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opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:06 pm
by pipster 12
Has any one seen the information on cactus biz art-forgive me if someone has already brought this up.

What they suggest is grafting cacti onto opuntia compressa stock. They say that the opuntia conveys a hardiness to the scion. (top bit -other cactus)

The opuntia compressa flops in winter as it takes the water from its stem (survival strategy)-this helps it cope with winter cold/damp i.e. so the water in the stem does not freeze, expand and fracture the cells. In well drained soil opuntia compressa is hardy enough for most if not all of the UK tolerating damp well.

Needless to say the same shrivelling of the stem will happen to scion in winter.

Its a long shot but I am trialling echinopsis and trichocereus on opuntia compressa monmouth county. The grafts (if worked) will be ready in a week or so and hopefully I can trial them in winter.

with opuntia stock the growth is natural and the stock eventually becomes invisible under the scion.

Think this would be a great technique for many "cold hardy" echinocereus as it will help with the damp in winter. They also grow quicker flower sooner and better. There are not many echinocereus that cope with excessive wet and are mainly grown protected from damp-with rain covers/greenhouses etc.

it's worth a go!


Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:59 am
by Dave Brown
Interesting experiment Phil. Do you have any pics of your plants.

I grow Cacti but have never thought of grafting.

Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 12:21 pm
by JoelR
I grow quite a few hardy opuntias and several forms of O. compressa including Monmouth County. I'm slightly sceptical about the hardiness of anything grafted and I think the winter shrivelling effect of the root stock will make for an unstable bond. Certainly never heard of anyone trying it though and I'll be very interested to hear about your results Phil.

My first non-opuntia cactus has survived a winter in the ground - Lobivia bruchii. Got 3 of these last year and planted 1 out. It did have a cloche through the winter though. A few of my Echinocereus have seen several winters in a coldframe. One of my first cacti from seed E. reichenbachii baileyi sown Apr/May 2007 has a flower bud for the first time :D.

I'll be planting more cacti out this year but have learned that overhead cover is vital. Even some of my hardy opuntias have died after being buried under snow for 2 weeks in March.

Currently sleet and hail here :shock:

Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:22 pm
by pipster 12
Thanks for the replies!-don't know how to put piccies on here, can you help me out there Dave. I can put my palms on too

will see where grafting gets me-I got the idea from cactus biz-art website. He maintains that opuntia as a stock is very stable for small plants.

Yes JoelR Lobivia bruchii is very hardy. I live in manchester which is very rainy indeed. It is outside in a window recess 18 inches of rain cover (south facing) and its thrived under there for 10 years-its now football sized and flowers every summer. It went flower mad after those two cold winters. Its often covered in snow.

I have ordered an ecobaria missouriensis, echinocereus triglochidatus and echinocereus viridiflorous-that was 3 weeks ago from cactus plaza. I already have coryphantha vivipara, gymnocalycium bruchii, g gibbosum and g gibbossum nigrum outside under the recess and they are thriving. The g bruchii and g gibbosum nigrum have flower buds.

You said you have had success with Echinocereus reichenbachii? tried that species twice as well as var baileyii (beautiful white spined form) absolutely failed died before winter even came. I never seem to have any luck with them

Thanks for the opuntia warning too as an exoticist I have lost hundreds of pounds on palms. I did take no chances though-got 2 variants of opuntia humifusa and opuntia compressa monmouth county. The other was opuntia englemanni which was sold to me as "winter hardy without rain cover" which has made no growth-that might live in the greenhouse.

An update on the grafts-they are now potted up in the greenhouse waiting for growth
they are trichocereus spachianus on o. compressa stock and echinopsis mohica? on opuntia compressa stock

will keep you posted!

Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:10 pm
by pipster 12
Some one has already shown me how to post on a previous thread-(only just checked it)

haven't took any pictures of other cacti but here is my lobivia bruchii guys.

enjoy phil
lobivia bruchii flower.jpg
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lobivia bruchii flower 2.jpg
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lobivia bruchii plant and flower.jpg
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Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:12 pm
by JoelR
Wow that L. bruchii is stunning. There's a well known O. englemanni at (I think) Cambridge University which has survived outdoors for years and is a good size.

Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:26 pm
by pipster 12
Thanks JoelR!

L bruchii is a good contender for outdoors, I also have another "Soherensia" now Lobivia- L. Formosa

from what I can gather both these species are extremely variable though.

great thing about opuntias they do grow fast-wisest move is to propagate the plant -trial one plant outside, leave the rest in the greenhouse. Have heard good reports about englemanii-may not be the hardiest in terms of cold but it resists wet better-which is crucial in our climate. I heard its hardy between -15 degrees C and -20 degrees C.

Like the grafts we shall see.

When the other 3 cacti come from cactus plaza I will put some pictures up (they were dispatched yesterday)


Re: opuntia compressa trials

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:58 pm
by pipster 12
hardy cacti came from cactus plaza, netherlands

escobaria missouriensis -I am holding this in the second picture with my thumb for scale
echinocereus triglochidiatus -middle
echoncereus viridiflorous-far end

chuffed to bits-plants quite big some have been flowering, very healthy with well developed root systems!
cactus plaza order.JPG
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cactus plaza order with thumb for scale.JPG
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