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Cacti Grafting Stocks

Information about specific rootstock species for grafting cacti

Page Contents

1. Rootstock Species

1. Acanthocereus sp.
2. Cereus jamacaru
3. Harrisia jusbertii
4. Hylocereus undatus
5. Myrtillocactus geometrizans
6. Pereskiopsis spathulata
7. Selenicereus grandiflorus
8. Stenocereus pruinosus
9. Trichocereus pachanoi
10. Trichocereus peruvianus

2. Best rootstocks for Specific Situations

3. Root Stock and Scion Grafting Compatibility


Root Stocks by Species.

It is important to note that every plant, especially cacti, react differently to different climates. The same plant may do GREAT in full sun and lots of water here in our climate, but in England where it's much cooler would likely rot with our watering schedule. Please keep in mind this is just a general guide to what has worked good for us, and how we did it. The climate here in Taiwan is tropical, which means hot and wet in the summer and fairly warm (10c+ all the time) and dry in the winter. Adjust your parameters depending on your local climate.

We recommend that any cacti graft, while healing, be kept under weak lighting (i.e. fluorescent) and 20-30 degrees Celsius. Success rates are far greater with the majority of cacti under these conditions.

Quick stats key.

Bad.

Not good.

Ok.

Good.

GREAT.


Acanthocereus sp.

Acanthocereus sp.

Shaded Sun

5C +

Can take over watering well. Water when starts to dry.

Easy grafting difficulty

Very fast growth speed, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Easy to graft with.

2. High water tolerance.

3. Good scion growth.

4. Easy to propagate.

5. Large root mass.

6. Does not often rot.

Disadvantages

1. Doesn't tolerate temps below 5C.

Notes: We are not positive on the exact specie of Acanthocereus this is, but it is really a wonderful plant to work with. it is much easier and forgiving than Hylocereus, and its scion growth rate is just as fast, perhaps even faster. It is fair to treat this graft stock the same as one would Hylocereus, the advantage is it is easier to work with (except the spines!).

This may be grown in pots, in the ground, in sand or in soil. It is really not picky about much of anything except really cold temps. It does not, as far as we know, tolerate freezing. Full sun to shade, it will still perform well, but we find almost full sun is best.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 10+c.

Keep tape on for 4-8 days.

We prefer this for the following species: Every specie we grow.


Cereus jamacaru

Suggested scions:

Cereus jamacaru

Full Sun

5C +

Medium watering-right after substrate dries

Easy grafting difficulty

Medium growth speed, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Fairly easy to graft with.

2. High water tolerance.

3. Good scion growth.

4. Easy to propagate.

5. Tolerates cool temperatures.

6. Does not often rot.

6. Huge root mass.

Disadvantages

1. Not very fast.

2. Sometimes will keep offsetting at the stock.

Notes: Cereus jamacaru is very similar in appearance and growth habit to Cereus peruvianus, so can likely be treated as one in the same when it comes to grafting.

Cereus jamacaru is a relatively easy to graft to specie that can grow in cooler climates as well as hot climates. It is also able to grow in salty areas, such as beaches, without any harm. The only real problems with this cactus is many animal pests are attracted to it. Caterpillars, snails and similar vegetarian invertebrates are all a potential risk.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 10+c.

Keep tape on for 4-8 days.

We prefer this for the following species: We only use this for plants we intend to plant in the ground outside all year. This stock is used for its hardiness, not its speed.


Harrisia jusbertii

Suggested scions: Accepts and grows virtually all scions equally as well.

Harrisia jusbertii

Light Shade

5C +

Medium watering right after substrate dries

Easy grafting difficulty

Fast growing, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Fairly easy to graft with.

2. High water tolerance.

3. Fast scion growth.

4. Easy to propagate.

5. Tolerates cool temperatures.

6. Grows well in lower light.

Disadvantages

1. Not as fast in hot (tropical) climates.

2. Sometimes will rot when joining the graft if done while moist.

Notes: Harrisia jusbertii is an all around great stock for grafting. It accepts almost any scion specie and begins growing quite quickly. Scion growth is fast and steady but may become bloated and put out new shoots. One potential problem is that it may rot if grafted under very high humidity or is kept too dark and moist. This is not too common, but it happens to some people. This stock also performs poorly in very warm countries, and dead scions are common in temps above 35 C.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance (heat)

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 10-30C.

Keep tape on for 4-7 days.

We prefer this for the following species: Ariocarpus, Aztekium, Copiapoa, Corypantha, Frailea, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Leuchtenbergia, Lophophora, Mammillaria, Obregonia, Ortegocactus, Strombocactus, Thelocactus, Turbinicarpus. Almost everything that doesnt require a small cut surface (Astrophytum).


