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Trichocereus shaferi in different size plug trays
Now comes more cactus education. The top row spent two years in plugs 2.1 in deep. The bottom row spent those same two years in plugs 1.5 in deep. The corresponding trays spent those two years next to each other, so cultural conditions were close to identical. (The experiment had 200 plants of various species, ten of each, in each tray.) You can see the difference by the rootballs. The pot volume (rootball volume) definitely governs the size of the plant, if the plant can get much bigger than the pot volume. My rough observation is that one can grow a cactus to about 5 times the pot volume, if the plant can get that big, or bigger. This has been exploited by the Chinese for about 2000 years. They taught it to the Japanese, who gave us the word "bonsai." But this was a purely Chinese invention. Pruning, by the way, has nothing to do with bonsai. Pot size is the whole thing.   (09/32)   

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