedure invented here a few months back by an1cca, I believe.
To grow a maximum number outdoors while bringing them indoors for their 6 month dormancy plant them directly in cultivated garden soil [you'll need shade cloth at first, dont let them burn in the sun] and then a month before the first frost stop watering them and start clipping spines off with hand clippers [wear goggles]. Then a week before first frost dig them up and put them in labeled boxes and bring indoors, store them anywhere that will stay cool but wont freeze at all. After the last frost when you plant them out they'll need shade cloth for a while again, I've burned many by omitting that.
I averaged 1.5% and 1.7% yield from Kimuras Giant X SS02 and SS02 X Kimuras Giant, respectively, when growing them that way and that was without any initial bitterness selection.
As for pot size, the common 9 cm wide 10 cm tall square black nursery pots [just under half a litre in volume] seem about right. The pots half that volume dont let the grafted cactus grow to full size and pots bigger risk wasting space. Since your pereskiopsis will likely all be identical clones they shouldnt 'fight' with eachother if planted together, although I havent actually done that very often.
As for stock height, I almost always see that grafts dont grow to full potential when the stock is just like 5 cm tall. 10-12 cm is a popular height among grafters. I've seen some epic Trichocereus stems growing on Pereskiopsis over 15 cm tall but they get very top heavy, difficult to handle, and easy to break at that height. So 10 cm.
Dont be shy with water and fertilizer.
Never let Peres soil go dry, they'll loose leaves and get mad at you.
Plant the Peres in good quality potting soil intended for tomatoes and houseplants.
Also grow something that isnt hallucinogenic so you wont be way WAY too obvious about your intentions.
Thats about all the advice I can muster, except to urge you to read Teo’s small book of grafting cacti
And graft in small numbers paying very close attention until you get quite good at it.
 
Wakinyan
#6 Posted : 7/22/2018 1:14:41 AM

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I agree with you on many counts Elrik.
Number one count, bitterness is just one method of selecting. If you toss all your significantly non-bitter seedlings what have you lost? Agreed, many other alkaloids could be present, but the key here is that you are testing your specimens against other specimens also grown in the exact same conditions on the same stalk. You aren’t necessarily comparing your specimens grown on Pereskiopsis against those that are grown in soil for instance. If we know that the alkaloid we are after is bitter and we toss all the non-bitter specimens all grown and tested under the same conditions I would wager that you might lose a few specimens of potential interest, but you have also saved time for the lay person who is growing a few hundred or few thousand seedlings. Of course, the only way to really know would be to do a side by side analysis of those selected and those tossed via licking and via quantitative analysis.

I don’t quite understand the need or desire to leave a piece of the stem of Pereskiopsis inside the cut scion. That really concerns me.

My experience has led me to cut a few areoles higher than the Pereskiopsis inside the cut scion as that enables more pups to be had faster. Those few areoles left behind on the Pereskiopsis will then pump out many more clones which is nice if you do have a positive taste test experience. If not, you may wish to remove the areoles left behind… or graft to that tissue left behind as I often do. It effectively extends the life of your stock if one does this as the Pereskiopsis will often be two woody to graft easily at this point. The fresh tissue left behind from your Trichocereus however, will afford brand new healthy tissue on which you can graft new seedlings or even areoles onto with relative ease.

Note, I’m not saying that it might not be wise to do a quantitative analysis if one has access to and the inclination for such. Otherwise, one might simply take ones collection of most bitter cacti and then grow them out. Keeping clones on ones Pereskiopsis growing as one left significant tissue behind. Bottom line, you have a graft already in place that can produce many more clones for you if you simply leave a small bit of tissue behind. I’d definitely argue against leaving Pereskiopsis inside your cut specimen for any length of time though given the obvious benefits of leaving tissue from your scion behind….

Your idea of larger pot sizes rather than smaller cells from a seed tray is also nice, but not conducive to large grow outs in a limited indoor growing space. Admittedly, the larger the pot and the more space one affords the roots the less one has to water and fertilize and the more space each will have to grow which is indeed a plus, but not always feasible. It depends on how many seedlings one wants to grow in how big of an area. For me, growing several thousands of seedlings in a very small area… I could not afford to give them that much space in the winter months, but could most certainly plant grafted scions directly into the tilled ground come the summer.

As concerns your 5 cm or 2 inch tall grafted Pereskiopsis… it goes without saying that the larger the stock the more that stock will be able to push the scion atop it. More surface area for chlorophyll to generate energy for one thing should be readily apparent in a larger specimen. Your suggestion for 10 cm or 4 inch stock as being the most desirable… I would say is a bit short for maximum speed of growth. Your suggestion that 6 inch or 15 cm stock might be a bit excessive… is something I would also disagree on. The larger the stock the faster the scion growth and that is something I don’t think you can afford to skimp on if your growing season is a short one. Staking up your scion may not be a bad choice and is not too difficult for the average gardener if need be.

