Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Cactus flower and pollination question

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Oct 14, 2014 2:11 PM CST
I'm growing gymnocalycium mihanovichii, both the green one and grafted purple. The grafted purple has neon pink flowers on top and for two weeks they stopped growing and never opened but are still on the cactus. The green one opened its flower today and bloomed light pink. I was hoping to Hybridize them but that isn't happening now.

I pollinated the flower right away with a q tip running pollen on the stigma, within 40 minutes the flower was completely closed!

Is this cactus species self fertile and that is why it closed right away? Why is my other not opening they get the same care.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 14, 2014 9:36 PM CST
I'm not aware that this cactus is self-fertile. I have a Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii myself and after several blooms this year outdoors, nothing (my avatar picture is of my Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii in bloom). Sad As to why the flower closed so soon, I think it only lasts a day (if I remember correctly... my cacti are spending the summer at my Mom's).

If what I read was correct, it is a "rare sight" to see one of the grafted ones bloom. And it's possible it has opened already, the grafted ones' flowers are not all that spectacular. They're not nearly as large as the other Gymnocalycium's flowers.

Planto
[Last edited by Plantomaniac08 - Oct 14, 2014 9:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 14, 2014 10:33 PM CST
I see grafted ones in bloom quite often at the store and even seed pods though there's so many if cross pollination is needed that is how it occurs. I had this cactus since it started developing buds so I know the flower hasn't opened I've watched the buds grow but it's a mature size bud now.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 15, 2014 6:38 AM CST
Interesting. As many grafted cacti they sell here, I've only seen a couple in bloom (in say... six years?). I'm not aware of any cactus as being able to self-pollinate though, so you are probably right in that's how the ones at the store have seed pods.

Maybe just give it more time to open then? I did notice that my Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii had two flower buds that were large enough to open, but didn't want to open. I realized around that time that the window I had my cacti and succulents in was too dim, so I placed it outside. As soon as it received enough light, they opened. Hilarious! Where do you have your cacti placed? Not saying it's a light issue, but I'm curious as that's what it was for me.

Planto
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 15, 2014 9:42 AM CST
I have them on a sunny windowsill, on warm days I've been moving them outside and it helped my green one flower rapidly but not the purple. Mabye it's just a slower grower?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 15, 2014 10:06 AM CST
I do not know much about pollination but I notice with my cacti, bright light to direct sun plus at least a minimum sustained temperature of 75F and higher to keep that bloom open. Otherwise it takes a long while to bloom or to keep that bloom open. Then it closes down as sunset occurs, repeating the bloom attempt again the next day.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 15, 2014 9:04 PM CST
tarev said:I do not know much about pollination but I notice with my cacti, bright light to direct sun plus at least a minimum sustained temperature of 75F and higher to keep that bloom open. Otherwise it takes a long while to bloom or to keep that bloom open. Then it closes down as sunset occurs, repeating the bloom attempt again the next day.


It didn't open again today, it was cooler so temp might play a part. But it's in the 70s in my house and under a plant light and that didn't help any.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Oct 15, 2014 9:20 PM CST
Ah, maybe ambient temps still too cold for it. Or, is that one of those cacti that makes a one time show..sometimes there are those types like that too.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 15, 2014 10:14 PM CST
Here is a photo of the one that opened.
Thumb of 2014-10-16/keithp2012/4abd8a


Plantomaniac08
Oct 15, 2014 10:17 PM CST
That one's beautiful! It doesn't appear to be Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, but it is a Gymno for sure.

Planto
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 16, 2014 9:53 AM CST
Plantomaniac08 said:That one's beautiful! It doesn't appear to be Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, but it is a Gymno for sure.

Planto


Really it's not? I was fooled than I swore it was! Can this Hybridize with them? Where does one find the original green moon cacti? Anyone have them here?
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Oct 16, 2014 10:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 16, 2014 10:09 AM CST
keithp2012 said:

Really it's not? I was fooled than I swore it was! Can this Hybridize with them? Where does one find the original green moon cacti? Anyone have them here?



Plantomaniac08
Oct 16, 2014 10:40 AM CST
Doesn't look like it to me, there are numerous species of Gymno.

I would imagine you'd be able to cross pollinate two Gymnos, but I don't know a lot about cross-pollinating cacti.

The moon cacti you see in the stores are unnatural (yellow, orange, red, pink). They are man made and unable to produce their own chlorophyl (plant food), hence being grafted to a green stalk. If you're lucky, sometimes you find a purple one that isn't man made grafted and you can remove it from the stalk and root it (you can't do this with the others, they won't survive). I'm not sure what species of Gymno the purple ones are, I think G. mihanovichii (but not sure which cultivar).

But the original green moon cactus? I didn't know there was one, but then again, I'm no expert on Gymnos. Where did you read about the original one? I am just curious as you've got me interested now.

Planto
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 16, 2014 1:33 PM CST
Plantomaniac08 said:Doesn't look like it to me, there are numerous species of Gymno.

I would imagine you'd be able to cross pollinate two Gymnos, but I don't know a lot about cross-pollinating cacti.

The moon cacti you see in the stores are unnatural (yellow, orange, red, pink). They are man made and unable to produce their own chlorophyl (plant food), hence being grafted to a green stalk. If you're lucky, sometimes you find a purple one that isn't man made grafted and you can remove it from the stalk and root it (you can't do this with the others, they won't survive). I'm not sure what species of Gymno the purple ones are, I think G. mihanovichii (but not sure which cultivar).

But the original green moon cactus? I didn't know there was one, but then again, I'm no expert on Gymnos. Where did you read about the original one? I am just curious as you've got me interested now.

Planto


I've got the purple one I wanted to cross it with original green form or neon form the babies then will be green/purple/color mix and able to survive on their own roots. im sure my purple is G mihanovichii as its flower are neon pink. Here are photos of the original green of these.
https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/luigistrano/2092736911/
https://sites.google.com/site/succulentcity/gymnocalycium_mi...
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/78674/#b




Plantomaniac08
Oct 16, 2014 2:30 PM CST
There are a few Gymnos that produce pink flowers. Did you show a picture of your purple one? I saw the green one.

That's interesting about cross-pollinating them and creating one that is able to survive on its own. I've never seen anyone do it before (I never think of such things myself, I should have more ambition!), that would be an interesting sight!

This is my G. mihanovichii var. friedrichii:

At purchase it was a dark purple:


A couple months later (looks about the same now, a dark hunter green color):


Planto
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 16, 2014 8:54 PM CST
Here are my other two
Thumb of 2014-10-17/keithp2012/4f744b

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Oct 16, 2014 9:26 PM CST
Oh, I love that one with a pink bud...looks like a cacti alien Lovey dubby Big Grin

Plantomaniac08
Oct 16, 2014 9:30 PM CST
Oh I like the purple one. Lovey dubby That's the color of the one I was mentioning you could cut off the stalk, root it, and it would survive (I saw someone do that on another garden forum). Hmm, not sure why those darn flowers don't want to open. Confused

Planto
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 16, 2014 9:40 PM CST
I guess the red and purple aren't the same kind of cacti as the green than? Wish I knew which one the green is.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Oct 16, 2014 9:41 PM CST
Is it possible to put it outside in some direct sun? Maybe it wants to feel that combination of heat and fresh air Shrug!

I only have one gymno, gymnocalycium monvillei, and this one will not open the buds till it really gets full sun, otherwise it will wait and wait, till it aborts.

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