Summer of 2022: E. Macrogonus in an Orange Pot

Just a current photo of the way this cultivar develops in a decent size pot. I call this the “castle style” when you get a bunch of cuttings together and they form a semi-solid looking structure after a while. It’s a great way to breed pups for replanting. A veritable puppy mill one might say.

This came from Koehres seed started way way back around 2009. One of my favorites. OK they are all my favorites. It’s been named TMAK001. Got lots available, rooted, unrooted, freshly cut, etc.

E. Macrogunus medium spine, TMAK001

Arming Your Cactus

Cacti have the right to bear arms. No second amendment needed. But how does one go about getting that “classic” cactus silhouette from your columnar cultivar that likes to put out just one main section? The one in these photos is an Echinopsis lageniformis (aka Trichocereus bridgesii) and when you cut it back it usually just puts out new pups right at the top. Sometimes only one pup but have seen up to four on this variety which was taken from a Kohres seed grown specimen.

E. langenformis T. Bridgesii
E. langenformis TBK002, armed and dangerous

The way I got it to put out side arms was to wait until it was about 4.5′ tall then chop off the top couple feet during the middle of the growing season. Then give it lots of water, lots of sunlight, some fertilizer, and let mother nature do her thing. Hopefully you’ll then see some pups emerging lower down on the column. About two years later these arms are over a foot each.

E. langenformis T. Bridgesii
TBK002 reaching for the sky

One thing you have to watch out for when growing this variety and related varieties in containers outside their native habitat is they tend to get “wasp waisted” and the lower base section stays relatively thin while the upper sections get fatter and fatter making for a plant that eventually will get too top heavy for the thin lower column to support. To get around this you need to chop the main column and replant the whole thing lower down in the soil so the thinnest part is below ground.

Base just doesn’t get any thicker while the rest of the plant puts on the pounds…. Container Cactus Syndrome?
E. langenformis T. bridgesii TBK002
We are the arms of the world! TBK002. 2021

The Peruvian Apple seedling saga

In 2020 I spotted a flowering Cereus Peruvianus outside a local pizza shop and as luck would have it some of my Cereus cuttings were flowering at the same time. A late night run snagged some pollen and was able to get two fruits:

One of them dropped off and got a bit banged up before I found it. Tasted a little bit of the white flesh and reminds me a bit of watermelon.

The seeds:

Planted about 30 of the seeds in regular potting soil and they germinated very quickly. A month or two out they are mostly around 1/4″. The purple color probably is because they are getting more sunlight than they need at this stage in their germination. Keeping them mostly in the shade but they do get a small amount of direct sun early in the day.

Coronavirus free cacti. Guaranteed!

It’s June 2020. And I’ve got a lot of rooted and unrooted cacti to sell. Tell me what you want and your shipping address and will give you a good deal.

6″ puppies with good roots, getting bigger every day
Pick a cactus, any cactus…
We struck Jade!

Shelter from the storm

This spring finally built something to keep the cacti in the sun but out of the rain. Last year every time it rained more than a little had to grab all the cacti and put them under the back porch roof or even in the garage. The reason being that if these cacti get too much water they will get the “black spot” syndrome and will also rot from the roots. Believe me it’s a lot of work to move 200+ cacti every time you hear thunder…

So ordered up a bunch of 6 mil. greenhouse plastic from fleebay. A couple pieces of 2×2 and 2×4 lumber from Home Despot, some cheap metal brackets, plus a couple pieces of wood that have been sitting in the neighbor’s backyard and VOILA! Now I don’t have to panic every time it pours.

Was concerned about the wind because it can really kick up some gusts in the back but so far no problems. 

Now I want to build a real greenhouse.  Maybe next year.

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm

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Cactus rodeo- movin’ the lil’ doggies to the sunporch

Here in NJ this year first frost is later than ever- November 7th and still hasn’t come. Supposed to hit 22 degrees F in a few days however so yesterday moved almost all the cacti onto front semi-heated sunporch where they will remain in dormancy until the spring.

Notice the glass shelves on brick pillars. Seemed like a good idea at the time as the glass would let the light through but I worry about putting too much weight on them and having them crack. Would be a CACTUS-ASTROPHE if you know what I mean.

The big Bridgessii probably grew a foot this year and is now taller than me at about 6’8″ with the pot included. Lots more air roots showed up. Still way way too narrow at the base and you can tell it wants to fall over and live it’s life as a log…

My favorites are the Peruvianus both Kohres and Icaros / Ikaros types which are developing similarly. Nice and fat compared to most of the other Trichs and think they have the best chance of putting out flowers and seeds eventually. Could be years down the road though.

The smaller Peruvianus cuttings put out some dark green pups and are looking nice and healthy. Have no idea why some Trichs grow pale and others have that healthy dark green color that I’ve been dreaming about… Has to be some combination of soil, water, temperature, sun exposure, pot size, nutrients, and who knows what else.

Y’all come back now.


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Hello fellow cactus aficionados!

Back around 2009 I purchased my first “San Pedro” cutting from an online auction site. The seller told me he picked up the plant in Arizona and it was Pachanoi variety. It has very short spines, grows fast, and puts out lots of pups from the base.

Then I started thinking about getting serious about raising and breeding cacti for FUN and profit and ran into a simple problem- with all the different varieties of Trichocereus cacti available on the big online websites how could I be sure what I was buying was correctly identified? So I found a grower who purchased his seeds from a reputable German cactus seed seller called Koehres and bought 10 seedlings from him. I got two each of varieties Bridgesii, Pachanoi, Peruvianus, and Macrogonus. He also sent me two seedlings labeled as Icaros DNA. The reason for getting two each is because (as far as I know) Trichos are self sterile and you need to get pollen from a separate plant in order for them to set fruit and create more seeds. At least that is the way my Cereus Peruvianus cactus is as I have had hundreds of flowers but no fruit yet.

The plan was to create “pure” seeds by putting pollen from one Bridgesii on the other Bridgesii flower, same for Pachanoi, etc. Then I could offer guaranteed variety seed, and have records and photos of both of the parents. And of course experiment with hybrids and try to create offspring with extra vigor and other interesting characteristics. The problem with this plan is that these cactus take a LONG time to mature and put out flowers, and also would have to have at least two of the same variety flowering at exactly the same time. And the flowers only bloom for a night or two. My biggest cactus so far is around 6′ tall and no flowers yet….

I can now compare how Koehres Tricho seeds develop:

When small both Bridgesii seedlings looked identical but as they get older there are distinctive differences that are not just due to environmental issues like the pot size and soil mixture. My Bridgesii “O1″ cuttings look just like the classic photos of the variety found online. It grows fast and is not a fat cactus- even at 6′ tall the widest part is only around 4” and must be supported, although that may be due to the fact that is does not ever get a full day’s sun. It has pretty long spines and what I would call an “angular” look. It is usually a paler green.

My Bridgesii “02” started out looking like the first one but as the cuttings got older noticed differences. For one thing it grows slower and is much more susceptible to over-watering- will get the black spots on it if too much water. The top has a more rounded look than the 01, and the spines often fall off during slower growth times giving the top an almost smooth look.

That’s enough for today, tune in soon for details on the FAT Peruvianus from Koehres.


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