The page you reference on grafting also mentions that Pereskiopsis stalks over 30 cm or 12 inches are hard to handle. I may be off, but I think the majority of the grafts done on Pereskiopsis on that page are over 4 inches in height that you recommend. With that said, it is most certainly an excellent resource.

With all that being said, there are many different styles of grafting. While Parafilm grafting may afford the new grafter a 98.5% success rate without need to worry about humidity domes, watering schedules, or shading requirements…. I think it is nice to learn many styles of grafting so one can accurately judge what is easiest. For me, knowing my grafts can be hit and literally tossed on the ground the same day they are made and still come out perfect is all the proof I need to know that I like grafting with the more secure Parafilm in place when dealing with seedlings.

When I graft you graft we graft
 
Wakinyan
#7 Posted : 7/22/2018 1:21:21 AM

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Now, my method of grafting... extremely simple and effective and does not need several pages of explanation. The pictures do most of the explanation.
Wakinyan attached the following image(s):
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When I graft you graft we graft
 
Elrik
#8 Posted : 7/22/2018 2:17:25 AM

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If I were grafting 5 or 10 Trichs, then yes, I'd happily go over 15 cm. One of the most impressive Trich-Peres grafts I've seen was on a 40 cm peres growing in a 6 L pot. The Trich looked like my arm.
But if growing a hundred or more practicality would trump maximum growth potential. I just wouldnt want so many grafts flapping around and hitting me in the face, trying to break their stems Razz If it were peyote then ok, but Trichs get tall and heavy.
Anyway, thats a call the grafter has to make.

When I suggested leaving the peres stump in the trich stem it was only for the 3 month potency boost aging treatment. Three months in the shade lets them produce alkaloids and stabilize in potency. I thought if you have to cut into them to nibble some green flesh after those 3 months of potentiating, then it might as well be in the process of a cut that must be made anyway- the one to remove the peres stump.
True, in this way a trich stump wont be left on a growing peres allowing for duplicates but if hes looking for the gems why would he want duplicates at that stage? Better to have the peres grow out new grafting stock for the next round of seeds, in my opinion.

When a really potent one is found you can always smear it with benzylaminopurine/lanolin paste and graft all the pups to pereskiopsis. 0.2 grams of BAP and a flock of peres can make one cactus into 40 quite easily Wink
 
Wakinyan
#9 Posted : 7/22/2018 2:46:12 AM

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This is why you leave areoles behind. Pups can be used... or scion used for new scion.... your choice.

However, wasting a golden opportunity such as this only slows down your propagation efforts.

Testing out of the gate ensures uniformity of testing as you are testing like specimens grown in like conditions. You don't want them to be at their strongest, you only want to detect which of the ones you have is the strongest. You can attempt to increase potency later.
Wakinyan attached the following image(s):
Trichocereus scopulicola x T. terscheckii 6.jpg (1,665kb) downloaded 662 time(s).
When I graft you graft we graft
 
pete666
#10 Posted : 7/22/2018 6:19:04 AM

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Wakinyan wrote:
As you expressed a desire to grow indoors... I will share this method of growing Pereskiopsis in seed trays. Individual cells each house one Pereskiopsis.
Perfect for growing indoors!

What are the dimensions of those trays Wakinyan?
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pete666
#11 Posted : 7/22/2018 6:33:43 AM

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Thank you Elrik for valuable information!

Elrik wrote:
and laying them in deep shade for 3 months [on newspaper in case one liquefies]. After they have aged for 3 months

You call it a potency boost, but is it really working? I read everywhere there is no proof the mescaline content is rising this way


Elrik wrote:
or by the ninhydrin based semi-quantitative procedure invented here a few months back by an1cca, I believe.

I didn't know this exists. Nice reading

Elrik wrote:

I averaged 1.5% and 1.7% yield from Kimuras Giant X SS02 and SS02 X Kimuras Giant, respectively, when growing them that way and that was without any initial bitterness selection.

Is it 1.5% for whole cactus? Or just the green tissue?
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pete666
#12 Posted : 7/22/2018 6:36:55 AM

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Wakinyan, let me ask, I understand why the parafilm is covering the scion, but why is it there before you cut the peres/rootstock? Why the cut is led through the parafilm and it is left on the stem?
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Elrik
#13 Posted : 7/22/2018 9:54:58 AM

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The 1.5% was as mescaline hydrochloride extracted from aged and dried stems that only had their cores and spines removed.

