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RE: Growing Cacti from seeds (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: shrubs_n_bulbs on 06.29.2006 at 05:12 pm in Cacti & Succulents Forum

I left my puppets at home, but I'll give it a try anyway :)

You can use a shallow pan if you want to sow a lot of seeds. Personally I find small individual pots are much more practical, one species to each pot, maybe 10-50 seeds in a pot. If you sow the right number they can stay there for a year or two. Here's a small pot with too many seedlings!

I don't cover the seeds, except for large seeds like Opuntia, Pediocactus, etc. All the ones you mention would just go on the surface and get sprayed with water to bed them down.

I use saran wrap to cover the pots, it lets me see what is going on inside. If I use a plastic bag I tend to open it to look inside! Here's saran wrap on a six-pack (too many seeds again in case you were wondering!):

The seeds need light to germinate, or at the very least they don't need dark. You should provide bright light but not direct sun, or you can use artificial lights giving about 1,000 lumens per square foot of lit area. You can leave the blinds open, just don't let the sun shine right on the plants, especially when they are still under plastic. Too much light gives bright red seedlings:

These are OK, but verging on being damaged. Too little light will result in pale tall weak plants.

Adult plants will generally require direct sun or very bright artifical light. Some cactus seedlings can take direct sun after a month or two, A. asterias is one. Others should be kept out of the sun for many months.

Cactus seedlings grow very well under artifical lights with constant heat and moisture, faster than they will in the sun and dry, so long as you can stop them going mouldy or getting buried under moss. I microwave the soil for a few minutes bvefore I sow the seed and then don't open them up until they are pushing on the plastic. They will need regular water for at least the first year. The Strombocactus are very slow and you should try to keep them under plastic for as much as a year, because tiny tiny seedlings can dry out and die extremely quickly, but they can also rot if you keep them too wet. Others can dry out earlier, the Astrophytums for example can start to get dry soil at the surface after only a couple of months.

Good luck.

NOTES:

cactus advise
clipped on: 10.10.2007 at 01:55 am    last updated on: 10.10.2007 at 01:56 am