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Myrtillocactus Specimens

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Myrtillocactus geometrizans

I got this species from Horti mixed cactus seeds. It's a very tough species, and its seedlings will swamp weaker seedlings if you are not careful. New growth comes with a bluish, waxy coat, while old growth is green. Older plants can sprout a long dark and wicked-looking central spine.

Myrtillocactus geometrizans is an excellent stock plant. It has a strong root system. Provided with well-draining soil, you can grow this species outdoors in Malaysia. It's a large plant in its natural habitat, but I prefer to keep it under control. If conditions are right, nice black central spines will be evident.

The left picture shows one of my larger Myrtillocactus specimens while the picture on the right shows cuttings leftovers from grafting. The cuttings are left to root so that they can be used as stock plants in a few months.

The picture shows a bunch of Myrtillocactus seedlings which are about a year old. They are grown in a zip-loc plastic bag so that I do not have to water them so frequently. A plastic bag can also keep out (or keep in) bugs. However, one must beware, as rotting can occur if conditions are too wet. Don't have pots standing in a pool of water. On the other extreme, seedlings can be cooked in such bags if they are left outdoors and dry up.

These are pictures of my 2 largest Myrtillocactus specimens, taken in May 2000. They are not grown in the ground as I don't want them to grow to an unmanageable size.

The lack of spines is due to soft living - these plants were originally in aquaculture. Had they been in a harsh environment, the plants would have nice black central spines.

This picture illustrates the two shades of a Myrtillocactus. The older stem (the plant in the background) is green, while the young growth (foreground plant) has a bluish waxy coating. The coating is not permanent. Some growth is without spines (actually, with very, very short spines) while other growth has a long dark central spine.

I grow lots of this species of cactus because I plan to use large plants as stock plants in grafts.

For more, see the next page in the series.

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  Last modified: 2002-08-26  Copyright © 1997-2002.  Kein-Hong Man.  all rights reserved