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Melocactus Graft

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Melocactus sp. on Myrtillocactus geometrizans

This is one of my most spectacularly successful grafts. With a digital camera, I am able to present to you the history of this plant. This plant illustrates the utility of grafting and aquaculture for boosting plant growth.

The plant is an unidentified Melocactus, sown in August 1997. The seeds were from Thailand, and a few pictures of the seedlings are available elsewhere.

This is the first page in a series. The other pages are:


October 1998: 3 weeks November 1998: 7 weeks

A seedling was picked at 13 months and was grafted onto a small Myrtillocactus geometrizans stock. The pot in the pictures above is a 2" one. After a few weeks, its growth was seen to pick up considerably compared to its siblings. Its siblings were not that well taken care of, and suffered because the hot weather dry up the pots quickly.


May 1999: 8 months after grafting Jan 2000: 15 months after grafting

By May 1999, after a while in aquaculture, the Melocactus graft had grown to over 1" in diameter. By Jan 2000, it has reached over 1.5" in diameter. The spine development was excellent even though the plant had full sun only from mid-afternoon.

April 2000

In April 2000, I took the plant out from aquaculture as the Mrytillocactus stock had been damaged by salt deposits. Although there was really no reason for me not to keep it in aquaculture, I decided to pot it up just for fun. I wanted to see how it looked in a pot. This was the result 18 months after the graft was made, demonstrating just how fast a specimen can grow in aquaculture.

May 2000

The grafted Melocactus top seemed to be a bit too big for the stock. Very top-heavy. The stock was in danger of being overwhelmed by the graft. Moreover, there was considerable salt damage owing to its stint in aquaculture.

I decided to add it to another, larger Mrytillocactus stock to preserve the 'grafted look'. The alternative was to let the graft overwhelm the stock, eventually turning it back into a normal-looking specimen. The grafting process can be seen step-by-step in the Grafting Example Page.

For more, see the next page.

A Comparison (mid 2000)

May 2000 August 2000

These two pictures illustrates the advantage of grafting and aquaculture. Grafting a seedling onto a vigorous stock speeds up growth, and having the graft in aquaculture speeds up growth even further. The seedlings which were in normal plastic pots suffered from having their pots dry up too quickly, so optimal growth was not achieved.

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