How to graft cactus seedlings - update 1

Category: How to... | Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:03 pm

This is an update on How to graft cactus seedlings, and it's about grafting a seedling of Copiapoa dealbata on a Selenicereus grandiflorus stock.

It's been three month since I made the graft and the seedlings I am using looked like this when I picket one out.

They have spent three month on a windowsill and some of them have got burns from the sun, but they have been growing some as well. This is how they looks like today.

Their real spines start to show now.

Just when I finished grafting it looked like this.

I am using a 5cm (2") pot.

The graft spent two weeks in a closed environment with a humidity around 80%, then I moved the stock to the windowsill. No direct sunlight the first week in the window, then eastern sun only. The graft start to grow at the fourth week, so actually it has only been growing for about two month now.

And this is how it looks like today.
(the measurement is in millimeter and centimeter)

I made three graft with this species, but one didn't make it. It was eaten by the stock? The other that made it was not perfect because it did not make contact on all the surface. It start to tilt a little, but now it looks OK.

It has more spines, but I don't know why?

To be continued...

Last edited: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:22 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 2251 times
You're reading one of many blogs on
Register for free and start your own blog today.



Jewell2009 wrote on Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:20 pm:

Thanks for the update. I find your cactus pictures and information fasinating :)


eileen wrote on Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:14 pm:

Thanks for your photographs and information Christer - very useful. I'll look forward to the next chapter in your grafting tale with anticipation.

kate wrote on Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:31 pm:

Oh no!

I brought a stem of a cacti back from holiday and just shoved it in compost lolol

Looks like an instant failure by the look of Christer's cacti I need to visit the garden centre.

Well done Christer!


Christer Johansson wrote on Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:59 am:

I am glad to share the things that are new to me as well :)


SongofJoy57 wrote on Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:29 pm:

How interesting. Will it eventually bloom? You sure did an fine job.


Christer Johansson wrote on Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:14 am:

I don't know about this species, but I know species that bloom just after one year grafted :) Next season I will graft some of them ;)

3bears wrote on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:23 am:

christer, i too am facinated with your grafting. can you provide any more detail? how did you cut the seedling? how did you hold the seedling for cutting? did you have to fasten the scion to the stock? what is that root stock? did you have prior grafting experience? thank you, and i'll be waiting to see your continuation as well.


Christer Johansson wrote on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:06 pm:

I think the episode before this one explain some of it. But to answer your questions. I hold the seedling in my fingers against the table and cut it with a paper knife. When the scion is very small it glue it self to the stock, so no fastening is necessary. The stock is a Selenicereus grandiflorus. This was the third, to be honest, but I have done 30 now with a ratio of over 95% success :)

3bears wrote on Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:21 pm:

thank you christer. i have never had the nerve to try a graft. i had no idea one could graft seedlings so easily. i will be trying this for myself.

your windowsill collection has made me envious. it has activated me to start grooming my plants, which i am in the process of bringing inside the house for winter.

stumbling upon this site has reawakened my old passion for cacti, especially growing from seed. the grafting technique has given me spring fever, which is the soonest i'll be able to try it.

3bears wrote on Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:56 pm:

i have been searching grafting and found this nice description. he made me understand the growth ring alignment with a very clear illustration:

he mentions using superglue. has anyone tried this? it may be an internet myth.

and i found this description, using pereskia. this is very interesting:

and another nice grafting link:

all these mention sterilization of the knife, but how do you sterilize the plant where it is to be cut? do you wash off the seedling? do you pull it out of the ground and just slice it a little above where the roots start? also, i have noticed on large trichos i have sliced, the soft tissue shrinks well back from the cut and leaves the woody growth ring protruding. it makes me think it will kick the scion off. will keeping pressure to the scion avoid this?

thanks for all the feedback.


Christer Johansson wrote on Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:52 am:

No, I have never used superglue. About different stocks; I write a little about it here:
And I think it is Pereskiopsis you want, not Pereskia :)
I just pull up the seedling and cut a bit from the roots, yes, and I don't sterilize the seedling or the stock. I don't know how to do that without harming the seedling :/
I put my graft under a jar and keep the humidity around 80%, that will keep the stock from drying before it make a vascular connection. I keep the graft under a jar for about 2 weeks. With older seedlings, that start to develop a "real" epidermis, you have to keep the pressure somehow. Others use some rubber bands.
Here are some more info about grafting cacti:

Keep asking and will answer if I can ;)

3bears wrote on Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:01 am:

hello christer, i viewed the opuntia grafting videos. i kept thinking how does he keep from getting the tiny glochids(sp?) stuck in his fingers. anyway, i have just received 10 rooted pereskiopsis cuttings in the mail. i understand they should grow rapidly (many branches) and profusely, for the next 3 months. then i plant my seed(april). i wait til my seed has been up for a month, then do the grafting. my question is, i plan on taking cuttings from the pereskiopsis at this time. can i graft the same day or do i need to root the pereskiopsis cutting first? if i need to root the cutting, when should i plan on grafting? perhaps i should wait till i have rooted pereskiopsis cuttings before i sow my seed? thank you for the help.

3bears wrote on Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:21 pm:

hi christer, last nite i found this blog detailing much more than i need to know about pereskiopsis grafting. it also details the use of super glue for grafts. the blog is a bit bizarre, but takes cactus growing to a new level, soilless, wet, fertilizer, and red/blue LED grow lights. the blogger contends you must disregard everything you thought you "knew" about cactus cultivation, and makes fun of "old-schoolers" who still sprout and grow their seeds in real soil! i am particularly amazed at the LED grow lights. if you have ever seen on of these, you would dismiss it out of hand as "impossible"! i know i did when a friend showed me one he bought. they emit "invisible" light, and give the effect of a "full moon" type of lighting. i have to admit i love this "mad scientist" approach to growing franken-cacti, and am definitely going to try one of these LED's for seedlings.
i have to post the link in the next message, out of space here.

3bears wrote on Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:23 pm:

here's the link at the super glue reference. you have to scroll down to the "trichocereus graft part 4" entry(if this link works):

Leave a Comment

Login or register to leave a comment.