Grafting on Schlumbergera

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Shane
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Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Shane »

Inspired by this video, I decided to try grafting on S. truncata (the commonly available Thanksgiving cactus, often sold as Christmas cactus).

Schlumbergera presented as an alternative to Pereskiopsis in the video. I doubt you'll get the same growth rate (especially with one segment cuttings like they use), but advantages include they're easy to work with and less finicky to grow (low temperatures seem to really affect Pereskiopsis growth; a problem I definitely have)

I'm going to use this thread to share my experiences and what I learn. Anyone with anything to share about Schlumbergera is welcome to jump on as well
Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
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Shane
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Shane »

Last month I bought a flat of what I presume to be various cultivars of S. truncata. I think it's the species and not a hybrid, but I'm not certain

I finally planted them all in one container today. I'd struggled to find something that would fit them all without being enormous. I found a shallow tub my neighbor was throwing away and drilled a bunch of holes in it for drainage. The plants looked mostly healthy, though some of them were a bit dry. Hopefully the somewhat deeper container they're in now will help them stay wetter (and I'll pay more attention too...)
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Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
Pereskiopsisdotcom
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Pereskiopsisdotcom »

I've tried this a few times on and off when they go on clearance after Christmas. I've never grafted directly to a fully mature plant. I've always just pulled off the fattest segments available on the plant, rooted in rock wool and grafted seedlings to the top. I've never used grafting tape or anything to secure them because they stay on reliably with the sap on the Schlumbergera. Keeping the humidity up though has always been a problem to prevent the scion from shriveling up and disappearing. My results have been what you would expect. Growth has been incredibly slow, but predictable and not finicky in any way. I've gotten used to Pereskiopsis and have even learned to avoid glochids in grafting without gloves or special tools. I've been meaning to post an update on my website. Hopefully, I can do that soon and link to it here.
http://pereskiopsis.com

Interests include: Rhipsalis, Turbinicarpus, Gymnocalycium, and Lophophora.
DaveW
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by DaveW »

A friend of mine always used water or similar clear plastic bottles with the bottom cut off over his grafts (usually his were on Trichocereus or Echinopsis, but works for all stocks) in order to keep them humid and not drying out too quickly whilst the graft is taking. Depending on how much humidity he wanted he either left the screw cap on, or removed it for more ventilation. Using them in fact like a cloche or mini greenhouse.

Same idea as this video and of course you can get various sized bottles to suit your needs:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQpqM7l4S20
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Shane
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Shane »

I was planning on grafting to removed sections too. I think there would be just too much branching in a mature plant (not that mine are anywhere near mature, but still). I was going to experiment with using 2+ segment cuttings to speed the growth

Dave: I'm actually familiar with that method. I tried it last year to speed growth in my Pereskiopsis stocks (it turned out humidity wasn't the issue so I don't do it now). It's a very clever idea
Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
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Edwindwianto
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Edwindwianto »

DaveW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:36 pm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQpqM7l4S20
Thanks for sharing Sir
The simplest idea that works well, often escapes my mind
Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:20 pm Growth has been incredibly slow, but predictable and not finicky in any way.
What do you mean?
That a scion which is grafted on Schlumbergera will not grows into an obese unnatural cacti (like it would when it was grafted on Pereskiopsis)?
DaveW
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by DaveW »

Generally speaking both Schlumbergera and Pereskiopsis are considered short term stocks to push seedlings on since their vascular bundles are more of the size of small seedlings. From a mechanical point of view however eventually the scion would become too heavy for the flimsy stock and it would either bend over or break off. Therefore later the scions are usually re-grafted onto more permanent stocks like Cereus, Echinopsis, Trichocereus or Harrisia jusbertii etc, or rooted down. About 1.5-2cm of the base of the scion preferably being left on the original stock to produce more offsets for propagation as they tend to be a little lignified at the grafting point and so do not root or graft as well if severed there.

