Make your own free website on
Grafting Step-by-step Example 1

About | Cacti | Succulents | Flowers | Growing | Seeds | Graft | Hydroponics | Problems | Books | Links
  Main > Grafting > Grafting Step-by-step Example 1Site Map

Flat Grafting in Pictures

The following is a simple pictorial guide on performing flat grafts on cactus plants. Remember, don't try this on valuable plants if you haven't done any grafting before. It's a good idea to propagate a bunch of plants to practice on, no point losing valuable specimens experimenting.

Start by preparing all the tools for the operation. The first picture shows the two items required, a razor blade and rubber bands. Next, prepare the stock plant, an Echinopsis (at right) and the graft, a Rebutia offset. If you are using an offset, do not let the offset dry or shrink too much. Use them fresh and make sure the stock and the graft are both turgid. Always select a healthy stock. You may also want to prepare a water sprayer if you want to wash off dirt.

You are now ready to make your first cut. First, make a horizontal cut on the stock plant. Do not cut too little of the stem. Give the plant a nice big cut, until you can see its vascular bundle. Make sure you slice the plant tissue cleanly, do not crush the plant tissue. Damage to plant tissue will reduce your chances of success. Work swiftly from now on to avoid the cut surface from drying up.

Next, trim the edges of the stock plant so that it is beveled. If this is not done, the graft will separate from the stock as the stock tissue shrinks when the exposed surface dries up. If the sides was not beveled, the surface will become concave, separating the stock from the graft.

A healthy plant will have a lot of juice, while a diseased plant will seem shrunken. Make sure your stock plant is juicy, with no discolouration.

After preparing the stock plant, we now slice the graft. Both portions of the plant can be grafted. You can also elect to put the section with roots back in a pot so that it can grow itself another head. Make sure it is a healthy green colour, as grafting half-dead plants is probably a waste of your time, unless you are desperate on saving a valuable specimen.

Now, place the graft on top of the stock and press gently but firmly down and move it a bit to release pockets of air. A little sprayed water can help displace air pockets. Cutting and connecting the plants must be done as quickly as possible to ensure success. Do not let the exposed tissue dry up. The picture at left shows the two parts after being joined together. Try to join them so that the vascular bundles align. Remember, the graft has to get food and water, and the only way that can be done is through the vascular bundle.

After joining the two portions, one must now apply constant pressure so that they remain joined as the exposed surfaces dry up. For small grafts, the best thing to use is rubber bands. The next picture shows the graft after being tied down with rubber bands.

Keep the rubber bands on for a week or two, or until the rubber bands break. During the time when the graft is to take hold, do not disturb the joint. After a few days, you should be able to note that a nice connection has been made, otherwise the graft is liable to fail.

Assorted parts from grafting operations can be saved. In the last picture is a bunch of Myrtillocactus heads that I saved from a grafting session. These cuttings can be grown in preparation for the next session. In a way, nothing is lost, except for small bits of plant tissue.

About | Cacti | Succulents | Flowers | Growing | Seeds | Graft | Hydroponics | Problems | Books | Links
  Last modified: 2002-08-26  Copyright © 1997-2002.  Kein-Hong Man.  all rights reserved