Jump to content
The Corroboree
Phytolater

How to deal with Achuma Pups? And make no more disastrous errors?

Recommended Posts

Hi, please don't laugh at the photos (I know you will!) :( I've been struggling for over 4 years trying to care for my cacti, they're still alive (just) and it's still my first attempt. I had done my research before purchasing seeds but obviously hadn't read enough as my cacti soon began shrinking in the poor soil. It was diagnosed as a lighting problem, but a new system didn't help much. Eventually I changed the soil and they expanded like a dry sponge in water (well not quite that fast!). Much later, when they were doing well, I dropped the poor things on their heads when the tray I was carrying went arse over tit. Amazingly they survived the fall, but leaned, lurched and etiolated. Eventually they were so thin, I thought they'd die if I took cuttings and dried them out even more (and I was afraid of them getting infected from the cut). Since they were doing so badly in the tent, I moved them to the window. I figured since they were horizontal, they might be able to take root in the neighbouring pots. Another fail, lol! BUT it looks like maybe a second chance as pups are appearing!!! It was a complete surprise when I discovered the first two just before xmas. If I leave them alone, will they survive? If I have to separate them, how best to do it? It would be a nice change to have some success! :unsure:

IMG_1848.JPG

IMG_1847.JPG

IMG_1846.JPG

IMG_1808.JPG

IMG_1815.JPG

IMG_1837.JPG

IMG_1823.JPG

IMG_1835b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What!

 

You grew these from seed?

 

That's a good effort, but these have been inside, in too little light, in a too-humid environment, for a very long time.

 

I don't understand the climate location Cfb, but in a decent temperate climate, I would chop off the nice, upward growing, undiseased tips, callous them, plant them in good soil and put them outside in a sunny spot but with protection from strong afternoon sun.

 

All the upright ones will improve outside in good soil and will quickly surpass the current growth levels. The rest you can keep and lay them down in good soil outside, on their sides, they will  grow roots from the sections touching soil and grow pups that stand upright - but some look diseased, scale or some such, so keep them away from your healthy ones.

 

They will survive as they are but if you want healthy nice fat plants, basically get them upright, in good soil, in bright light, preferably outside.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Micromegas, I started out with 21 seeds (purchased online), only a third of them germinated but I know what to do next time. When they had started to grow well I moved them into a tall tent (being a bit optimistic there, haha!) but heat rises, and even with the heat mat, lowering the lighting, throwing in a heated towel rail for company, for some reason from where they sat the temperature was always just borderline okay, so maybe soil wasn’t drying out enough. But they’ve been feeling the solar warmth lately! Thanks for the advice Micromegas, guess I knew I’d have to take cuttings but have been hesitating as I don’t want to mess this up, so really appreciate the encouragement! Btw I’m in ACT which is classified as Cfb (subtropical highland climate) on the Köppen system, and on the ABCB Climate Zone Map it’s 7 (cool/temperate). IMO, a more extreme zone classification is needed for ACT. I understand T. Bridgesii can handle a little light frost. Would you reckon it’s temperate enough here to plant them outside?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd consider chopping them up into 6 inch pieces and potting them up in a community pot. Gradually give them more light over the next couple months. After a year or two you can use them as pup machines. Where you keep cutting off the nice quality pups and grafting them or just re-potting them singly. If you do it right you can milk them for hundreds of fine pups over the next decade or more.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically you did well to grow those plants, especially from 21 seeds! And whatever conditions they are in now are better than b4, otherwise they would not be growing upright, with healthy epidermis, and in the shape of club (the tip is slightly fatter than the middle/bottom).

 

You have options now, being what I have said, what HD has said, or let them keep going as they are in these better conditions until they are bigger. You could try a variety of options as you have enough to test a few things.

 

To answer the original question though - those pups are not large enough to grow on their own and if you cut them, you will need to graft them. Good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just have one last question, but first many thanks to you both, Micromegas and Halcyon Daze, I feel very encouraged by your support, knowledge and suggestions :) Regarding the pups, I'm not ready to attempt grafting so will let them grow a while. And is it okay if I also cut the good tips off the ones that have produced the pups at the base of their stems? I was unable to find info about that and just want to make sure that doing the cuttings won't affect the pups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That will be fine. In fact, cutting of the tips will cause the pups to grow faster.

 

It's a little hard to see from the photos exactly which plant is doing what but here's a hypothetical...

 

If I had a 30cm trichocereus that was procumbent (lying on the ground) when it shouldn't be (not a naturally procumbent plant) but had a 10cm upward, healthy tip, but also had two pups coming from close to the base and looking like they were going to grow well and upright, I would chop off the 10cm tip and make a single plant (this will be the best plant). The I would cut out the middle section, say another 10-15cm. These I would lay down in a pot per HD suggestion, so it grew roots from the bottom. This plant would grow pups of its own, upright. This would leave another 10cm section, with a root ball and pups. This I would leave in its existing pots, so the pups could grow out, to a size where they could be removed (i.e. next season).

 

This would turn one procumbent 30cm plant into - a healthy single column, a pup 'factory', and a healthy root ball with pups.

 

Also it looks to me that you have one, nice already upright plant that is growing a small pup from the base. I would remove the pup from this particular plant (coz it's diverting growth from what appears to be your most upright plant), and repot the plant deeper than it currently is, as it doesn't look like it's sitting in much soil at all. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great explanation Micromegas, so thanks, I'm pretty sure that is everything I needed to know! :) The photos are a bit misleading, in fact only one plant is upright and it doesn't have any pups. You see only a part of it above, so I'm attaching a new (rather grainy) photo. It's pale at the top as it's getting too tall (39cm) to catch all the direct sunlight through the window, also top-heavy and struggling to stay upright so I'll probably have to chop it as well. I hope to be posting up some really good photos next season! Thanks for all your help.

IMG_1851.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think micromegas is pretty spot on , knows what they are talking about . Personally I think bigger pots to improve root ball size thus increasing overall size and health as they are able to absorb more water and nutrients , improve soil drainage it looks like it would hold moisture for ages , get them outside bring them in for winter if it gets to cold where you are.

 

As for the bendy ones you can see the tips have turned upright an begun to take on a nice colour , let them double in size atleast the smaller my cuts are the longer they take to root for me for some reason ,at a decent size chop them let callous root in new pots and have a nice new start then see what you can get out of the pups 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×