Peyote and other psychedelic cacti
I have wanted to share with you all for a while now my beginners guide to growing psychedelic or any cacti. I will share it in parts here for free posting it in sections with the hope that those who enjoy or want more will donate or pay. i give the guide away free through email all the time but i just ask that those who can pay and are willing to donate do so. if you want it all as a single PDF please email me at Hermitcrabbb@gmail.com
I came to this site mainly after hitting 10k on instagram @hermitcrabbb and they have started to censor tags such as #peyote and #dmt or #psilocybin which that last one was recently approved by the FDA for trials so why ban something on social media becoming legal in the real world? So I am here to share and help build this community.
Onto the free content: i will post the first two sections at once and the next is on soilif i get good feedback on this.
Beginners guide to growing cacti
By Hermitcrabbb (William B.)
Table of content by section Section one: introduction pg. 2-8
Section two: pages 8-12 cacti of interest Section three: pages 11-27 microbiology, cactus soil
ingredients, and more microbe talk. Section four: pages 27-31 watering cacti, wintertime cactus
care. Section five: pages 32-35 indoor cactus lighting
Section six: pages 34-42 growing cacti from seed
Section seven: pages 42-49 grafting cacti and rooting cuttings/clones
I would like to preface this beginners guide to growing cacti with something of a disclaimer: I am a beginner to growing cacti myself. Anything valuable I have learned or can contribute was learned in the past couple years. The first few years I grew was mistake after mistake I had to learn from. Using the information in this grow guide you may still make mistakes and I am sure I will as well. I have only entered my 5th or 6th grow season as of 2018 and I am new by most cactus collecting standards even if I do have lots of influence I have not had the full experience in growing cacti many others have had. But since others haven't necessarily written a guide to teach beginners how to grow cacti, and I am constantly asked what material to read to begin growing cacti, I will do what needs to be done in my eyes to the best of my ability. More effort than what has gone into the past 5 years of documenting the growth of my cacti will go into this guide. I have thought of this and how to best teach the material and have had many breakthroughs and more as I re-read what I have written and add to it as I go expanding and growing what I can for you to follow along.
Many of you have asked questions over the years I will use to apply to this guide. So many ask it has given me the knowledge of what to answer before you even ask your question so long as you read this guide.
How to begin a book that has no beginning? It has no beginning because my journey into the realm of growing things that are green and
spiny goes back further than my fascination with cacti. My journey was one of gardening and plants since my childhood being raised on a farm all while being taught from home instead of going through the public indoctrination system. Do I really need to talk about how I began to tell you hoe to grow cacti? Maybe not, but I'd like for you to listen to my story one way or another because its about more than growing cacti, more than just researching psychedelics, its about the journey of going from a know it all weird homeschool kid to a slightly less know it all adult. It’s actually a little humorous that when many of us who begin growing cacti start out we think we know it all in the first or second year. It did not take long to unlearn this mentality with the deaths of large portions of the cacti I put so much energy into growing. But through those deaths came more learning and life than would have otherwise occurred. I did not ever want to kill off my cacti in such large numbers again so I paid attention to my mistakes realizing killing the plants was one of the best ways to learn what not to do and in turn what should be done instead. Not that killing them is enjoyable but at least don’t let it get you down and depressed and give up on growing cacti. But put what you learned through your failures into what you do the next time you grow.
I can tell you the vast majority of everything I had in my first year is dead. I have some still but all my original trichocereus and ariocarpus seedlings eventually died even a few grafted ones I had kept alive till 2018 all the way from 2015 and they didn't make it. But that won’t stop me from trying again! Though budget can become an issue. Perhaps this guide will help solve that for me while producing somewhat accurate information for you to build off of and grow your own cactus garden.
Here in this beginners guide to growing cacti; I will cover, as many broader topics as I can to go over the basic care most cacti need. Soil, watering, rooting cuttings, growing from seeds, winterizing cacti for dormancy to avoid stretched growth, and much more in this first of several guides to growing cacti. If you enjoy this guide as much as I am enjoying writing it then keep an eye out for more! Now without further a due. Lets dive in.
