There are several ways to reproduce cacti. They can be propagated by seed, stem cuttings and grafting.
The seeds of many cacti germinate in 5-7 days, but some of them sprout only after a month. Sowing is best done in April and early May. The dish with the crops must be heated, for which it is placed on a heating pad, in which warm water is changed several times a day, maintaining the temperature at 25-30 °. For better growing them from seeds and cuttings, you can use indoor greenhouses and greenhouses. The seed pot should have large drain holes that are covered with shards. A drainage layer of crushed stone, shards, coal and river sand is poured on top, on which finely sifted earth is poured, so that one centimeter remains to the edges of the bowl. She is pressed with a board. Small seeds are not sprinkled with earth.
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A dish with sowing seeds is placed in warm water, 2–3 ° above the air temperature, so that water flows through the drain holes and moistens the soil and seeds. The crops are covered with glass and placed in a warm place. When shoots appear, the bowls are transferred to a bright place. From the direct rays of the sun, they are shaded with tissue paper or the glass is whitewashed with chalk. For seed germination of most cacti, a temperature of 18–20 ° is required. After the emergence of seedlings, watering is reduced and the glass is raised. The picking of seedlings is carried out after the appearance of their first thorns with the help of a wooden fork and a peg. The roots are not pinched, the earth is not shaken off from them.
Cactus seedlings are very small and therefore need to be dived 2-3 times per summer. The picks are shaded, kept for one day without watering and two or three days without airing.
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The ground between them is loosened with a sharp stick, the mold crust is removed and sprinkled with powdered charcoal. If the soil is acidic, the plants are transplanted into good nutritious soil.
Cuttings of cacti are carried out in the spring and in the first half of summer. The apical and lateral shoots, individual papillae, and in the leaf-bearing cactus, the leaves serve as cuttings. Cuttings are carried out in boxes or pots. A drainage layer is poured on the bottom of the box or pot, then a layer of deciduous-peat soil with sand 2 cm and on top – coarse river sand about 3 cm. Pots and boxes with cuttings are covered with glass jars. Cuttings are cut with a sharp knife. The cut on the mother plant is dried in the sun, moistened with alcohol and sprinkled with coal powder. In plants that produce milky sap, filter paper is applied to the cut, which absorbs the sap.
Fig. 1. Cutting of cacti (after M. S. Tkachuk). a – stalk of a candle-shaped cactus; b – a stalk of a leafy cactus; c – prickly pear stalk.
Cuttings must be dried for 7-10 days in a dry place. The slices are covered with a glassy film. The cuttings are planted in sand to a depth of 0,5 – 1 cm. For stability, they are tied to pegs (Fig. 1). The sand is only moistened, and after rooting the cuttings are watered. You can prepare cuttings in the fall and store them in dry sand until spring. In the spring they take root well.
Cacti can be propagated by “babies” that appear on the mother’s stem. They can be rooted in the same pot, or you can plant several “kids” in separate pots.
Grafting of cacti is carried out: 1 – to accelerate growth and abundant flowering; 2 – for better growth of those with a weak root system; 3 — for obtaining interspecific and intergeneric vegetative hybrids with bizarre decorative forms. When the roots and the lower part of the stem decay, the top of the cactus is grafted onto a healthy stock; annual seedlings are grafted on adult plants to accelerate their growth and flowering. Vaccinations are carried out in the warm season.
Fig. 2 Grafting of cacti: a – preparation of stock and scion; b – binding of grafted cacti.
Cacti are grafted on leafy cactus (peyresqui), candle-shaped cacti (cereus), prickly pears and hedgehog cacti (echinocactus). The graft and rootstock should be of the same diameter and equally juicy. First, quickly cut off the stock with a sharp knife; in plants with a large diameter, the edging is cut obliquely around the stem. Then, another thin layer of the rootstock is cut off, which is left on the rootstock to prevent the cut from drying out until the scion is prepared. A completely prepared scion, also with a cut edge, is applied to the rootstock cut (after removing the thin film of the second cut before this) so that their centers coincide. Cotton wool is placed on the top of the scion, and the scion is tied to the stock with an elastic band under the pot (Fig. 2).
Grafting of an arthropic cactus on a peiresque
For a very long time, the grafting of an arthropic cactus (epiphyllum) on peiresque has been used (Fig. 3). The bandage is made with woolen threads. Successful vaccination requires quick work, clean hands and a knife. Slices should be smooth.
The room temperature should be 20-25 °. It is better to put vaccinations under the banks, in a lighted place. It is impossible to spray with water at first. After 7-8 days, the bandage can be carefully removed.
- Indoor floriculture – D.F.Yukhimchuk.