What is the best way to graft a moon cactus?
Hello, I have been the proud parent of a lovely moon cactus aptly named Fluffy (I thought it was clever) I asked...a lot of questions before when I believed he was dying, it came out so long I wonder if I can delete it. Anyway, Fluffy has lasted for pretty much 2 years now, fortunately everything we keep lives very long. Unfortunately the main part of the cactus is now starting to wither... But Fluffy has may large polyps on him, perhaps more than I should have kept on him. Some of the polyps are healthier than others (one is even growing out of another!) but the ones that are healthy look like perfect little cacti that I'd love to graft individually. The stalk that Fluffy is grafted to has tilted greatly, overnight even, possibly from the weight of the polyps. It's time to graft him, and soon. I was wondering what the best way to do this was. I have looked up a lot of videos and tutorials but wasn't too pleased with the results. I'd like to hear more about your guys' techniques and personal experience. I've uploaded 3 pictures of Fluffy for you. Sorry about the bad quality, I couldn't get my camera to focus on Fluffy very well, but at least you get to see my neat dragon container in the background. Based off of these images, what plant do you think Fluffy is grafted to? I'd like to be able to use the same species when grafting my "mini-fluffies". What is the best technique to graft the polyps onto their new stalk? Thank you in advanced!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The graft stalk is a dragon fruit cactus. One of the most common root stock. I believe to be the genus Cereus, rather than the other common dragonfruit that this is usually grafted to.
Before you do any grafting at all, you will want to get a control on the fungal infection that is showing its head. Those spots that you see will only get worse over time. These will also likely cause any graft union to fail. As long as what you pick off of the top has no signs of this infection, then it is possible to get a good graft, but this is not simple.
Peroxide mixed at 1/4 strength in water will help get rid of the infection both as a spray and as a soil drench. You will only need to do this once. Make sure to put these in a slightly lighter cactus mix to avoid infections in the future.
If you want any of these to succeed, you will have to have a completely sterile chamber to graft in. This will ensure that both cacti do not suffer an infection while being grafted. You will need sterile tools and something like alcohol, too, to keep everything sterile between cuts as well.
The process is very simple, but keeping sterile is not. It would be wise to make many copies of this as many of them will fail to graft. This article will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/scgen/grafting-cactus-plants.htm