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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1211
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 01:46 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How To Grow Cacti From Seeds
By Hidra303




Introduction

Growing cacti from seeds takes a lot of time, and requires a lot of patience. Most of the people interested in growing cacti prefer to buy established cuttings than starting their own seeds. But starting your own seeds is way more rewarding in my opinion. It can take years for you to have a nice looking cactus, but in the end you will probably be more proud of having your own seed grown specimen.
This guide will help you through the entire process of starting your own cacti seedlings.



Material Needed


-Cactus seeds
-Cactus potting soil
-Sand
-Perlite
-Water (tap water is ok, but distilled water is better)
-Clear plastic container with a lid
-Spray bottle
-Window screen or cheesecloth




Preparing the soil mix


First, you need to make a nice soil mix. The ratio of your mix should be 1/3 cactus potting soil, 1/3 sand and 1/3 perlite. Now take an oven-safe container, mix all the 3 ingredients and add water until everything is moist. You should add water until the mix canít absorb anymore.
Now put this container in the oven at 350F for 45 to 60minutes to sterilize it.
After 45-60 minutes remove the container from the oven, almost all the water should be evaporated.
Now take your plastic container and add around 1inch of the soil mix at the bottom. Then add a little bit of water. Your mix should not be soaking wet it should just be moist.

Planting the seeds

Now take your seeds and gently put them on top of the soil. You donít need to cover the seeds with more soil, just push them a little bit when you plant them. And make sure to wash your hand before doing this to remove any bacteria or grease on your finger. I have heard that the grease on your finger can reduce the germination rate. I donít think that there was any test done to prove this. But I always love to work with clean hands anyway.

Now take your spray bottle, and spray a little bit of water on the seeds. Then put the top on the container.
There should be enough water in there so you wonít need to water the soil again for at least 3 months.




The Proper Environment


For best germination rate, seeds need an average temperature of 80F during the day and 75F during the night. If you live in a cold country, you may need to use a small light bulb on top of your container or a heating pad under it.

As for humidity, since your container will stay closed for the first 4-6 months, you donít really need to worry about this.
But if youíre doing this in open air, humidity should be very high, between 80 and 95% for the first 4 to 6 months.

Germination should occur between 3 and 14 days after planting the seeds.

After 4-6 months, you might want to acclimate the seedling to a lower humidity level.
Do this by making 1-2 small holes on top of the container, then make more holes every couple weeksÖ until the air inside as the same humidity level as outside. It might take around 1-2 months for this process.
After this Öjust remove the lid and leave them in open air.



Lightning

Seeds donít need any light to germinate, after germination you can gradually start to give them light. I suggest you use fluorescent lightning for seedlings, since it is inexpensive and produces almost no heat.
If you donít have any fluorescents you can put the containers near a window, but make sure they donít get full sun or they will get sunburned.

Seedlings are very sensitive to light and need to be shaded for the first year. Donít put them under direct sun or high-wattage light or they will burn.

Put 2-3 layers of window screen or cheesecloth on top of your container to filter the light.
After 4-6 months, start to remove 1 layer every 2-3 weeks to gradually give them more light.
After 1 year, you can start to give them a couple of hours of full sun, or you can put them under a higher-wattage lamp.

If your seedlings turn red / orange, it means that they are receiving too much light and they are getting burned. You can resolve this by adding more layers of window screen or cheesecloth on top of your container.




Watering

For the first 3 months you shouldnít have to water the seedlings a lot since the top of the container is almost always closed, and humidity canít really escape.
But if the soil starts to get dry take the spray bottle and spray the soil a little bit.
When you start to lower the air humidity in the container, you will need to start watering more frequently.
Wait until the top of the soil is almost dry to water, and always water with a spray bottle. Since the seedlings donít really have strong roots at this time, watering with a regular watering bottle can uproot them easily.

Once the top of the container is removed, depending on your setup you might need to water them every couple days.

For the first year, water them when the top of the soil is dry. It might be every 2-3 days.

After a year you can start to give them less water and start to treat them as regular cacti.



Troubles & Diseases


If your seedlings turn red/orange/brown it means that they are receiving too much light, try to lower the light intensity they receive by adding a couple layers of window screen or cheesecloth on the top of your container.

If you find any mold or algae growing off your soil, remove the part as soon as you discover it. And you may try to spray the area a little bit with natural fungicide. But that is usually not necessary.

If your seedlings turn black, it means that they are getting too much water.

If your seedlings are really thin and narrow, it means they need more light. Try to increase the light they receive, but make sure you donít burn them.

All your seedlings should be lime green. Any other colors mean something is wrong.


Final notes


Now you should have enough information to start growing your own cacti from seeds.

I am not a professional botanist, there might be some better way to do all this, but this is how it always worked for me.

I hope this guide will help you in your research.


Peace everyone, and happy growing!

Hidra303}



(Message edited by hidra303 on July 19, 2004)
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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1213
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 01:55 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

since im not an english speaking person..
there might be a lot of error in there....

please forgive me :-)

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Hippie3 (Admin)
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 23426
Registered: 02-2001
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 02:02 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

don't forget to tag important threads
with the catch-phrase
archive material.
helps find the thread with the search engine
for eventual archival.

