Discocactus  
 Preface  Cultivation

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General
Sow
Where to sow
Grafting
Seed harvesting
Storing seed 
Labeling
Watering
Cultivation climate
Growth season
Diseases
Importing

Photo from the collection of J. Hovens

The notion of imported plants has undergone an evolution in the last 25 years. In the past we meant importing "wild plants", but from the seventies on also for the cultivated species from Southern Europe and California in the U.S.A.


Whatever you may think about the CITES-law, it is an attempt to keep the plants on the spots in nature where they belong. As righteous lover of plants you'll support it for 100 percent. This law services mainly to keep potent (money wise) collectors from their malevolence to possess something, others don't have. If accusations are going to be made we have to include also the "end user"  the collector. In present milieu consciousness era, should  the possession of a "wild plant", be interdicted. Unfortunately that will take some time to realize. 


However we should not have the illusion to have saved the natural habitats. The expansion of the population and the economical growth in the third world countries take its toll. By improvement of the local infrastructure and creations of industrial compounds and large agricultural projects, is reducing fast the number of locations and the amount of species per location. 


In our point of view there is justification whatever to own a 'wild' Discocactus not even for scientific purposes. A number of seeds from the location is enough to find out everything about the growth, behavior and habits of the species. All the specifications are genetically anchored in the seed. Cultivating plants out of seed under the same climatologically conditions -greenhouse culture- gives most likely more insight between the relations of species then observations on location where the fenotypical differences could vary a lot.


Another important phenomenon is that plants conditions  from the southern region degrade strongly here. Logical as their climatic environment degrades. The plants looks changes, and over a couple of years -if he has not disappeared in the garbage can before-, the newly grown shall look quiet differently. You own a plant with a "Brazilian stem and an European head'. 


After many years of experience with imported plants rest us a simple conclusion: Cultivate from seed to full grown plant. An overwhelming proof shows that with 'green fingers ' true jewels can be cultivated which could bloom after a few years. Hopefully owning a "wild" plant becomes more a disgrace then to take pride in, and the plant would not last long. Learning to deal correctly with plants is many times more valuable then possessing only.

Copyright 2003

email: Piet van der Laken