Cactus Dish Garden Seed Question!

redthreaddiy(6a MI)October 18, 2010

I have never grown a cactus in my life.

I bought these seeds in Vegas - as a novelty kind of thing. I love growing seeds but truly have no clue what I have here.

The seed packet says that it might include Hairy Old Man, Hedge Hog, Golden Barrel, Star Cactus, Organ Pipe, and The Giant Saguaro.

When opening the package, it let me know that I might not have gotten all of those seeds, but definitely have the following seeds: Saguaro Cactus, Joshua Tree, Barrel Cactus, and Agave plant.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what seeds I have.

I plan on planting them AS a dish garden, so I'll need to figure out which seeds need to be grown near the back(since they will be taller) and which need to be in the front. But I have no idea! Here is some pictures of the seeds that were in the packet.

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redthreaddiy(6a MI)

Agave seeds are in the second photo on the top right I think.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 8:29PM
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I applaud your efforts, RTD, but your intended plants are very unsuitable for a dish garden. However, that shouldn't deter you from giving it a try. I'm suggesting to you, though, that your efforts in this particular endeavor will be negatively impacted in the long-term (how's that for jargon?).

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 8:54PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

I agree with both messages above. The tan seeds are probably from the Joshua Tree, a kind of Yucca, and "Hedgehog" is probably some type of Echinocereus. Agaves are easy to grow from seed but after a few years wil be too big for a dish garden, and the cacti will all outgrow a dish garden also. But you might as well plant them and get some experience growing cacti and succulents from seed. I suggest going to your local library and getting a book or two on cacti or succulents, finding some that would be OK for a dish garden, and ordering seeds of those kinds. There are several good online dealers in that kind of seed; my favorite is Mesa Garden in Belen, NM.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:43PM
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redthreaddiy(6a MI)

Haha - well thanks for being honest! I suppose they shouldn't sell them as a dish garden then! :) I'm going to give them a try and see what I get. I tried!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:19AM
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The big, yellowish seeds are Opuntia. If they germinate (it can take time), they will probably be the fastest growing.

Hairy Old Man? Could it be Cephalocereus senilis (Old man cactus)?

Star cactus is a common name for Astrophytum asterias, but that one is the most difficult Astrophytum from seed, so my guess is that it is some other kind of Astrophytum.

(Assuming that the names have any relationship to the actual content of the seed bag - sellers who use common names and don't seem to know what they have put in the bag are not to be trusted.)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:32PM
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redthreaddiy(6a MI)

Wow.. so it's 6 months later, and I only got these to JUST NOW germinate. Wondering what they are? They had a tiny black shiny seed attached to them. Should I keep them well-watered, or not at all? Super new to cacti. Help!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:23PM
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It's okay to start them in a dish garden, but be ready to transplant them into their own pots, and keep doing so as they grow. Jeff is so right they will grow large quickly, except the Josha Tree which I understand to be a very slow growing plant? Too much watering and moisture will cause rot. Norma

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:47AM
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that's awesome that they sprouted for you. after that long i would have given up. I have a few flats of different kinds of seeds. Under the right conditions your seed should pop in a week to about a month, depending on the seed. Joshua tree seeds should be soaked in distilled water for 24 hours, then laid in a wet paper towel until they sprout, and that should take but a week. this should be done to all seed that have a harder shell. Joshua trees look like grass for a long time. keep seeds and sprouts under a t-5 florescent for 20 hrs a day. This will help the growth along nicely.
As for the overall conditions of your seeds a few things can be done. One is get your self a tray and a humidity dome that can be found at home depot. Also get a heat mate that you can adjust. As for the temp can get to hot. keep the light on and the seed wet. I use a grow tent in my work space. I use the humidity dome as well but don't need the bother of the expensive heat mat that can be a pain if you don't get a thermostat. My temp stays around 70 and my humidity stays at around 55. a fan is also good. may need to adjust depending on the area you live in. My summer can get worn. To hot is not good for the little sprouts.
In the wild most seedlings start out under another plant acting as protection until its able to live on its own.
Kind of lengthy, but i hope my experience with this has helped.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 2:06AM
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Someone brought me a pack of mixed cactus seeds from their trip to NM. I started all in one tray. This was a few years ago but I don't remember them taking so long to germinate. I kept the seedlings together until they were big enough to be easily handled and then potted them individually in mix that was much grittier. I had them under conditions similar to what the previous poster mentioned, T5 lights and bottom heat for several months, even after potting them up. I never bothered with a humidity dome but did keep them fairly well watered until they actually began to look like cacti but before they were individually potted. I probably ended up with about 4 different varities and just had one ID'd here the other day. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:00AM
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I would love to see a recent photo of your cactus seedlings! Last spring I planted golden barrel cactus seeds. The sprouts looked like what you have in the above photos, and they took at least 6 monts to sprout...some are still sprouting up! (The seeds were teeny tiny dark red, almost black). Anyway, I'd love to see your progress, so I can get a glimpse of what to expect in another year or so.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:12PM
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