2.Grafting on which stock?
3.Grafting in practice
1.Why graft? Most Mammillaria in our collections don't need to be grafted at all. But it may happen that one of our plants is rotting. In that case, the plant might be rescued by being grafted. If the bottom of the plant is rotting, cut off the rotting part. There must no yellow coloured part of the plant be left. As soon as this is done, the plant is to be grafted at once. Another reason for grafting is to multiply rare plants or to accelerate flowering of a slow growing plant. The very difficult Mammillaria tetrancistra can hardly be cultivated without being grafted.
2.Grafting on which stock? These species of cacti are recommended: Trichocereus spachianus, T. pachanoi, T. schickendantzii, T. macrogonus, Eriocereus jusbertii , echinopsis species, Pereskiopsis, Myrtillocactus geometrizans and Opuntia pads.
3. Grafting in practice The most important step is to carefully prepare the graft and the stock so that the saps of either part can rapidly circulate smoothly through both. The sap of the stock must be able to circulate freely through the graft. Both, graft and stock are to be at full growing force at the time the grafting is done. Required outfit is: a knife, elastic bands, a clean fabric and a new razor blade. Another important point is that everything must be absolutely clean. After each cut, the knife must be cleaned again, in order to not propagate any disease. If the graft is a small seedling, use a new razor blade. As a first example, let's use the grafting on an Echinopsis hybrid or related species. A not too large part of the head is cut off. Once you see a small circle, it's the right height. From the remaining stock, the sides of the top are oblinquely cut off. A further small slice is cut from the top and left, for the moment, lying on it to avoid drying the cut surface. Then comes the graft itself: the bottom part is cut off, just above the collar. With one hand, take off the slice left on the stock and with the other hand place the graft in the middle of the cut surface of the Echinopsis, on the edge of the circle. Very small seedlings can be successfully grafted on Pereskiopsis. Here too, it is important that both stock and graft are in full growth. From the Pereskiopsis, the upper centimeters are horizontally cut off. The seedling is cut as a graft and placed on the middle of the stock with a slight push. When grafting on Pereskiopsis there is no need to use additional means to press the two parts together. On Echinopsis, a light pressure can be maintained by placing two elastic bands in a crossing pattern over the graft and under the bottom of the pot in order to hold the graft in its place. After a few days, the bands can be carefully taken off, the grafting operation ought to have been successful. The big advantage of Pereskiopsis is the fast growth of seedlings and a graft stock that can be rapidly multiplied. Grafting is done preferably during warm dry weather. That means from April until September. Once grafted, the plants are put in a shady place and kept somewhat moistened. If you are not successful the first time, do not despair and keep trying.