Cactus fanciers have known about the usage of heteroauxin and Gibbersib as auxesis since long ago. I decided to research the results of its influence at different plants. For this purpose I used these preparations to spray my collection of cacti. Gibbersib was used daily in the evening, closer to the sunset, and heteroauxin weekly. The concentration of the preparation was the same 10mg/1 l of water.
In two month of regular spraying I found that most changes referred to Gymnocalycium friedrichii v. pirarettaense (photo 1), that started getting lighter, orange fragments appeared between the edges, the top became greener, and one of the edges turned to the light acquired a dark green transverse line. These changes took place in early June. The weather was sunny.
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As practice shows, such changes of colored forms usually take place in winter when the light lacks but not in summer. The mentioned Gymnocalycium is 3 years old, it was grafted to Selenicereus. Its coloring practically did not change with seasons. I believed the coloring of its epidermis to be rather stable (photo 2).
What did make the plant get lighter or in some places greener in summer being in the southern balcony? I am almost sure that the cause was in Gibbersib which contains the full range of natural gibberellins (45).
The gibberellins are known to improve the assimilation of carbon by plants and the intensity of breezing. The mentioned example shows that gibberellins can also activate the synthesis of chlorophylls and possibly of xanthophylls. But it was not obvious at other colored cultivars of my collection, probably their phenotypic reaction was different.
From the Editor: In the article The colored forms of Gymnocalycium, flower I, promised to tell you about the stimulation of Gymnocalycium blooming. The word stimulation presupposes the usage of Gibbersib and heteroauxin together with chemical fertilizers. But, unlike N. Shemorakov, I used these preparations once or twice a week in spring and 2 to 3 times in summer. As for the chemical fertilizers I used them every other watering. That is one watering with clear water, next with the fertilizers. I used a natural complex fertilizer for berries. It contains humus stuff, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, trace elements and auxeses. I also added trace elements for pot plants.
I should say that I treated and watered the plants not on purpose but to compensate them my failure to transplant them during 2 years. The resulting mass blooming of Gymnocalycium was a surprise for me. Not only grown-up 2-3 years old plants were in bloom but also 6-7 moths old grafts 1 cm in size. (photo 3) As for the grown-up plants they were covered all through with buds.
Still more surprising were the buds on the shoots of Gymnocalycium mihanovichii ?Variegata? (photo 4) and Gymnocalycium friedrichii ?Black-botan?(photo 5). Unfortunately, Gymnocalycium began to bloom rather late, in July-August and they did not have enough time to develop the buds (summer in the Urals is rather short) which withered.
The size of the shoots at both Gymnocalycium did not exceed 8 mm, they developed near the top growing point. The first had 7 buds, the other 9. The buds of Gymnocalycium mihanovichii ?Variegata? suffered a sharp fall of temperature and died. Gymnocalycium friedrichii ?Black-botan? bloomed a month earlier and I could watch it. In brief, not all the buds were able to bloom, I had to remove half of them. The coloring of the flowers on the top was darker in comparison with the ones on the shoots. (photo 5-6) Their size was practically the same, and they all bloomed 9 days. Another interesting detail: The plants itself developed 2 buds near the shoot. One of them bloomed before the buds on the shoot started growing actively (photo 5) and the other (photo 7), which is on the right, the darker one, only after I removed almost all the buds from the shoot.