Namaste


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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1214
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 02:13 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I though you were the only one who could do that
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NewDude (Newdude1)
Senior Member
Username: Newdude1

Post Number: 228
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 02:15 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice write up Hidra! you should add some of your seedling pictures in there.
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Hippie3 (Admin)
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 23432
Registered: 02-2001
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 02:17 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

I though you were the only one who could do that




no,
any STAFF member can.
use your discretion and judgement,
i trust you.

Namaste


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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1215
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 02:40 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

you should add some of your seedling pictures in there.




my good camera was stolen..
im now left with a 1.3mp cam...wich is not very good to take close up pictures...but I will get a new cam soon..and I will be able to show you my work




quote:


any STAFF member can.



cool
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Sweetness (Sweetness)
Moderator
Username: Sweetness

Post Number: 2654
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 05:39 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice write up Hidra.
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texada (Texada)
Member
Username: Texada

Post Number: 28
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 09:01 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

**just superb information hidra, your peyote knowledge is greatly valued by the members.
"Sex,Drugs,and Rock n Roll" What more could a good hippie want?:-)
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NewDude (Newdude1)
Senior Member
Username: Newdude1

Post Number: 229
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 02:44 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aw Sucks to hear that Hidra, I know you had some nice seedling pictures from one of your other posts.
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PeOpLeCanFlY (Peoplecanfly)
Senior Member
Username: Peoplecanfly

Post Number: 304
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 07:49 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

really nice work!!
im a french dude writing my posts in english some of my expressions or sentences may not be all correct :P thanks for your comprehension
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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1280
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 11:40 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ok..
here is some seedlings grown using this method


they were all started on july 12 2004 (almost 3weeks old)


Lophophora Williamsii var. Fricii
Upload


Lopophora Williamsii
Upload


as you can see..

this method is working great :-)



peace


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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1281
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 11:48 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

these are around 6 months old L.Williamsii grown from seeds..



Upload

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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1282
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 11:51 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

6 months old trichocereus pachanoi

Upload
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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1283
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 11:55 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

another shot of the L.W

Upload
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Roc (Rochester)
Senior Member
Username: Rochester

Post Number: 1926
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 12:34 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Damn Sweet!


Roc
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NewDude (Newdude1)
Senior Member
Username: Newdude1

Post Number: 242
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 01:27 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NICE! you got tons of nice seedlings Hidra.
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logic pill (Logicpill)
Senior Member
Username: Logicpill

Post Number: 310
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 02:51 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That is a really good job. Have you thought about applying a little bit of fungicide when initially watering the cacti?
All of this is in theory, of course.
Free iPod or Free FlatScreen
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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1284
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 03:06 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

nope....
I never used any fungicide..

I just sterelise the soil in the oven..
and that seems to be enough.


peace
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PeOpLeCanFlY (Peoplecanfly)
Senior Member
Username: Peoplecanfly

Post Number: 310
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 03:35 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

very nice job Hidra!!

ill have picture from my seedlings soon!!
i wait for my mother hehe she have the cam :P
but now i work ill have one soon!!!! want something with Macro shot
im a french dude writing my posts in english some of my expressions or sentences may not be all correct :P thanks for your comprehension
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Towelie (Tepin)
Senior Member
Username: Tepin

Post Number: 240
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 04:17 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

fungicide? who would say such a thing around here? it's a nuke!

Great looking Cactus man!


"Hey, Guys, I Don't know whats going on..."

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logic pill (Logicpill)
Senior Member
Username: Logicpill

Post Number: 312
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 07:34 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I got some stuff beside the insecticidal soap that was a 3-in-1 type thing that is supposed to handle that fungus that grows on top of the soil (still trying to get rid of fungus gnats), mites, and insects. I don't recommend it though, because it doesn't seem to work at all.
All of this is in theory, of course.
Free iPod or Free FlatScreen
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John (John)
Junior Member
Username: John

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:05 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the write-up.

It looks like some of your willies are elongated and could use more light. I've experienced this and they will grow out of it eventually.

Also, I don't bother with sterilizing soil. I just use seed starters, bottom heat, and a bit of natural sunlight. My favorite starter is the one from Park Seed:

http://www.parkseed.com/
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Hidra (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 1286
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:17 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know some of them are a little bit elongated,

but with the last batch, I had a lot of trouble with "lightburn".. they got red/orange...
I gave them less light and they got green again after a while...

so this time...I prefer to give them a little less light ..to prevent lightburn again

and Im pretty sure they will be "regularly shaped" in a few years :-)

thanx for the advice...

and btw..

Ive read many of your post at the nook, thanx for all your great knowledge john

peace
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Hidra303 (Hidra303)
Moderator
Username: Hidra303

Post Number: 2076
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 12:40 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ok...

I played around with the tek a little bit...

and finally found out the perfect lightening for the loph seedlings...


the are 8-10 inch under 2 4feet fluros.

they seems to love it!

and grow round as little balls..

without any lightburn :-)

:-)

Upload
Upload


(Message edited by hidra303 on February 06, 2005)

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