T. Bridgesii - Flowers, Cuttings

Nan's Nook : Archives : Botanicals : Cactus : San Pedro : Growing San Pedro
Posted by: reshroomED Dec 05 02, 09:51 AM GMT
I've got a few bridgesii that are in desperate need of a prune.
It now appears that they are going to flower soon (they've never flowered before to my knowlege, ie. 10yrs, yet are producing 'buds' as my other cactii do usually in the next month or so).
So my question is: "how do I go about getting seeds?'
Specifically I'm interested in the minimum flower size before viable seeds can be obtained.
I've been waiting for the weather to dry out a bit before cutting them back, and now don't want to miss out on the flowering. But some of the branches are over 10' tall and will break from the weight of the flowers (due to the garden layout it isn't feasible to prop or tie them), and I'd prefer to control where they're cut.
Can I sterilely (is that a word?) remove a partially developed flwer and then let it bloom in honeywater as per ornamentals?
Any other ideas?
All thoughts gratefully accepted

Posted by: Nanook Dec 05 02, 08:45 PM GMT
The flowers need to be pollenated. It's not a question of flower size, if they bloom, the cactus is mature. Most cacti do not cross pollenate well with themselves, you need several cacti of that specie (or closely related specie) for a cross.

I collect pollen on a q-tip, store it in the fridge, and use it to go back and pollenate flowers as they open, since in this genus the flowers open one at a time, staggered over a period of weeks.

Posted by: reshroomED Dec 06 02, 10:11 AM GMT
Thanks nan.
The seed was only to give away so no real loss.
Am I right in taking cuttings as the weather dries out a bit more (it's the start of summer here but still pretty wet)?

Posted by: Nanook Dec 06 02, 05:37 PM GMT
Take cuttings anytime, now sounds ideal for you smile.gif

Posted by: reshroomED Dec 06 02, 10:17 PM GMT
Thanks again mate.

Posted by: Nanook Jun 30 03, 01:49 AM GMT
FYI, I recent came across a tray of young pedro cuttings that were putting out flower buds at a very tender age.


This tray of cacti had been severely deyhyrated for an extended period. Like nearly a year, and were very highly stressed, near death from dehydration... When they were moved and watered back to health.

As soon as they fully hydrated, most of the cloned Pedros in the tray cracked out with flower buds.

My theory is that in times of high water stress, the cacti tend to try to go to seed as soon as conditions are favorable. Seed is much more drought resistant wink.gif

Posted by: Voodoo Jun 30 03, 01:52 AM GMT
I may be a complete idiot, and this question may be along those lines, but what the hell. laugh.gif

Nan, could you explain what the advantages are to flowering? Iv got a few that are flowering as we speak, so Im pretty curios if there is anything special I should do for them. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Nanook Jun 30 03, 02:48 AM GMT
I do not see any advantages unless you like flowers or you are looking for seeds. I break off the buds because they rob growing energy.

But people ask on occasion how to get them to flower, what triggers them... Well I have suspected water stress for a long time, but seeing 70% of this tray of babies forced into flowering mode by severe water stress made a firm believer out me.

Posted by: Voodoo Jun 30 03, 02:50 AM GMT
Hmm. Some good info to have. The flowers should produce seed then? What time period are we looking at for that to happen. The fuzz is just starting to come off of these. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Nanook Jun 30 03, 02:55 AM GMT
Flowers can produce seed. They need to be pollinated, then they produce a fruit. Once dried you can break it off and open it up and take the seeds out.

Posted by: Voodoo Jun 30 03, 02:59 AM GMT
Ah crap. So, do you have a link to how Id go about polenating them? Iv got a couple that are flowering. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Nanook Jun 30 03, 03:02 AM GMT
Use a Q-Tip and swap the pistils in the flowers. In between flowers wrap the Q-Tip in a sandwich baggie and store in the fridge.

It helps if you have two different gene lines of cacti to cross with wink.gif

Posted by: Voodoo Jun 30 03, 03:24 AM GMT
Will do. Thanks Nan. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Bob Roberts Jun 30 03, 09:33 AM GMT
This is definitely true, Nan. The time right after the wet season in the Sonoran (or painted) desert is one of the most beautiful sights I've seen. Alot of cacti have evolved to bloom at this time not only because it has been wet, but because of the short days, or rather long nights that still occur during this time as well as favorable temps. It follows then, that they would also be pollinated by night-pollinators and from my own experiences I can tell you the desert is most fragrant at night as well during this time.

Because most cacti store water, they are fairly separated from the effects of rain. However, when they are stressed and their water storage is taxed, then they will become more dependent on water to influence their blooming. Often this is a "last defense" of sorts to replicate before death/senescence. Now, when we intensely cultivate these cacti and make them put on lush new growth every year, then we slwo the chance for seeing blooms. If we were to try and make them initiate flower buds, I would say that April to early May would be the best time. wink.gif

Posted by: dustyclc Jun 30 03, 11:30 AM GMT
Nan your theory on the water shortage triggering the pedros to bloom is right on. I worked in a Nursery and the owner said that one could get cacti to flower if they are stress in the right way period end of story. One just needs to fine the right stresser for the species in question. He said that some can be forced to flower if placed in the dark for a month or so and then exposed to light. Some will flower in responce to root binding for example my Hoya.

It is a survial thing he said. Most plants don't flower unless they have to "it is a lot of energy to waste if not needed." Stress triggers the need to flower due to the fact that the plant may not live to pass on its genes. So they flower to do this. Well thats my 2 cents. I hope it helped.

Posted by: maryxmas Jun 30 03, 06:58 PM GMT
cacti will flower when they think they are going to die. the purpose of its life is to pass its genes so when it thinks its on its way out it will flower but they still flower when they come out of dormance. all 96 varities of my cacti are flowering now, they just came out of dormancy from the winter.

so to get them to flower, dont water and stress them then nurse back to health


Posted by: ion Jul 01 03, 02:21 AM GMT
Very interesting... think.gif

Thank you all!! biggrin.gif wub.gif



Above: San Pedro Bud Sets still a couple of weeks from flowering

Below:  San Pedro Flowers

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