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 "Tales From the Cacti Cube"

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IXOXI
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PostSubject: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:18 pm

Ok, after having problems with bird, bug & dog attacks, too much sun, too much rain, and a host of other mini plagues, I decided to build the Cacti Cube. The biggest factor was that my wife said to go ahead and build it, so earlier this year, I headed off to Bunnings for a load of lumber, plastic and various tools, supplies & lights etc. The Cacti Cube was officially turned on at some point in April.
It has heating, cooling, lights on timers, humidity controls and all airflow in and out is through filters to attempt to keep the bugs and stuff out. It also has power points for germination trays and my laptop in case I ever needed to look something up (on Australian Cacti Forum for example). It's got space set up to hold 3,240 grafted cacti, root stock growing areas and show plants that I want kept in an optimal environment. Plants that need the winter dormancy will not go into it, though I may end up building a non-heated version with separate lighting to allow cooler temps, but still in safe conditions.
Since I have set it up, all of the plants that I moved into it, have resumed growing, and are doing even better then they were outside during the growing season.
I just have not had the time to post photos as I worked on it, so here's a few to start with.





Here's a picture taken a couple of days after I turned on the first bank of lights:


Grafts and seedlings growing happy on the shelves:


Since it was all set up, I have seen some really interesting things happening with some of the grafts, and (as time allows), I'll show them off in this thread.


Last edited by IXOXI on Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hellonasty
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:49 pm

Really nice work Smile

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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:56 pm

Thanks, I'm going to post some micro photos from it soon.
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:24 pm

This is one of the grafted Astrophytum caput-medusae seedlings. It slowly rolled over to one side, then sprouted a bump which turned into the second head. Since then it has sprouted additional tubercles, and appears to be monstrose. It has 8 definite tubercles, and what looks like 2 more probable ones emerging. I shot pictures of it from both sides.

[img][/img]
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:29 pm

Here is a picture of one of the shelves that I am growing root stocks on. There is a couple of near empty rows because I had just this morning removed around 30 of them from the tray, to be grafted tonight or tomorrow. They will be filled back in soon after the grafts are done, because I have hundreds of cuttings that only need to be potted, before they can get to growing.

[img][/img]
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:35 pm

This Ariocarpus was one of about 30 seedlings that I grafted. The seeds were planted in Feb or March. Two of the seedlings started growing oddly from the beginning, one got really fat, and then this one has grown pointy spines that stick into your fingers, and some of the spines are not even on the ends of the tubercles! It's some form of monstrose Ario. A few of the spines are bent, only because I was testing (with my finger) to see if they were sharp (Yes, very sharp). The areole is almost identical to the one just below it, on the Pereskiopsis. Also this Ariocarpus has hints of green colour to it, unlike the rest of the batch. I am wondering if perhaps it is a Ariocarpus / Pereskiopsis chimera.

What do you think?

[img][/img]
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Hanazono
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:47 pm

IXOXI

Could you tell me what species of Arocarpus on the photo is?

Hanazono
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:20 am

Hanazono,
That is from a batch of ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus v. albiflorus.
When it germinated, it looked identical to all the others. Here is a second picture of it at another angle, so you can better see the side areole with the sharp spines.

[img][/img]

The lighting was a bit bright, if time allows, I'll get another photo to post. It was grafted at 10 days old, on 29th Feb. It is now over a centimeter tall.
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Hanazono
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:16 pm

I do not have A. kotschoubeyanus v albiflorus.
I sowed seeds of A. kotschoubeyanus v elephantideus on 23/09/2011 and grafted 24 seedlings on Pereskiopsis in January this year.
I could see an areole coming out from bottom of the body on one of scions several months ago.
A pup has torn the skin around the areole and come out.

I am not sure your scion is as same but you can see something soon.

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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:29 pm

New addition to the cube, a nice mature williamsii.



I'm pretty happy that my mate who seed grew it, never watered from the top, as the wool always looks so much better when they are bottom watered.
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:32 pm

@ Hanazono
The odd areole on the bottom of that ario, has not changed any, but I am keeping a close watch opn it to see if it does. I've had 3 other grafted plants have erupting pups show up like yours, so I imagine this would be the same.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:06 pm

Hi everyone, last week, one of the oddball cacti in the cube has finally resolved what it was doing - It's making a crest. Photos of it in time lapse show the apical meristem going lateral.
It's a loph, and it's definitely growing sideways.

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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:09 pm

Here's the other new mutant to show up in the cube - a double headed Astrophytum, on which one of the heads (left side in the photos) is crested.



It's not really easy to see in the photos, but the fold in the middle does stretch from side to side, and that half is growing wider. I am half tempted to try to remove the 'normal' head from the right side, but I don't want to kill the other one by accident - what do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:13 pm

I forgot to add, that the loph is 14mm across.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:27 pm

Cool very interesting keep us informed. I have an asterias very similar will show a pic soon if i remember.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:33 pm

Here's a nice little oddity. I am sure it's happened due to being grafted, and although I am sure it will sort itself out after a while, it's still doing things.





Also here is a nice pair of multi-headed cacti, a 4 or 5 headed Geohintonia mexicana, and a 3 headed Discocactus horstii.





If you like seeing updates of things in the cube, please let me know, as I don't want to post pics here if no one is enjoying them silent
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:28 am

Of course; keep updating this thread mate. I think everyone loves seeing the progress of grafts and photos of cacti in general.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:19 pm

Well, Spring is here in Sydney, and with it the heat, and some wind is arriving too. I'm shifting the configuration of the Cube, so it can better cope with the extra heat conditions. This mostly involves removing the heater unit, and replacing it with an additional fan set, to keep the air circulating. Also adding an extra filtered vent, as the humidity is getting a little high overall, and I'd like to be able to lower it quicker then it is currently capable of.

Next thing to add, is this photo of a variegated Astrophytum that has been doing unusual things. I'm not sure what is causing the pink / red colouration, but I wouldn't mind if it was part of the variegation. It's been growing at a rate of knots lately, and some of these micro photos are showing some very nice detail.



And here's an angle from 45 degrees looking down on it.

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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:00 pm

Yes I also enjoy seeing what's goin' down in the cube. What an amazing place, just wish I had one of my own!
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:29 pm

post post post! Haha. I could look at these all day. This forum takes alot of my time Smile
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:21 pm

Ok, I just didn't want to put too many things that others might find boring in here. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Today I have moved around 500 Astrophytum seedlings from their original seed trays, and into larger trays, starting the hardening off process, for eventual removal from the cube (around 2-3 weeks from now). One tray is all asterias, and one of them is a mixture of myriostigma, capricorn & ornatum.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:33 pm

Great thread IXOXI Very Happy You appear to have a good handle on grafting and general cacti cultivation. These results are a credit to you.

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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:34 pm

Thanks, I am glad it is enjoyed. Will be harvesting some seeds from the cube soon, as well as some seedlings, and will use them to hopefully re-start the free trade thread again too.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tales From the Cacti Cube"   Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:26 pm

A photo of one of my show plants, Tylecodon buchholzianus. I know it's not a cacti, but there are a couple of plants that are just too cool to leave out of the cube. These often have no leaves at all, and do nearly all of their photosynthesizing in their stem! They have hundreds of microscopic leaflets, and those function in place of the normal leaves. This one has 5 leaves, though at this angle they are not easy to see them all clearly. Also this caudiform has the propensity to drop branches if they bump or touch *anything*, and sometimes even if you just look at them funny. I have set aside one branch which recently came off, as part of what I am offering when I attempt to get the free trade thread going again this weekend.
Enjoy!

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