Hylocereus undatus

Hylocereus undatus

Full sun

10c +

Tolerates over watering

Easy-Medium grafting difficulty

Very fast growing, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Fairly easy to graft with.

2. High water tolerance; rarely rots.

3. Very fast scion growth.

4. Easy to propagate.

5. Cheap.

Disadvantages

1. Bends under the weight of heavy scions.

2. Does not take cool temps.

2. May split hard skinned sp. (Astrophytum).

3. Some scions become "bloated" (ugly)

4. Some species are hard to graft onto this sp.

Notes: Hylocereus undatus is a very popular stock used by many commercial and hobby cacti growers. It has huge advantages as it rarely ever rots. It is from tropical climates that often flood so over watering it is virtually impossible. It can take any kind of light, but does well in almost full sun. It is fairly easy to graft harder skinned scions to this specie (such as Astrophytum) but softer species such as Lophophora do not take as easily and may waste away to nothing.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 15-35c.

Keep grafts tape on 5-10 days.

We prefer this for the following species: Ariocarpus, Astrophtyum, Aztekium, Copiapoa, Corypantha, Frailea, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Mammillaria, Obregonia, Ortegocactus, Strombocactus, Thelocactus, Turbinicarpus.


Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Full sun

15c +

Medium watering-right after substrate dries

Easy grafting

Fast growing, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Fast growth rate.

2. Tolerates some over watering.

3. Loves heat.

4. Accepts almost any scion specie.

Disadvantages

1. Doesn't like cool weather.

Notes: This is another very popular grafting stock. It is an all-around good stock for most species of cacti. It can tolerate a fair amount of water when kept warm, but may rot if kept moist and cold. It does best in 20+ degrees. Grafts onto this specie tend to grow at a good rate and keep their form rather nice. They are also a little hardier when grafting scions too. They should not be kept as humid as long as other stocks such as Hylocereus or they may develop rot or other infections. From graft to outdoor sunshine we usually allow 3 weeks.

This is very similar in growth rate as Trichcereus pachanoi, but prefers warmer temps; whereas T. pachanoi can tolerate cooler temps for longer periods. For warmer climates, this is a better choice. For cooler climates T. pachanoi is probably a wiser choice.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 20-30c.

Keep tape on for 5-8 days.

We prefer this for the following species: Ariocarpus, Copiapoa, Corypantha, Frailea, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Leuchtenbergia, Lophophora, Mammillaria, Obregonia, Ortegocactus, Strombocactus, Thelocactus, Turbinicarpus. Almost everything.


Pereskiopsis spathulata

Pereskiopsis spathulata

Any sun

10c +

Enjoys over watering!

Easy grafting difficulty

Very fast growing, temporary stock

Advantages

1. Fastest rootstock for seedlings.

2. Accepts most species.

3. Does not rot.

4. Good in cool and hot temps.

Disadvantages

1. Deforms scions shape/growth.

2. May split slower growing scions.

Notes: This cactus actually has real leaves. It doesn't look all that much like a cactus, but it is. It is by far the fastest growing graft stock around. It is, however, only useful for short periods and is often only used to graft seedlings to. A seedling grafted at only 1mm may reach 4cm in one year! But the stock will often lose their leaves and turn woody within 2-3 years in which time they need to be re-grafted or de-grafted. Because this stock is so fast growing, it often swells the scions to unnatural sizes and shapes and the scion often ends up looking quite mutated. With harder skinned slower growing scions it may also split the scion as too much water is being provided.

This specie can be grown in almost any medium and can tolerate huge over watering. It almost never rots, but don't test it....itís possible. Most species take well to being grafted to this rootstock. Keep warm and humid and acclimate them to outside a little slower than other stocks. Because it's usually seedlings being grafted, they are easy to dry up and shrivel....so take your time, perhaps a month from graft to outside. Also be sure to trim off the offsets that come out. This stock puts out offsets once cut daily.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 20-30c.

Keep tape on for 3-6 days (seedlings don't need tape).

We prefer this for the following species: Only seedlings of slower growing species. This stock grows scions FAST, but at a price. They bloat and look unnatural so we use it less and less as time goes on. It can take anything, but larger scions are difficult to graft to as the stocks diameter is often a cm or less.


Selenicereus grandiflorus

Selenicereus grandiflorus

Any sun

10c +

Tolerates over watering.

Easy grafting difficulty

Very fast growing, temporary stock

Advantages

1. Fast rootstock for most scions.

2. Accepts most species.

3. Rarely rots.

4. Good in cool and hot temps.

Disadvantages

1. May split slower growing scions.

2. Not suitable for large scions (weak).

Notes:

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 20-30c.

Keep tape on for 3-6 days (seedlings don't need tape).

We prefer this for the following species: This is good for boosting plants, but we prefer other stocks for larger and more valuable species as this stock doesn't always keep the scions true form well. It is also not a very strong stock, so it will bend/break under the weight of larger scions. It is a great all around stock, and can be done relatively easily by most.


