Super Pointless Projects for the Bored

Project One: Unnecessary Grafting – Schlumbergera x buckleyi onto Cleistocactus strausii

The Victims

First up we have our victims.  The only reason I’m bother with this is because I got the wacky idea that a weeping Christmas cactus standard would be fun.  WHY DID I THINK THIS WOULD BE FUN?!

A totally unneeded shot of the top… I guess it’s not TOTALLY unneeded (is unneeded a word?  Spell check says it is but it looks really silly to have so many double letters together).  You can see that it has a really narrow diameter, which I’m hoping means it will have a nice skinny vascular bundle which will be important (when you see how narrow the vascular bundle is in my christmas cactus).

Top is lopped off!  Fortunately it had a small vascular bundle, just like I was hoping for!  When you’re grafting you need the vascular bundle to line up properly otherwise the graft won’t take.  I’m hoping I got the veins to line up…

The scion!  I actually took this off a different christmas cactus (One I got from Mr. Subjunctive) because it had meatier veins.  The picture plant is a struggling plant that I got from my mom who got it from her mom who got it from her mom (who probably got it from her mom). I shaved the bottom of this guy so that there would be more surface area exposed with hopes that it’ll increase the chance of the graft taking (and forgot to take pictures!)

The final result!  If the graft takes I’m hoping the plant will grow in a more 3-D way (not just a flat spray but more like a fountain).  I’m not sure if this will work but I sure hope it does!  How great would that look in full bloom (not that I’ve ever gotten a true christmas cactus to bloom)?  I didn’t put a picture of it but I put a rubberband around the the rootstock near the graft to keep the graft in place.  If you’re interested in seeing another attempt at interspecies christmas cactus grafting, check out Mike Is Bored to see a Christmas cactus grafted onto Epiphyllum!

(Have you ever noticed I really like parenthesis?)

Also, Thanks to those of you who voted for my pictures from the last post!

In other news, yesterday it was 55º, sunny and gorgeous.  Today? Snowing heavily, 25º and generally annoying.  At least I have my wall of houseplants to keep the white at bay!

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8 thoughts on “Super Pointless Projects for the Bored

  1. You know, I have no idea. I just bought the rootstock a few weeks ago so I’d guess probably a year or so. The scion is a plant I’ve had for about a year now, and I think it was a year old when I got it. I have no idea if the graft will take at all…I’ve had them take before but this one isn’t looking so hot at the moment :(

  2. This is fantastic. I did this graft not long ago because I was bored. Wasn’t sure if it would take, but the other day I noticed that the thanksgiving cactus I used is budding! I am really excited to see how it continues to turn out! Please keep us updated on this project, I am looking forward to seeing how it takes.

    • Mostly because I can. A lot of the ones at Home Depot and the like are grafts that wouldn’t otherwise survive on their own (lack of Chlorophyll), such as those bright pink and yellow grafts. Other cacti are grafted because grafting often produces tons of offsets and some people like to have a million of the same plant. Other cacti are often really hard to grow on their own roots or won’t grow new roots of the main one is damaged so grafting is your only choice to save that particular specimen. Grafted plants also will occasionally flower more freely than ungrafted plants so for some people that is a reason to do it.

  3. Hi, Just saw your post now – came to your blog from Pinterest. I was wondering if that was a Fig in the last photo – with figs on it? I have a fig myself, but how do you get yours to fruit?

  4. It is indeed a fig (the cultivar Chicago Hardy) and those are figs. I let the plant go dormant every fall, even to the point of almost letting it freeze (actually this year it did freeze a few times…maybe I should go make sure it’s still alive!). I then let it sit, dormant, in the basement for about a month. Anywhere where it is cool and bright will be good. Some time in midwinter I bring it upstairs so it can re-leaf out and fruit. It’s kind of a crapshoot but it’s worked for me! Good luck!

    • That’s neat. . . I do practically the same thing as you, but maybe mine just isn’t old enough. How old is your fig? Do you need to give it a really big pot like I know some plants need or can I treat it more like a citrus, where the pot size isn’t as crucial? I’m not sure what variety I have – it’s actually a simple layering (I think, or an offshoot/root sprout) from my dad’s fig that is older than me. His fig hasn’t produced any figs yet, but probably because it’s outside and is damaged every year from Michigan winter.

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