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growing peyote indoors

Growing peyote indoors

The cultivation of Lophophora (Peyote) .

This description will tell you how to grow peyote. You should be aware that peyote is one of the slowest growing cacti. Don’t let this put you down, I have found a way to speed them up a bit.
In nature they will start flowering after about 10 years, in culture about 5 years and in my way 3 years, some even in the second year.
The best time to start with seeds is in the early spring.
Get cactus earth from your local flower shop or nursery, try to work a bit clean, although the whole thing is not very sensitive. Put the earth in clean, preferably plastic pots. Make the earth really soaking wet. leave the pots for one day to let the excess of water drip out.
Now you can put the seeds in. They should be put just under the surface, it is not really necessary that they are covered with earth. Cover the pot with a piece of transparent plastic, which can be fixed under the edge with elastic or tape. It seems strange to grow cacti in such an extremely humid atmosphere, but it is o.k.. Put the pots in a sunny place, like behind a window on the south, it is nice if there is a radiator under the window, or if you want to do it more professional, you can use something that keeps the earth temperature around 22C (something like an electric blanket) Keep the pots covered with the plastic, there is no need to give water for weeks. Within two weeks tiny green balls will appear, the baby peyote’s. After 3/4 weeks from the start, you can start making very small holes in the plastic, after a few days make some more and later make them bigger. In this way get adapted to the dryer conditions in this hard, hard world.
Once there are so many holes, that the humidity is the same as in the surrounding you can take away the plastic (this will be about 8-10 weeks after starting). As long a the cacti are so small, they are quit vulnerable, be careful. Once the top layer of the earth gets dry, you can start watering, but never let them have “wet feet”.
The first two years, warm earth is good, as long as they grow (Which depends on the climate in which you live). In about the middle of the autumn stop giving water. To get them well through the winter you have to keep them dry, most trouble, i.e. rot is caused by to much water, remember it is a desert plant, it can stay alive , for a unbelievable long time without water, don’t worry. In winter, you can let the temperature drop to 4 to 5C.
When the sun gets stronger in spring they can have water again. You might have to even soak the pots for a while, if the first water just runs through the earth, without holding it. These plants like it hot. I keep them in a greenhouse and never open the windows, sometimes temperature rises to even 50 C, I used to keep them in the summer outdoors, in a upside down aquarium, which worked well . When it is so hot do give enough water, keep them wet. be careful with fertilizers, if you give them fresh earth every two/three years, if you want to use fertilizer, use cacti fertilizer from a local shop, use half of the prescribed amount, if the the plant gets to much, it will burst, that won’t kill it, but it will take one or two years to overgrow the damage.
After the first year, it is better to put them in separate pots (if anything happens you can treat them individually). A small pot (5 cm) will do fine, it is best to do this in spring, before you start giving water. Press the earth well around the cacti. Keep the earth a bit below the edge of the pot, to make giving water easier. The green part of the plant should be above the surface, to prevent rot. Bigger plants should also be kept in not to big pots, so that they don’t stay wet for too long a period.
Another way to grow peyote is by cutting buttons from a plant. Bigger plants start growing more and more buttons and there is also a kind or a variety, which grows many buttons. Cut off the button with a real sharp knife and leave the button to form a callus on the wound, this might take a week or two. Then put the button on top of the earth, and it will start growing roots easily (here also warm feet will speed up the process).
Peyote can be crafted on different other cacti, Trichocereus will do fine. Crafting will speedup growth. Best is to use young, growing buttons and craft them on a also young, growing cacti. Use a sharp, sterilized knife. The knife can be sterilized with the flame of a lighter. In the cutting of both cacti, you will see a ring, it would be perfect if the rings are the same size, which usually is not the case. The plant transports food and water through this ring, so the rings have to touch each other, so that the top can get what it needs. To make sure, that there will be a connection the top is placed out of center with the base, then there will always be two connection points (see here) . When the top is placed, it needs a little pressure, this can be done with elastic or plastic foil, which can be connected on the needles of the base cacti. This can be removed after week.
I wish you success, for questions or suggestions, please email me .

One note regarding the ‘law’, Peyote is illegal in the US, although it was there long before the recent ‘civilization’.
There is an exception for the Native American Church , although they have been harassed also recently.
A sad story after all, read about it in this press release of January 11/1999.

