I’ve been grafting cactus this summer, and made this:
It is a seedling of the gorgeous hardy cactus Echinocereus reichenbachii, grafted onto Pereskiopsis spathulata, an odd, leafy cactus I wrote about earlier.
Why do this? Other than the fact that it is darn cool? Well, because that vigorous, fast growing rootstock pumps a lot of energy into the cactus grafted on top, making the grafted cactus grow a LOT faster than left on its own roots.
This is a (terrible, blurry) picture what the graft looked like when I first made it back in July. Just three months later it has grown to enormously, while the seedlings I left on their own roots look pretty much the same. I’ll let it grow on the graft for a while, then probably next year some time, cut it off, and move it into the garden, getting me to a reasonably sized plant in a reasonable amount of time.
So… if you want to speed up the growth of a pokey cactus, try grafting it. The process is crazy easy, lots of fun, and very thoroughly explained here.