Stenocereus pruinosus

Stenocereus pruinosus

Full sun

15c +

over watering

Easy grafting difficulty

Fast growing, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Accepts many scion species.

2. Excellent for large scions.

3. Fast growth rates.

4. Tolerates some over watering.

Disadvantages

1. Doesn't like cool temps.

Notes: We have just recently in the last couple years turned onto this lovely cactus for grafting. We have being really surprised at the rate of which it grows scions! It also has an advantage over other stocks as it can become quite a large fat cactus! The grafting process and care conditions that we provide this species are identical to those of Myrtillocactus geometrizans. We notice similar growth rates with this as M. geometrizans and T. pachanoi but the plus is it is a bigger stock and will, in time, produce far larger scions than the other 2 species. A very nice stock we are using more and more.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 20-30c.

Keep tape on for 5-8 days.

We prefer this for the following species: Any large species and crested specimens. This stock is used for its HUGE quality, and strength. Accepts almost any specie.


Trichocereus pachanoi

Trichocereus pachanoi

Partial sun+

10c +

Some over watering ok

Easy grafting difficulty

Fast growing, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Fast growth rates.

2. Tolerates cool temps.

3. Accepts most scion species.

4. rarely rots.

5. Tolerates over watering.

Disadvantages

1. Is not the best in hot climates.

Notes: This is another of the cacti grafting industries main stock. It is incredible hardy and hard to kill. It can take cooler temps and moist soil without rotting, unlike most others. This is an ideal cacti for grafting cooler regions such as Canada and the UK. It is almost the same growth rate as Myrtillocactus geometrizans but can take cooler temps. Treat the grafting process as you would for Myrtillocactus geometrizans.

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 20-30c.

Keep grafts humid for 7+ days.

We prefer this for the following species: Ariocarpus, Copiapoa, Corypantha, Frailea, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Leuchtenbergia, Lophophora, Mammillaria, Obregonia, Ortegocactus, Strombocactus, Thelocactus, Turbinicarpus.


Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus

Partial sun+

10c +

Some over watering ok

Easy grafting difficulty

Fast growing, permanent stock

Advantages

1. Accepts most species.

2. Hardy, water tolerant.

3. Easy to graft to.

Disadvantages

1. Slower growth than pachanoi.

2. Spines can be annoying.

Notes:

Grafting Ease

Scion growth

Rot Resistance

Water Tolerance

Cold Tolerance

Heat Tolerance

Sun Tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Propagation Speed

Keep grafts at 20-30c.

Keep grafts humid for 7+ days.

We prefer this for the following species: We don't use this much, but it takes almost any specie equally as well.