Whether the scion grows unnaturally depends how vigorous the stock is. Most seedlings on stocks do grow quicker than normal and hence out of character at first on stocks, but become more in character as they get larger. However often the longer the stock is the more out of character, at least regarding size they can get. I saw a picture of a Pseudolobivia on a two meter high Cereus planted in a bed which being very vigorous with free root run had produced a clump of the Pseudolobivia on top nearly 30cm across in just a few years. I also remember seeing a talk of a visit to a ladies collection on the Continent who grew all her Sulcorebutia's on stocks about one meter high and they were clumps about 30cm across on the stock tops so quite uncharacteristic of the plants in habitat, but flowered their heads off. Maybe a good way for a nurseryman to quickly provide offsets to either re-graft or root down though.
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Pereskiopsisdotcom »

Edwindwianto wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:40 am
DaveW wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:36 pm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQpqM7l4S20
Thanks for sharing Sir
The simplest idea that works well, often escapes my mind
Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:20 pm Growth has been incredibly slow, but predictable and not finicky in any way.
What do you mean?
That a scion which is grafted on Schlumbergera will not grows into an obese unnatural cacti (like it would when it was grafted on Pereskiopsis)?
Exactly. From my experience, seedling scions grafted to Schlumbergera plump up only slightly a couple of weeks after a solid vascular connection is made. Thereafter, I find them nothing like Pereskiopsis. Pereskiopsis causes bloating, massive growth, caespitose behavior, etc. I haven't bothered to see if it's just because I'm grafting to a single pad or two pad section of stock and whether or not grafting to a fully growing Schlumbergera would make a difference but I suspect growth is subdued either way comparatively speaking.
http://pereskiopsis.com

Interests include: Rhipsalis, Turbinicarpus, Gymnocalycium, and Lophophora.
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Shane
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Shane »

So a minor update, I did a couple of test batches with bad results. The grafts fuse then scions die. I think I'm going to have to rethink my technique
Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Pereskiopsisdotcom »

Shane wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:18 pm So a minor update, I did a couple of test batches with bad results. The grafts fuse then scions die. I think I'm going to have to rethink my technique
What's the technique you're using? I used to have trouble trying to graft scions straight to growing Schlumbergera plants with zero success. It was also especially hard to position them so they didn't fall off. Instead, I have had success twisting off segments of pads, usually only thick and wide pads or two pads attached. I then graft the seedling to the pad. The connection is easy with globular cacti because of the sticky juice in the Schlumbergera. I then make slits in rockwool fit snug in a container. The pads get pushed into the slits after being dipped in rooting hormone. I water the rockwool when it starts drying out and usually in a couple of weeks I have some reasonable roots growing and new pads coming off the sides. I often allow the new pads to try to encourage the main pad to thicken up and root growth to continue. Where I live all of this requires intense humidity or everything dries out. Of course, Parafilm could also maintain the humidty and connection well.
http://pereskiopsis.com

Interests include: Rhipsalis, Turbinicarpus, Gymnocalycium, and Lophophora.
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Shane
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Shane »

Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:59 pm What's the technique you're using?
I used cuttings rather than already rooted plants too. My first try was using humidity. I'm not sure what the trick is, but I've never had much success with humidity for anything. I did a couple regrafts of the originals using parafilm. They looked pretty deathly when I wrote the reply a few day ago but maybe one will hang on. Same with the original batch. I think I need to try p-film again. Seems more promising. I did two more grafts later. A Schlumbergera to Schlumbergera and Gymnocalycium to Schlumbergera. I tightly wrapped those in p-film and plastic wrap (and some tape) and they seem happy and not drying out. I think maybe just better wrapping is the answer?

My preferred method of rooting is putting the cuttings in damp pumice. I think there are a number of techniques that work equally well, I just happen to have pumice
Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Pereskiopsisdotcom »

Shane wrote: Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:12 am
Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:59 pm What's the technique you're using?
My preferred method of rooting is putting the cuttings in damp pumice. I think there are a number of techniques that work equally well, I just happen to have pumice
Yes, I used to work in a university greenhouse that used perlite with misting as a method for rooting schlumbergera and it was quite reliable.
http://pereskiopsis.com

Interests include: Rhipsalis, Turbinicarpus, Gymnocalycium, and Lophophora.
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Shane
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Re: Grafting on Schlumbergera

Post by Shane »

So I have a few overall impressions a year later:

I think overall Schlumbergera is not a good stock. The one or two cladodes I used as stocks are too tender, much more easily killed than larger plants. This is in contrast to Pereskiopsis which is vigorous to a size much smaller than you would ever use as a stock. The growth speed is not great either. After a year, a one year old scion is about as big as a 2 year old own roots plant. Finally, these plants do not appreciate normal cactus culture, in contrast to other stocks. I think if you wanted to use this stock extensively, you'd need an area just for these plants with conditions they like. This could be done, but with the downsides I mentioned before I'm not sure it's worth it. On a positive note, the character of the growth of the scions was indistinguishable from that of own roots plants

Something interesting I noticed was that 2 cladode stocks did not seem to speed growth any more than 1 cladode stocks. I think maybe the limiting factor for these stocks may be their roots
Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
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