Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another update on the dragon fruit seedlings, and a cutting!

It's been a couple more weeks and though the dragon fruit seedlings haven't grown up, their spines have clearly grown down. As I said before, there are two leaves in a cactus seedling and when the middle of it gets covered in spines, the leaves are shed off and it looks like a true cactus. They're not completely down yet, so the leaves are still there, but I give them another month or so before they look like tiny cacti.

Remember the cactus I got a while ago? I replanted it and made it into a bonsai, it actually looks very nice! I'm not sure if the flowers are naturally green, the store may have just dyed it. I hope they're regularly like that, but I don't know. All I did was replanted it into peat moss and perlite in a nice pot, and surrounded the base with regular rocks.

Another thing, thursday, August 13th, I got a rooted dragon fruit cutting from ebay. It's the red fleshed kind, and was about 16inches long from the soil line when I bought it (smaller than the listing, but these are supposed to grow FAST from cuttings, as much as an inch a day.) The first thing I noticed was the packages weight. I was surprised at how light it was, less than a pound. From reading about the weight of cacti and that this was supposed to have a large diameter, I figured it would weight three or four pounds. The root ball was surrounded by peat moss and plastic. If I had know how fast these things root, (because that's how they climb) I would have just bought a regular cutting for cheaper. This thing might have even rooted in the mail.

The cutting had very short spines on the inside of the curves, which was convenient because you could easily hold it without getting jabbed. The general shape of the cactus was a sort of seraded edge, with the base seperated into three parts, and it was much lighter than I expected. Halfway up there was almost a woody time of stem, which I just found out is compacted root. The plant is usually seperated into segments separated by roots, of which seek out nutrients in cracks and trees. At the top of the bigger mass there was a little thread section which looked like another portion of the cactus starting.

I already had a six inch pot with some soil mixture still in it, so I planted it inside and added some peat moss and perlite for drainage plus a little granual fertilizer. If it grows I plan to add mulched organic matter for it to leech from. I stuck in two support sticks and taped them to the top of the cactus. I then taped them to the bottom of the pot, and the whole setup is outside on my front porch that gets a good portion of sun daily. I water them every three days and put in about a cup of water mixed with some liquid fertilizer I got from Mark of . (It's all organic matter, so it might do the trick instead of a solid mass of fertilizer.) I'm watering it this much rather than most cacti because it's supposed to withstand a lot of water since it grows so much. Since I planted it, I think the little strand has grown maybe 1/2 to 1 inch. If it really grows an inch a day when it's settled, it'll get way too big for that pot in just a little while.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just lazy, I guess. Dragon fruit update

While I have had this update for a while, I've just been putting it off. On July 22nd the tray with the red fleshed dragon fruit germinated, about 100 of them. Only about 10 of the white fleshed seeds germinated, though it's okay because I wasn't exactly trying for them.

True cacti germinate and have two leaves which will be the last ones they make. The top of the "cactling" will start to make spines between the leaves and it will slowly grow to the bottom of the seedling at which point the rest of the plant will die. It looks like a very small regular cactus then.

It's been a couple of weeks since they've germinated and they about doubled in height and look like any other seedling. They've just started to make the spines on the top. Pictures of that will be posted once the spines have spread a bit.

Also, I'm doing a small scale experiment with gibberellic acid Miracle Fruit seedlings on . Updates of that will not be posted over here.