In canada: Drug laws in Canada fall under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act-
this was recently instated in 1996 replacing the Narcotics Control Act.
One of the major differences between these acts relates to peyote.
In the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (the new one) Mescaline is
listed as a schedule IV drug. This is exactly how it is written out in
the act:
17. Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxybenzeneethanamine) and any salt thereof,
but not peyote (Lophophora)
Peyote is exempted from the act– it is legal in Canada!! regardless of
recreational, religious or whatever use you want. There are no
conditions on possessing or cultivating it.

Growing peyote indoors The cultivation of Lophophora (Peyote) . This description will tell you how to grow peyote. You should be aware that peyote is one of the slowest growing cacti. Don’t

MagiCactus.com

The new home of Lophophora Williamsii
and its closest friends

Propagation of Lophophora

Propagation is through seed, or cuttings which can be accelerated by grafting.
In the wild, peyote will take fifteen to twenty-five years before reaching a point of flowering maturity. If conditions are controlled to that of optimum, these same plants can grow to a point of flowering maturity within two to three years or less. And if one wishes to really speed up the process of growing mature plants from seed, then grafting is the way to go. If one starts out by grafting one, two, or three month old seedling, it is possible to get flowers that produce viable seed about six months later.

How do I know? From personal experience. In fact, I have personally been able to achieve a flowering plant from seed by grafting within seven months of planting the seed. The same plant put out its first fruit with seed by its tenth month. For those that are a little nervous to try their hand at grafting or just prefer a hard grown plant from seed I also have good news. When proper conditions are offered one can have a plant flowering within as little as one year and a half, just as in the picture you see here below. This batch of Lophophora Williamsii was planted December 14th 2006, and put out its first flower by June 11th 2008. If I can do this, I am sure that anyone with the desire to grow such a beautiful plant can too. and that means you!!

The most important things to understand are that seed fertility, moisture, temperature, soil mix, and light all affect seed germination.

Soil conditions for the cultivation of peyote are not too critical. The natural soil for peyote is of limestone having a basic pH from 7.9 to 8.3., so one should provide adequate calcium (limestone chippings are best if available), and most importantly provide good drainage. There are many combinations possible when making peyote soil. Sand, peat, limestone, blood meal, bone meal, potting soil, bat guano, rabbit shit, vermiculite, perlite, and polymers are commonly used. Doesn’t make much difference so long as there is no extreme condition created causing such things as nitrogen burn, saline dehydration, or mud, so long as you provide for excellent drainage. Most of my friendly clients ask what my specific mix is in order to match it if they can so here it is, but you don’t have to follow it exactly. Before I offer it you must know that this mix is for any and all cacti I grow once they pass the first stage of repotting after the seed tray. All my seedlings are germinated in “Premier” Pro Mix for seedlings. Now here you go:

My Own Special Cactus Mix : I use one part quarter chip gravel, one part quarter chip limestone screenings, one part mid ph pumice, one part perlite, and one and a half parts earth worm casings. For those that don’t want to spend very much money a decent mix that should do well is taking any bag of commercial cactus soil and adding fifty percent perlite to improve drainage and prevent hardening of the sand added in such mixes.

All cacti (especially cuttings) need a low nitrogen, high phosphorous fertilizer to stimulate root development and proper tissue consistency. Although high nitrogen will dramatically increase growth rate, the cacti could swell, split and or become hollow. During the fall and winter such plants have a lower survival rate because they’ll be unable to “harden off” against the cold.

Seeds should be as fresh as possible, although seeds that have been kept in a cool environment have been known to keep for years. Seeds may lay dormant for years and still remain viable if kept dry and away from light. However, fresh seeds are more likely to be vital and should be planted as soon as proper conditions are available. Seed fertility, moisture, temperature, soil mix, and light all affect seed germination. Seeds should be started in lidded trays, or in small pots covered by a sandwich bag.