Its pretty well proven that aging the stems increases potency in both trichs and in peyote. Numerous people have done tests on trichs, Here is one of the better examples and actual published scientists have done the work on peyote. At times giving peyote a dormant period before extracting dramatically increased potency and also improved effects, I dont know if its been directly tested but I suspect thats why modern wild harvested peyote is so weak compared to results published half a century ago. Back then large buttons were harvested and air dried in deep shade over the course of a month. Now tiny baby buttons are harvested, cut in half, and dried as fast as possible. They no longer have that month of stressed 'dormancy' to increase potency.
 
Wakinyan
#14 Posted : 7/22/2018 1:36:45 PM

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pete666 wrote:
Wakinyan, let me ask, I understand why the parafilm is covering the scion, but why is it there before you cut the peres/rootstock? Why the cut is led through the parafilm and it is left on the stem?



The parafilm is there around the stock before it is cut simply to make the parafilm neater around the stock. One cuts through the parafilm and the stock at the same time exposing the flesh with that particular twist on parafilm grafting.

You can most certainly put it on secondary to the cut, but it may not be as neat looking when you are done.

The parafilm is left on the stem to give the parafilm that will cover the seedlings an additional surface to adhere to. It makes it easier for that covering to stay in place.

As for peyote being weaker then it used to be. As a member of the NAC, I have heard this is true because the specimens are smaller and not only that, but they are washed. The longer they are washed the more medicine is being washed out of them.

If one thinks about it, sun tea is simply the washing process that is going on for 7 days. At the end of 7 days you have a potent tea. Of course the button is going to be weaker than it was prior to the wash.

This is why it is important to test all specimens at approximately the same size. Significant variations in size and age will potentially create false discrepancies.
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When I graft you graft we graft
 
pete666
#15 Posted : 7/22/2018 7:46:38 PM

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Elrik wrote:
Its pretty well proven that aging the stems increases potency in both trichs and in peyote. Numerous people have done tests on trichs, Here is one of the better examples and actual published scientists have done the work on peyote.

Well, I am tempted to believe, but from what I've read elsewhere, I have rather oposite feeling.
Results from the posted link are questionable too. Nevertheless my extraction method is precise enought to prove it (at least for me), so once I have some live material, I will give it a try.
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pete666
#16 Posted : 7/22/2018 8:02:18 PM

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Wakinyan, as I've seen these trays have usually 5cm cell diameter, but depth can be 5-15cm. I suspect yours are those bigger, right? I would really like to know whether peres is able to occupy whole try even with high depth.
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Wakinyan
#17 Posted : 7/22/2018 11:46:25 PM

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pete666 wrote:
Wakinyan, as I've seen these trays have usually 5cm cell diameter, but depth can be 5-15cm. I suspect yours are those bigger, right? I would really like to know whether peres is able to occupy whole try even with high depth.


Depth for you... 1 finger length
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When I graft you graft we graft
 
pete666
#18 Posted : 9/17/2018 8:56:34 AM

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Well, 2 levels of my growbox are ready and full of pereskiopsis, so I decided I should move on to the next stage. I have sowed some seeds to plastic container with 2cm of sterilized sand and sprayed with distilled water. I have checked all the sowing "teks" and decided I will try to go my own way and use just plain sand, without soil with nutrients. The idea is I need very small seedlings, week or two old, so I can graft them onto the peres as soon as possible. If there won't be any nutrients in the environment, it might help to avoid some problems in the initial stage after sprouting.

The question is, how long can the seedling be in such an inert environment? Can it grow up to required size without any external nutrients? I am germinating cactuses for the first time, so I don't have an idea. I might add some nutrients dissolved in water and spray the seedlings if necessary.

Any idea?
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Wakinyan
#19 Posted : 9/18/2018 12:21:18 AM

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Seedlngs can indeed be started in plain sand or even a wet paper towel for that matter. I've had no issue with growing Trichocereus seedlings on composted cow manure other than slow root development which is no issue if you plan on grafting. Bottom line, you really can't mess things up too bad during the first few weeks of life and during that time you should be grafting to Pereskiopsis, Trichocereus, etc. so as to speed up your seedlings growth.

My suggestion, if you wish to give plain sand a try then do so. I've done the same and find it makes very healthy seedlings for grafting. You will be able to graft the resulting seedlings just fine on Pereskiopsis and you are right... you will experience less problems than someone who is using a commercial seed starter mix for the same.
When I graft you graft we graft
 
pete666
#20 Posted : 9/18/2018 6:38:38 AM

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Sounds good, but tell me one thing, Wakynian. I have noticed on some of your pictures you are using ordinary soil, or some mix of soil. The pictures were those using peroxide, if you remember. Why aren't you using plain sand as well? Does it have any advantage to use soil?
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