My seedlings!

swiss_1(z8)April 22, 2007

I have posted these before when they were very small and again about six months ago. They are looking more mature now, although there characteristics still keep developing.

These are all from a mixed C&S seed mix. Some I can tell, others are still a mystery!


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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

You've got a good variety going there :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 4:11PM
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The square post in the second last pic is Astrophytums. The two in the upper left corner is propably an ornatum and an asterias. A few of the ones in the first pic. looks like Echinocactus grusonii.

Nice job!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 2:13AM
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I forgot to mention that I also have some mammilarias in there. On the second picture the top row and most of the second row are mammilarias.

I am hoping for some flowers this summer. I think I may have a couple of rebutias there, which I have read flower when small and very young.

The astrophytums were the only ones I was confident about identifying as they look so different. I am not sure how early they flower, but they are growing rather rapidly.

I also have some lithops that will be two years in autumn, I am hoping they might flower this year too!

Any other identification/confirmation would be most appreciated.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 3:48PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

I would think it unlikely that any of these will flower this year. Possible though. I sow in early spring and I have had Rebutia and Mammillaria seedlings flower at 18 months old. Quite a few Mammillarias will flower at 2+ years old. Lithops aren't going to flower at 2 years old, that would be very unusual.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 9:51AM
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I had a feeling it would be hoping too much!!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 1:17PM
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What type of soil did you use to start them? Did you cover them to increase humidity? Loretta

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 1:28AM
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I too would love to know how you did it, what medium did you use, did you use tell, they are soooo cute!!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:35AM
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I used shop-bought cacti compost mix. Nothing technical!

I used a clear plastic take-away tub that has a lid (like a thin Tupperware). I punched holes in the bottom, put a fine layer of gravel on the bottom, but not really necessary. Filled it 3/4 with compost. The compost was straight from the bag so slightly damp. I patted it down and sprinkled the fine seeds over the top, but pushed any large seed down a bit. Then I sprayed thoroughly with water until the surface was all damp and put the lid on. This I put on a bright windowsill that gets full evening sun.

The lid stayed on until the seed germinated. Then it was propped up with a matchstick until they grew to reach the lid (for some of the columnar types this was quite quick), then I removed the lid completely.

All this time it is sat in a larger tray that I top up with water when it looks dry. About once a week.

When they got larger I left them over the winter months to dry out and then when spring came I watered them through submersion, then pricked them out into a similar tray, but more spaced out, then into individual pots as you see them here.

I planted some in September, to give them a good growing season before they would be kept dry, and some in spring. Although the Sept ones were bigger for a while the spring ones soon caught up and now I don't know which are which!!

I didn't bottom heat or artificially light as I don't have the means, nor was it essential for me to have every seed germinate etc. I used the same method for my lithops.

I will see if I can dig out some pictures for you of the various stages.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 7:19AM
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The seedlings popping through:

3 months old and spaced out more:

After a further growth spurt and now six months:

Here they are starting to touch so I potted on as originally posted.

My first lithops were slightly different. I just sprinkled some seed over a small pot of watered cacti mix. I put a food bag over the top and sealed with an elastic band until germination, and a bit beyond.

Here they are after the bag was removed:

Kept in bright sun filtered through frosted glass, here they are at 7 months:

And here they are in April still dry from winter. I was waiting for the last set of leaves to dry out:

And today after watering a couple of weeks ago:

I lost some to cooking in the afternoon sun. They now get sheltered for the full heat of the day as there is not much breeze there. They are now about 2 years old.

I hope this helps!

I just tried my best with what I had. Have a go and post the results!!


    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 7:47AM
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lord_of_the_green(Argentina z9)

Hi Swiss,
Yours is a beautiful success!
The only thing I could add is that the one on the first picture upper left corner, is very similar to my myrtillocactus geometrizans. Astrophytum asterias is a very slow grower...


    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 1:32PM
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Sooooo cute! I've got some tiny little babies like this they are taking so long to grow!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 5:56AM
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I am so jealous! I've tried seeds on and off for years, but mine never got as big as yours and then I lose interest. I always think how hard can it be if the mass growers can do it, but I guess my conditions aren't perfect and I don't have enough patience.

But I'm going to have to try your method.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 12:40AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Patience is a really important consideration w/ seeds.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Wow! They look Great! You've done this many times before... right? This wasn't your first go 'round, was it?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:02AM
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How exicting! I want to try growing cacti and succulents from seed. Inspiring! :) Thanks for all the great pics!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 2:48PM
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