Lophophora Williamsii Seed Growing Instructions

1 – Fill seed trays or small pots with compost mix and flatten mix down gently. (Any seedling mix purchased at your home and garden centre will do. Premier” Pro Mix found at Rona is one of the best.)
2 – Soak the compost using boiling water to kill parasites. Once soaked, allow to drain and cool for about an hour. Then press down on seedling mix with the back of a spoon to make sure water does not pool. if so it still has to drain more unless you can press some out.
3 – Sprinkle seeds evenly over the compost mix, and then gently press seeds down and level with top of mix using the back of a spoon.
4 – Cover with seed tray cover, or enclose pots in zip lock plastic bags.
5 – Place under grow lights or in a well lit window but not in direct sunlight as this could scorch your seedlings. Temperature should reach above 80(26 degrees C) to 110(43 degrees C) degrees F during the day, and must dip below 80 at night for best germination results.
6 – If pots are placed in zip lock bags water might not be needed for months. If seed trays begin to dry out, spray to moisten the surface.
7 – Seeds should germinate within 2 to 14 days.
8 – When seedlings are about four to six months old begin acclimatizing by lifting tray covers or poking holes in zip lock bags for two to three days.
9 – Keep seedlings in indirect sunlight for about six months, and then slowly let them have more light. Seedlings should have a lush green color if the light levels are right. If the epidermis turns red it means they are getting too much light. If so raise lights or shade window with appropriate material possibly cheese cloth.
10 – Be in no hurry to repot your seedlings. Lophophora enjoys the company of others, so wait until they are really fighting for room. They will be ranging in sizes of between one and two centimeters in width, or if you prefer no bigger than half an inch.

Seedlings will germinate in two to ten days, but can and have germinated in as little as twenty four hours. Initially they’ll appear as little green balls wearing shiny black hats, but a trained eye will soon notice the cotyledons and first set of areoles.

Extra Growing Information for the Real Enthusiast

Lights – I keep my lights on using timers. Nothing elaborate is needed. Lights should be turned on for twelve to sixteen hours a day.

Temperature – Most plants seem to like fluctuating temperature, and Lophophora does as well. If the temperature is either to hot or too cold seeds will not germinate. Lophophora seems to bear temperatures between 5 and 55 degrees C. For germination purposes I have found that a day time temperature of anything from 30 to 41 degrees C works very well, so long as the night time temperature does decrease. Night time temperatures should drop lower than 25 degrees C. There seems to be a cross over between day and night time temperature that actually cause the seeds to sprout, and unless this cross over is met most of your seeds will not germinate.
Also, in the wild Lophophora exhibits a wide range of aridity, with only between 64.0 and 394.0 millimeters of rain per year.

Adult Peyote plants can tolerate temperatures within a range of 45-130 degrees Fahrenheit. If soil is kept dry, it can survive temperatures as low as 30o F. Frequent watering and a shade cloth will protect it from temperatures exceeding 120 degrees F. Peyote is very sensitive to frost or prolonged near freezing temperatures and is easily injured or killed by frost. It should be brought inside in locations where the temperatures drop below 40 degrees F.

Water – In the growing season, I water my plants twice a week on a regular basis. Some might think this excessive but my plants are robust and very healthy. I also add a very light fertilizer with every watering.
Your watering frequency will be dependant on two factors. the intensity of light provided and the temperature at plant level. These two factors will govern evaporation to a certain extent. Plants should not be watered again until the median has been dry for two to three days. Once plants need a drink they become a little softer when you give them a little squeeze. A day or two after plants have had a good drink they get nice and hard to the touch.

Increasing The Alkaloid Concentrations
One of the main defences of cacti is to increase the production of protective alkaloids in response to numerous external stresses. The growing cactus plant can be “stressed” in a number of ways to help increase the concentration of alkaloids prior to harvest. It should be noted that, since cacti have a slow metabolism, it may take an entire growing season of stress to significantly affect alkaloid levels.
Here are some of the most common and widely tested methods:
Shade: There have been several reports that leaving live (or cut Trichocereus) in the shade for several months prior to harvesting to increase the percentage of alkaloids in the tissues of the plant. It is also common in Mexico and South America to leave cut cacti in large covered stacks for some time prior to being sold. There may be a good reason for that practice.
Excess Sun and Heat: Too much Sun or heat will most definitely stress a live cactus. It must be realized however, that increasing the alkaloids through stressing will greatly affect the plants growth rate, and might just kill it. Cactus can and do get sunburned, which can be fatal.
Nutrient level variations: Different formulas of fertilizers will affect the growth rate, and therefore the alkaloid mix and percentages. Very high nitrogen levels in the soil would help to draw water out of the cactus, and promote stress. Use caution as too much nitrogen will burn your plant. Remember though, a fast growing cactus is also lower in alkaloids per volume.
Watering stress: Depriving the intended victim of water is the most widespread method of trying to increase the alkaloid content. Many people advise to buy your cactus at least one growing season in advance, and then let them sit, without water, until they are ready to harvest.

MagiCactus.com The new home of Lophophora Williamsii and its closest friends Propagation of Lophophora Propagation is through seed, or cuttings which can be accelerated by grafting. In