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Can cacti with grafts on top grow taller-I've been told no

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:50 pm
by Laine
This started with me wanting to know what size pot to put these in to get them to grow. The tag said they could grow to be 5 feet tall. The only person who has responded told me they wouldn't grow because the grafts on top don't have chlorophyll. That makes no sense to me. To make things simpler, let's get some terms straight -we'll call the part without chlorophyll the orange part and the part with it the green part. First of all, how could a graft on top stop a plant from growing taller when plants grow from the bottom? Also, the orange part has to be able to grow or it wouldn't exist. That may sound simplistic, but logic is all I've got to go on, here. Can the orange part just not grow now that it has been grafted, but the green part can still grow? I was planning on buying some bigger pots, so I really need to know: are these babies going to grow?



Can the orange part really stop the green part from growing taller even though it's on top and plants grow from the bottom?

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:48 pm
by Kisal
Plants grow from the top, not from the bottom. The growing tip of the green part (the "stock" or "root stock") has been removed, in order to graft on the part that doesn't have any chlorophyll (the "scion"). That's why the plant won't grow any taller.

So, you may ask, why won't just the scion continue to grow and produce a tall cactus?

Sometimes, they do. However, cacti such as the one in your pic -- generally referred to as "Moon Cacti" -- don't grow very large because the type of cactus used for the root stock (usually a Hylocereus) isn't very long-lived on it's own, and the scion is usually a Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, which has been genetically altered to destroy its chlorophyll. What you have, then, is a plant consisting of a root stock that won't live very long and a scion that cannot live at all without the root stock. That combination doesn't make for a plant capable of becoming very large, simply because it cannot live long enough.

It is possible to re-graft the scion onto a different root stock of a longer-lived variety, but without that intervention, you just have an interesting little plant suitable for a windowsill.

Moon cacti are produced by the millions, and are sold solely for their unusual appearance.

HTH! :)

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:04 pm
by BewilderedGreenyO.o
I'm gunna agree with Kisal on that :D Its some good advice from good people going on here u should definitely take it and use it to your advantage :D

Anyway while looking up these Moon Cacti to see what they were all about I came across this Photo, Tis' supposedly a 12 year old plant. So Pretty :wink:


Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:41 am
by Green Mantis
Wow, to get that to live that long and flower, did you graft it on a different bottom :?: :?: :?: I really didn't know they flowered. Gorgeous. What size pot do you have your 12 year old plant in :?: Sure hope you answer. Thanks :D