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The Easy Guide To Cultivating Mescaline Cactus Cuttings

Cultivating Mescaline Cactus Cuttings


Congratulations, your cactus cutting has arrived. When you first inspect it, don’t freak out if you see the odd blemish. Trichos and lots of other cactus species bruise pretty easily. Occasionally, your mescaline cactus cutting might arrive with a few visible black spots. This is bruising. Not signs of rot. A rotted cactus will feel extra soft and usually oozes from rotted sections that appear as orange/black discoloured patches. Black spots from bruising will scar and heal in a few weeks to a few months. Should you discover actual rotting flesh, you must carefully cut the section away.

The base of the cactus cutting should be dry to the touch and well-calloused. Fresh, green, wet cuttings simply will not root. The bottom of your cactus must not be moist. If the bottom of the cutting is damp for any reason, it’s trouble. You need to put a moist cutting in a low-humidity, shaded area for about a week to dry it out completely. Dryness will encourage roots to emerge in search of nutrients.


Soil Mix

You can mix your own medium, but there really is no need. It’s far more convenient to pick up a bag of pre-fertilised ornamental cactus soil from the local garden centre. Using sand or perlite as a standalone substrate is not recommended. Although, many cactus growers favour a very well-draining and highly aerated soil with 50% perlite added. Amending store bought cactus soil with 50% perlite might sound like a lot, but for rooting a young cutting, it is an ideal medium.


Rooting a cactus cutting is relatively easy. After you have premixed your substrate, you are ready to introduce your cactus cutting to its new home. Do not water the soil. Not a drop. Again, contrary to rooting most other plant species, cacti require a dry medium. At most, you can lightly mist the soil with a sprayer. Cacti don’t absorb water through the skin, so don’t worry if some of the mist makes contact with the cactus flesh.

Be careful not to bury the cutting too deep. Use your fingers to scoop out about 5cm deep into the container and plant your cutting vertically. Larger cuttings can go 10cm deep. Most growers will use a small pot until the cactus matures, then pot-up to a larger container. We will explain how to repot a little later.


Lighting And Watering Your Cactus

After you plant your cutting, you need to place it in a dry spot out of direct sunlight. For the next 3-4 weeks, you will need to play the waiting game and be patient until your shaded infant cutting takes root. You can check for root development by gently brushing away soil and pulling up the cutting a bit from the pot. Another couple weeks of patience may be required if your cutting has not rooted yet.

Watering needs to be applied with a “less is more” mentality. Once the cutting has rooted, you can think about watering. Regular weekly feeds should be a small volume of water/nutrient solution; less regular monthly watering can be a larger volume feed. Never should the soil be saturated. Excess moisture will cause rot.

A rooted cutting is ready to receive sunlight. If possible, try to get them started at temps in the lower 20’s Celsius until they mature some. A red-hot baking summer day is not the best time to give your cutting its first day of sunshine.


Cacti Thrive In Higher Temperatures

Cacti thrive in higher temperatures typically between 20-35°C during the daytime, and above 15°C at night. However, cuttings should be rooted in temperatures closer to the lower end of the scale until they mature. Dry conditions are favoured by Peyote and San Pedro, although San Pedro is a little more tolerant to humidity as it originates in the Andes. Indoors, San Pedro cuttings are some of the fastest rooting and growing cacti. A greenhouse can also make a perfect cactus habitat. Some can grow as much as 50cm per season if you treat them right.


Contrary to most other plant species, cacti don’t require much nitrogen. In fact, they do not require much fertiliser at all. What nutrients you do feed need to be in the correct ratio for optimal growth. An N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio of 7-40-6 is recommended. Alternatively, 1-7-6 fertilisers are also popular amongst cactus cultivators.


Repotting Or Transplanting A Cactus

Repotting or transplanting a cactus is simple. After a few months, your cuttings may become root bound. This means they need more space for the cactus to continue growing. Fill a larger container with cactus potting soil and make a hole deep enough for the small container to fit. Remove the cactus from the small container by pushing gently from the base and lifting the whole medium and root mass all in one. This is pretty easy once the soil is really dry (and if you use a small plastic container to start your cutting). Then, transfer the cutting to the hole in the larger container.


Large cuttings that are 50-60cm need support. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process. Bamboo stakes or redwood garden stakes used by vegetable farmers are readily available and the perfect cactus supports. Set two stakes vertically in the soil, one to the left and one to the right of the cactus. Then, use gardening twine to create a tense support line on two sides of the cactus. This should help larger cuttings stay upright.

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