One of the things I get asked about growing cacti more than most and probably for good reason is "where to start?" or rather "what cactus to begin growing with?” My attention is focused on several species of cacti most of you will eventually work your way up to being able to grow no problem. Some start by growing these species no problem. We all learn at different paces and there is no shame in starting small and working your way up.
So the trick to new growers, especially if you have little growing experience with plants in general anyway, is to invest your money into cheaper cacti species other than Trichocereus, lophophora, ariocarpus, aztekium, pelecyphora and other entheogenic (used Traditionally as medicine) cacti. So what I did back in 2013 (when I first started growing cacti) was go to all the local home and garden stores or greenhouses and but several cacti like Pilosocereus, Myrtillocactus geometrizans, echinopsis, hell even prickly pear aka opuntia works to train and practice growing with since they are a lot cheaper and less heartbreaking to kill than a peyote or san Pedro. But there are more important issues than what plant is best or more risky to start training with. If you have the "easiest" cactus in the world to grow but don't provide it the proper environment its going to struggle and maybe even die. Soil is probably the most important thing people should ask about but far more seem to ask about what is best to grow first rather than how to grow them or what to grow them with. Actually an even more popular question I get is “ which cactus is the most potent/best for ceremonial use, which is sometimes the most annoying question a person can ask about cacti. It makes me think as a collector that’s all they really care about: what plant can I buy ready to consume and get me fucked up. Granted this is a big part of growing psychedelic cacti but it isn’t so easy to answer anyway and explaining why it’s a loaded question to everyone is a little difficult. This is a beginners
guide to GROWING cacti not CONSUMING them. Putting the cart before the horse with cacti in worrying over which is “the most potent” which I do not even believe in as a real thing. If people understood how hard cacti are to grow and how long they take maybe they would see why this question is so useless/extra. This isn’t some closed grown mushroom or quick trip from change. Cacti are the SLOWEST producing psychedelic plant/life form and that’s why you don’t hear the likes of Joe Rogan hardly ever talk about it or any of his guests. They only care about what’s gonna fuck um up and they talk DMT and shrooms TO DEATH but you never hear them talk about cacti let alone growing them like they should be focused on. Cacti are just special in that it takes years of getting to know them typically before you can consider consumption. It isn’t some short few months experience; it’s an ever changing and ever learning experience that you must add onto with each passing day. There isn’t some cut and dry method to growing cacti. It isn’t so easy and written out in steps and a conclusion. The end game for cacti is that there is no real end game, its always growing and always improving. We will always be adding to the methods and tricks we use to grow. You never stop learning or find a comfort zone for long. This is the main difference in growing shrooms and cacti. SO MANY PEOPLE have grown shrooms that there is a worn path to follow and get legitimate answers to questions about growing. With cacti there are 5 answers to every question and each one is only partially
correct. Oh and if you search online you will get 100x the conflicting information on growing cacti than shrooms. It comes down to cacti just needing more variety of care and complex conditions shrooms don’t need. Shrooms you need a closet, sterile techniques, spores, substrate, pressure cooker, and a few other things depending on how serious you wanna go at it. They don’t need light other than in small amounts for fruiting, they can be kept in a closet in the dark. Cacti on the other hand need substrate, water, light not just for stages but ALL THE TIME unless you’re doing a complete darkness winterization, which I don’t recommend. Cacti need changing care every year. What one specimen enjoys might kill the next one over. There is no cut and dry answers that’s why I’m writing this guide. Part of the reason so many posts online are conflicting about growing cacti has to do with location. Mushrooms grow about the same worldwide in your closet but cacti require lots of different care and soil depending on where you live in the world. So what works for me in my state may work for you but it may also need slight adjustments to account for your area getting less or more rain so you will need less or more organic matter to hold said moisture or to dry out faster via less organic matter in the soil.
In general after you have somewhat gotten the art of keeping normal cacti alive you can easily move onto growing trichocereus cacti before you start on lophophora/peyote or other hard to grow genus like Aztekium. This will save you time and money if you do not spend it on plants you might kill. And as I think I said before killing cacti is one of the best ways to learn to grow them, best to kill the ones not costing you 20 to 100 dollars a specimen or more trying to learn to grow.