Best rootstocks for Specific Situations

Scion Growth Speed

1. Pereskiopsis (Seedling grafts)

2. Acanthocereus sp.

3. Hylocereus undatus

4. Selenicereus grandiflorus

5. Trichocereus pachanoi

6. Stenocereus pruinosus

7. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

8. Harrisia jusbertii

9. Trichocereus peruvianus

10. Cereus jamacaru

Natural Growth Form

1. Hylocereus undatus

2. Harrisia jusbertii

3. Acanthocereus tetragonus

4. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

5. Stenocereus pruinosus

6. Trichocereus pachanoi

7. Trichocereus peruvianus

8. Selenicereus grandiflorus

9. Cereus jamacaru

10. Pereskiopsis (bad)

Grafting Ease

1. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

2. Stenocereus pruinosus

3. Trichocereus pachanoi

4. Selenicereus grandiflorus

5. Pereskiopsis (seedlings)

6. Acanthocereus sp.

7. Harrisia jusbertii (bad in heat)

8. Trichocereus peruvianus

9. Cereus jamacaru

10. Hylocereus undatus

Water Tolerance

1. Pereskiopsis (seedlings)

2. Hylocereus undatus

3. Acanthocereus sp.

4. Cereus jamacaru

5. Selenicereus grandiflorus

6. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

7. Stenocereus pruinosus

8. Trichocereus peruvianus

9. Harrisia jusbertii

10. Trichocereus pachanoi

Drought Tolerance

1. Stenocereus pruinosus

2. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

3. Cereus jamacaru

4. Trichocereus peruvianus

5. Trichocereus pachanoi

6. Harrisia jusbertii

7. Acanthocereus sp.

8. Selenicereus grandiflorus

9. Hylocereus undatus

10. Pereskiopsis

Cold Tolerance

1. Cereus jamacaru

2. Harrisia jusbertii

3. Trichocereus pachanoi

4. Trichocereus peruvianus

5. Selenicereus grandiflorus

6. Pereskiopsis

7. Stenocereus pruinosus

8. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

9. Acanthocereus sp.

10. Hylocereus undatus

Heat Tolerance

1. Cereus jamacaru

2. Stenocereus pruinosus

3. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

4. Acanthocereus sp.

5. Hylocereus undatus

6. Selenicereus grandiflorus

7. Trichocereus peruvianus

8. Trichocereus pachanoi

9. Pereskiopsis

10. Harrisia jusbertii

Pest Resistance

1. Stenocereus pruinosus

2. Harrisia jusbertii

3. Acanthocereus sp.

4. Selenicereus grandiflorus

5. Trichocereus peruvianus

6. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

7. Trichocereus pachanoi

8. Hylocereus undatus

9. Cereus jamacaru

10. Pereskiopsis

Rot Resistance

1. Pereskiopsis

2. Hylocereus undatus

3. Acanthocereus sp.

4. Selenicereus grandiflorus

5. Cereus jamacaru

6. Stenocereus pruinosus

7. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

8. Trichocereus peruvianus

9. Trichocereus pachanoi

10. Harrisia jusbertii (hot/moist)

Sun Tolerance

1. Stenocereus pruinosus

2. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

3. Cereus jamacaru

4. Acanthocereus sp.

5. Hylocereus undatus

6. Trichocereus peruvianus

7. Trichocereus pachanoi

8. Selenicereus grandiflorus

9. Pereskiopsis

10. Harrisia jusbertii

Shade Tolerance

1. Harrisia jusbertii

2. Pereskiopsis

3. Trichocereus pachanoi

4. Selenicereus grandiflorus

5. Cereus jamacaru

6. Hylocereus undatus

7. Acanthocereus sp.

8. Trichocereus peruvianus

9. Stenocereus pruinosus

10. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Seed/flower Production

1. Acanthocereus sp.

2. Hylocereus undatus

3. Selenicereus grandiflorus

4. Stenocereus pruinosus

5. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

6. Trichocereus pachanoi

7. Trichocereus peruvianus

8. Harrisia jusbertii

9. Pereskiopsis (fast but few)

10. Cereus jamacaru


Root Stock and scion grafting compatibility

We give each combination of stock/scion a rating. This is based primarily on growth rate, scion appearance, hardiness, water/temperature tolerance etc. Keep in mind these are just our own experiences and opinions, other people are likely to find their own experiments slightly different from our results.

#1. Excellent . #2 Great . #3 Good . #4 OK . #5 Fair . #6 Bad

We also place stars next to species based on the grafting difficulty in general.

*= easy to graft . **= moderate grafting difficulty . ***= difficult to graft

Click on the links in the table to view a photo.

Stock species -->

Scion species \/

C. jamacaru

H. undatus

M. geometrizans

H. jusbertii

S. pruinosus

T. pachanoi

S c i o n | S p e c i e s

***Ariocarpus fissuratus

---

***Great

---

**Great

---

---

***Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus

---

***Great

---

***Great

---

---

**Ariocarpus retusus

---

***Great

*Great

**Great

**OK-Fair

**Good

*Astrophytum asterias

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

---

*Great

*Great

*Astrophytum myriostigma

---

*Excellent

*Great

---

*OK

*Great

***Aztekium sp.

---

***Great

**OK

---

***Fair

**OK

*Cereus jamacaru

*Excellent

**Great

*Great

*Great

*Great

*Great

*Copiapoa hypogaea

---

*Great

*Great

---

*Great

*Great

*Coryphantha elephantidens

---

*Great

*Great

*Great

*Great

*Echinopsis arachnacantha

---

*Great

*Excellent

*Great

*Great

*Great

*Gymnocalycium anisitsii

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Great

*great

*Gymnocalycium mihanovichii

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Great

*Great

*Harrisia jusbertii

*Great

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Lophocereus schottii

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

---

*Great

*Excellent

*Lophophora sp.

*Great

**Great

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Mammillaria bocasana

*OK

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Mammillaria lloydii

---

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

---

---

*Mammillaria prolifera

---

---

---

*Excellent

---

---

*Myrtillocactus geometrizans

---

*Good

*Excellent

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

**Obregonia denegrii

---

**Great

**Great

---

---

**Great

*Ortegocactus macdougallii

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Great

*Strombocactus disciformis

*Great

**Excellent

*Excellent

---

---

*Great

*Trichocereus bridgesii

---

*Good

*Excellent

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Trichocereus pachanoi

---

*Good

*Excellent

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Trichocereus peruvianus

---

*Good

*Excellent

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

*Turbinicarpus psuedopectinatus

---

*Great

*Excellent

---

*Excellent

*Excellent

We will continue to add species to this list as we graft more and have time to add them

Cactus Information

Cactus By Genera

Cactus Cultivation

Cactus Propagation

Cactus Classification

Cacti & Human Use

Cactus Biology