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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 11, 2017 10:38 AM CST
I bought some moon cactus and I was researching them and one article said they only live for a few years. Why is that, is it because they are grafted?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 11, 2017 11:13 AM CST
Yes and no. Yes, they live for only a few years. No, not because they are grafted.

The bright ball on top of the plant (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii) is a naturally occurring mutant - it is incapable of sustaining itself as the tissue contains no chloroplasts. The bottom is a Hylocereus (think Dragon Fruit). The Hylo is rooted then the growth tip is cut out and the Gymno is grafted in its place.

So the Hylo needs to support both plants without the benefit of being able to grow larger itself. The Gymno, on the other hand, grows. It is a parasitic relationship. Eventually, the Hylo will be unable to support itself and will fail. When that happens, the Gymno will also die unless its grafted to another cactus.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 11, 2017 4:02 PM CST
That's sort of sad. Definitely one of those toxic relationships.
Name: Benessa
Arkansas (Zone 6b)
Bookworm
Akiraana
Oct 12, 2017 6:39 AM CST
What if you removed the gymno? Also how possible is it to get a fruit bearing dragon fruit from a moon cactus with more tampering 😂
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Oct 12, 2017 10:16 AM CST
Confused I'm not sure I understand your question.

The Gymno won't live without the Hylo. The Hylo won't grow any other pieces as its main growth point (now a Gymno) is taking all the energy the Hylo produces.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 12, 2017 11:47 AM CST

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Yes. You can try growing dragonfruit from the seeds in the fruit from your local store, if that's the goal, but it should be fairly available on its own as a cutting or a plant in warmer areas.
Name: Benessa
Arkansas (Zone 6b)
Bookworm
Akiraana
Oct 12, 2017 4:12 PM CST
DaisyI said: Confused I'm not sure I understand your question.

The Gymno won't live without the Hylo. The Hylo won't grow any other pieces as its main growth point (now a Gymno) is taking all the energy the Hylo produces.


Oh I meant the main part not the gymno, as in, woukd the main part grow if not held back by the gymno. Could you un-graft it I guess.

@other person (sorry can't see that message from here) Unfortunately my local market doesn't sell dragon fruit. I was just wondering if you could use the green part from the moon cactus, remove the gymno and get a head start instead of starting from seed. I tried dragonfruit from seed and failed but wanting to try to get dragon fruit again.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Oct 13, 2017 2:13 PM CST
Yes, you could cut the graft Gymno off and grow the Hylo. BUT... I didn't say the Hylo was a Dragon Fruit, I said 'think Dragon Fruit'. The Dragon fruit is a Hylocereus but the Hylocereus used in this graft is not necessarily a Dragon Fruit.

Read up on growing Dragon Fruit and then decide if you really want to take this plant on. Then look for a plant online.


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

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