Entheogenic/psychedelic plants and cacti. Here I will list a brief set of plants of interest to growing if you are into collecting plants for their psychedelic or medical uses as a novelty. One of the most well known species of cacti entheogens is probably Peyote also known as Lophophora Williamsii oh which there are several species of peyote in the genus lophophora aside from williamsii. Though most are reportedly not as entheogenic as williamsii. But being that is not always the reason for collection having non-psychedelic peyote is great. They are still as beautiful or more so than their psychedelic brothers or sisters.
San Pedro is the next common one most people know or Trichocereus pachanoi. But most people fail to realize San Pedro isn't really of that much interest from that genus trichocereus, At least not the Predominant cultivar of trichocereus grown in America that gets called a san Pedro even though it’s not a pachanoi. There are legitimate species of
San Pedro out there and they are unique and beautiful. But the "PC Pedro" as I call it is not all that appealing or beautiful to watch grow. It’s also very poor choice for making any kind of ceremonies out of. It’s bred for handling cold and growing fast but not for alkaloid production specifically.
Instead look into Trichocereus Bridgesii, T. Peruvianus (Matucana "Icarus DNA") which is a really nice one, trichocereus macrogonus, which is actually the real name for a peruvianus if I am not mistaken. It will eventually replace the name even I would think. Also trichocereus Chalaensis, Trichoceeus scopulicola, trichocereus fulvinanus, T. taquimbalensis, T. validus, T. werdermannius, T. tersheckii and a whole host of other trichocereus cacti.
There are also several species or cultivars of ariocarpus, specifically fissuratus, which have medicinal and sacramental uses. Though largely this genus ariocarpus is non-active and only ornamental but way worth investing into and hold their value. Also for anyone interested this is a tip once you are ready to buy peyote, in my day from 2013 to 2015 of buying cacti on eBay you could find lophophora cacti species sold under the genus Ariocarpus in the search. It was an alternative name people used to sell under and it works well if I am not mistaken to this day. But still you shouldn’t buy it unless you first know it’s not a rip off and I prefer to get it from within the country. Many Asian and European sellers get stopped on the way in, But not because it’s illegal
psychedelic peyote, but because it’s an undeclared plant material coming from a country with potentially invasive plants and animals so it needs proper CITES papers; which you don't need for in country buying of it. But there are some that make it through like the username Cactuschina seems to normally get them through. But don't take my advice. Seriously it takes a well-trained eye and luck to get one to arrive and not be scammed. I have never been scammed through eBay but it’s for sure possible.
So next there is the genus Aztekium which is one of my personal favorites because it looks so much like reptile skin and grows just so cool but still slower than peyote or ariocarpus. In fact of all the cacti species I have grown its one of the most difficult if not the most difficult and this counts DOUBLE for growing it from seed. Aztekium seeds are roughly half the size or smaller than normal cacti or peyote seeds. When they sprout it can be almost impossible to even see them for a while its so miniscule.
Next would be the Hatchet cactus or pelecyphora aselliformis that is one of the only of these various false peyotes to really contain a substantial number of alkaloids including mescaline and has a reported history of medicinal use. Especially for cough and fever. This is one that is also hard to grow and I have tried 2 times now and while the 2nd time worked out better for a while, the world claimed her from me still sending a demon of a caterpillar to eat its way through. Even when I got him out from between the heads on the cactus the amount of damage done was too
great and it died within a week or so. Was probably a harder loss than my aztekium graft dying on me since the pelecyphora was my second attempt at grafting one and it finally took on a long shot. But we learn and get so many memories from these losses to be used next time to better keep them alive.
So I can't think of too many other entheogenic cacti. But there are more plants such as the Hawaiian baby woodrose, which is somewhat, related to morning glories and both vines have seeds which contain lysergic acids and precursors to LSD and other lysergamindes. Fun food for thought: the plants themselves may not be the ones making the psychedelic alkaloids. In fact in at least 1 species of morning glory a study reviled that the LSA or LAA being produced in the seeds was being made by a type of fungus that lives harmoniously with the plant inside of its cells and is passed down parent to seed through this fungus as well and is essentially part of its DNA. This internal microbe is similar to mycorizae fungi and beneficial bacteria in the soil. It is known as an endophyte.