Peyote is a small spherical, flattened cactus that contains the psychoactive compound mescaline. Mescaline causes hallucinations and produces altered states of consciousness. Indigenous Americans use this compound for shamanic and ritualistic use dating back to more than 5,500 years ago.
Because peyote cactus plays a huge role in their culture, older native cultures learned how to propagate peyote cactus.
Germinating Peyote Seeds
Peyote seeds can remain dormant for 10 years but first-time growers are advised to germinate within the first year, preferably during spring, for the best results.
The following are guidelines on how to successfully germinate peyote seeds.
Create a healthy cactus soil mix for peyote. Fill your chosen pot with one part sand, one part heavy grit, and one part standard potting mix. Mix these substances evenly. Fill your pots with the final mix and pack them well but leave some room on top to avoid flooding during watering. Soak the soil thoroughly and allow the pots to drain for a day under shade.
Place the seed in the soil. After draining, the soil is ready for the seeds. Simply put the seeds on the soil surface. Don’t worry. You don’t have to cover them up with more soil. In nature, these seeds just fall on the ground and they still thrive.
Provide the seed with the right environment to germinate. Protect the seed by covering the pots with a piece of plastic film secured with tape or elastic.
The ideal soil temperature for germinating peyote seeds is 22 degrees C. If it’s difficult to regulate soil temperature, a windowsill facing the south or a full sun exposure will do. If the sun isn’t up, a heating mat or placing near a heating vent will do. Peyote seeds react well to this setup and they won’t even require water during this early phase.
Dehumidify the inside of the plastic. After two or three weeks, small green spheres will appear where there were seeds. A month after putting the seeds in soil, poke some holes in the plastic to dehumidify the environment inside and start the seedling’s hardening off.
Water peyote seeds for the first time. Add more holes as weeks pass. After 10 weeks, the plastic should be riddled with holes. Remove the plastic and give the seed her first watering when the top inch of soil mix is dry. Water only lightly because peyote loves to keep dry.
Taking Care of Peyote Cactus
Even when the peyote seed has germinated into the small green sphere, keep in mind that the cactus is still in its earliest stages hence, it’s still vulnerable. It will be months before peyote can establish a root system.
At this point, a cactus grower needs to tap into generous reserves of patience.
Keeping the soil well heated will expedite the development of the young peyote plant. Water the growing cacti from time to time but be careful not to drown it because they prefer going without water for long times.
If you’re growing peyote in a cold region, avoid watering peyote from the middle of fall to the end of wi
nter to avoid root rot. Even when spring comes around, only mist the plants first otherwise the sudden overflow of water will shock the peyote’s system.
When a year has passed, you can rest assured that the peyote has developed healthy roots. After surviving winter, it’s best to repot a year-old peyote as long as the green parts of the plant are above the soil line because even the cactus body can rot.
Once the peyote has a healthy root system, try to mimic its natural environment: desert hot!
This shouldn’t be hard to achieve. An upturned fish tank can function as a good terrarium with an LED beating hot light onto them. Take this setup even further by adding a layer of fertilizer on top every two years at half the recommended dose.
Be careful with using fertilizer on peyote though. Peyote will burst when over-fertilized. While this won’t kill the plant, it will retard plant growth as the wound heals.
Based on the information above, peyote is fairly resilient. This cactus is capable of withstanding frost. Despite its resilience, peyote takes years to mature! Through grafting, you can triple or quadruple peyote’s growth rate!
By following the instructions below, you will be able to successfully graft peyote cactus onto any Trichocereus cactus. Whether you use Peruvian Torch, San Pedro or any other type of cactus doesn’t matter as long as you use mescaline cactus.
Supplies for Grafting:
- Any Trichocereus cactus
- Peyote cactus
- Denatured alcohol
- Rubber bands
- A sharp knife
Peyote Grafting Procedure:
- Sterilize the knife by dipping it in denatured alcohol. This should be done prior to every cut.
- In one swift motion, chop off a few centimeters from the top of the Trichocereus.
- Cut off the bottom part of the peyote just above the roots.
- Before grafting the peyote on the Trichocereus, locate the vascular bundle. It should appear as a circle in the middle of the cut. This is how nutrients are transported throughout both plants. It’s not necessary to align their vascular bundles perfectly but they need to overlap with each other. If the vascular bundles do not touch, the grafted peyote cactus will die.
- Press the peyote onto the top of the Trichocereus to remove any air space.
- Keep the peyote pressed down on the Trichocereus with the use of rubber bands.
- Keep the grafting in a warm, dry place without direct sunlight for one week.
- Remove the rubber bands after a week. By this time, the peyote should have successfully attached itself onto the Trichocereus.
By following those 8 easy steps, you have successfully grafted peyote onto a cactus to grow faster. Sit back, relax, and watch the peyote blow up!
Prior to subjecting your peyote to grafting, keep the following in mind:
- Grafting will not increase mescaline levels in either plant. Mescaline levels are influenced by water, time, and maturity.
- The older the Trichocereus plant, the faster the grafted peyote will develop.
Growing peyote is a fun and rewarding endeavor. Order peyote seeds online and get started on this fulfilling journey!