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Conv3rgence

Root Pruning Ariocarpus

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I've seen the popular Asian cultivation technique where they prune the roots, even chopping taproots, during repotting. This is to encourage more fine root growth and lower the risk of rot with less fleshy taproot underground. Kada has an article about this and Hanazono (Frank) also prunes the roots of his slow growers. The resulting plant is a bit like a degraft I guess, able to grow faster, take in more water, and be more rot resistant.

Having never done this before, I'm obviously a bit uncertain. But I do like the results I see, and would like to try. Here is my Ariocarpus Kotschoubeyanus, received today. I have potted him in a dry mineral mix for now, but would like to consider pruning that taproot. How far up should I cut? How long do I need to callous in this hot weather? And finally,how long before first watering after callousing?

post-16827-0-51390600-1454914927_thumb.j

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I wouldn't do it.........but if you do, please update this thread.

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Nice plant! I would leave it myself, and experiment with this technique on plants you dont mind losing first.

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I'll be watching this, I wonder if it's better done when it's younger?

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to encourage more fine root growth and lower the risk of rot with less fleshy taproot underground.

to encourage more fine root growth, add pumice & not perlite.

as for lowering the risk of rot, have you considered limiting the watering cycle?

are your growing conditions the same as kada's or other people, who may be forced to grow cacti in highly humid/tropical environments?

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Zelly,

Hanazono does the root pruning thing, he's a real pro with cacti cultivation and he's in South Australia.

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Does it have a main root coming down from the fat taproot? Cos that's prob what I'd cut off rather than cutting into the fatty bit. When I cut roots I make sure there's a decent amount of fine roots above where I'm cutting. Do you have problems with rot generally or just looking to experiment?

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Zelly,

Hanazono does the root pruning thing, he's a real pro with cacti cultivation and he's in South Australia.

What better way than to learn from the pro? I'm just a semi literate amateur :)

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I would like to know if rot more commonly enters the root system at the tap root or the smaller fine roots leading to the tap root. Or is it more a case of conditions favouring rot can induce it to begin at any point on the root system.

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I would think the latter nut, rot could enter from any wound be it a broken tiny root or a cut in the tap root, or even healthy plant tissue subjected to persistent moisture.

So convergence, did you cut or no?

I asked a thai friend of mine who grows and sells cacti (mainly astrophytum and ariocarpus) for a living in thailand... he does not perform these cuts, as they too often predispose to rotting, unless you have a lot of experience with this method. There are others in thailand who do it though with success.

If your ariocarpus collection is small, I would not do this, because I think the risk to lose the plant is decent...

Btw here's a pic of an ario that this was performed on:

post-14425-0-47757000-1455503027_thumb.j

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We live in the same dry, awesome climate for cacti cultivation Convergence. I just don't think the risk out ways the benefits. I think Zelly is right on the soil additives and water regime. I'm all for experiments though so if you do keep us posted. I don't think it needed for our climate re rot but if it truly increased growth time I am all ears. Still don't think I could bring myself to do it. I'm not sure if I would want to buy a plant that had been taproot cut either.

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I would like to know if rot more commonly enters the root system at the tap root or the smaller fine roots leading to the tap root

what if the organisms that cause rot are already in the plant/roots and only manifest themselves into full blown rot when certain conditions are met?

we've seen the pics of tuberous rooted cacti fully immersed in hydro solutions with out incurring rot, so what factors in conjunction with excessive water causes rot?

I will say once you've lost some really superb specimens from over watering & root rot, a person quickly learns water control, however that doesnt do a damn thing for large grafted crests that somehow develop rot from totally internal areas.

Lose a couple of those & you begin to see a much bigger picture, in what the hell does mother nature know that over-zealous mankind hasn't quite figured out......

Some people are content to grow plants as mother nature intended & other people want to push the envelope & the plant to grow on terms they dictate.

Mother nature has been at it a helluva lot longer, so maybe experiment with plants you wont mind losing?

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Yeh I havent pruned the root, this is my only Kotschoubeyanus thats not still in a seedling tray. I will be trying this technique with some of my seedlings when they get repotted next Spring/Summer, but not with any bought grown specimens.

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I wonder if you could achieve similar results (decreased rot vulnerability) by planting only the lower portion of the tap root with the micro roots and leaving the upper portion exposed like a caudex? Clearly you end up with an entirely different looking specimen, but that is not an issue for everybody. I don't know how well it would work with an ariocarpus though. I could only find one example when I did a quick google image search.

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I wonder if you could achieve similar results (decreased rot vulnerability) by planting only the lower portion of the tap root with the micro roots and leaving the upper portion exposed like a caudex? Clearly you end up with an entirely different looking specimen, but that is not an issue for everybody. I don't know how well it would work with an ariocarpus though. I could only find one example when I did a quick google image search.

Decreased rot vulnerability is not the main reason. A proper draining mix and correct watering achieve that. The point is increased fine root growth and faster above ground growth.

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