Usually growing cacti from seeds is practiced in breeding work, since these plants reproduce well in a vegetative way. But it is quite possible to grow cacti from seeds and at home; there is nothing difficult in this agrotechnical procedure. How to grow a cactus from seeds, you can learn from the proposed material. It tells about the necessary tools and equipment, the preparation of planting material and the organization of care for seedlings. The description of the whole process of reproduction of seedlings will allow repeating this work to each florist.
Before you grow cacti from seeds at home, you need to prepare everything you need and be patient, since the initial growth and development of these crops will be very slow. Home-grown cacti at home can give for the first time bloom only later 5-6 years. For the rest, propagating cacti with seeds is not very difficult.
How to germinate and sow the seeds of cacti
Before planting a cactus of seeds, you should make sure that this variety or genus does not produce genetic mutations. If he retains all varietal characteristics, then the process will be fun. The only thing before sowing cacti by seed is to follow a few basic rules. So the seeds of cacti germinate, in accordance with the nature of the growth of these plants in general, slowly; seedlings also develop slowly. In addition, although the seeds sprouting cacti moisture and heat are necessary, on the other hand, cacti seedlings are very susceptible to fungal diseases. Therefore, when sowing seeds, it is necessary to maintain the required moisture and temperature and at the same time strive to prevent the occurrence of fungal diseases. How to germinate the seeds of cacti, described in detail in this article further on the page.
Sowing seeds of cacti on a larger scale or reproduction of especially difficult, slow-growing cacti, which often have very small seeds, should be carried out only by experienced amateurs-cacti breeders. The information required for this can be found in the special literature. However, trying to propagate with seeds suitable species of cacti - for example, fast-growing columnar cacti - even beginners can, with simple means available. Seed breeding cacti It is an interesting sight to watch, besides, there is always a special relationship to the plant grown with its own hands from seeds. And therefore further some recommendations are given on sowing the seeds of cacti.
What are the seeds of cacti (with photos)
Specialty stores offer a wide variety of cacti seeds. Usually, for their first attempt, beginners choose either a mixture of seeds of different varieties, or seeds of fast-growing columnar cacti or seeds that bloom several years after planting, such as rebution. You need to be aware of what the cactus seeds of the species and variety of interest to you look like, otherwise you will not avoid disappointment in the future.
Of course, you can also sow seeds obtained from another cacti lover. For sowing, seeds that have been stored for no more than one or two years should be used. To prevent possible germination of fungal infections, seeds before sowing must be cleaned of possible residues of fruit pulp.
For this, larger seeds are poured into a tea strainer, and the smaller ones are poured into a bag of linen fabric and washed thoroughly in warm water, after which they are scattered on paper and dried.
Look at how the cactus seeds look - the photo shows the planting material of different groups of these plants:
Before planting cacti seeds, prepare the soil and dishes
First, prepare the soil and dishes. Cacti seeds can be sown in low wide pots or bowls, for example, from styrofoam. Before planting the seeds of cacti, wash the dishes with hot water. At the drainage hole, which, if necessary, can be done in the bottom of the flatware with a pencil, put a convex clay shard. Then the capacity on the 2 / 3 is filled soil mixture for cactiwhich should be especially loose and, if possible, contain more coarse sand or perlite.
Steamed and, therefore, a well-disinfected soil mixture provides the best protection against fungal diseases, but this is not necessary. A layer of broken brick, crushed basalt (lava) or coarse sand is covered with a layer of 0,5 above the soil. . As a result, this layer will not be a breeding ground for accidentally germinating pathogens. diseases.
Reproduction of cacti seeds in a mini-greenhouse
The reproduction of cacti by seeds in a mini-greenhouse has many advantages, since favorable conditions are created for the germination of planting material. The seeds of most cacti germinate particularly well at temperatures from 20 to 25 ° C. Night temperature drops to 15 ° C are often helpful, however, cooler conditions or temperatures above 35 ° C slow down or even stop the germination of seeds.
It is easiest to maintain the desired temperature in mini-greenhouses for growing seedlings, along the bottom of which a special low-power heating cable is laid.
The most convenient mini-greenhouses with a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature, but the need for this occurs only when there are strong temperature drops in the room.
Of course, additional heating is not necessary in the case when the mini-hothouse is in a heated living room, for example, on the windowsill under the central heating battery, where the required temperature is constantly maintained. Thanks to the closed lid inside the greenhouse, higher air humidity is also achieved and maintained. Since the seeds of cacti need light for germination, the mini-greenhouse must be placed in a bright place, for example, on the window sill facing north or east of the window.
However, it should not be in the sun, that is, in a sunny southern or western window, since intense solar radiation very quickly heats the air inside a small closed space to critical values. Although the seeds of cacti for germination desirable light, but it should be soft, not bright sunny.
Sowing cacti seeds
When sowing, cacti seeds must be evenly distributed over the surface of the substrate.
For this, a piece of paper is folded in half, poured the seeds into the groove formed, and then lightly tapping the paper, which is slightly tilted to the plate, evenly pour the seeds one by one onto the soil surface.
Since cacti grow slowly and grow better in a community, seeds are sown relatively thickly. As a guideline, you can indicate that approximately 2 cacti seeds are sown on a soil surface of a flat size 2 x 20 cm.
After sowing cacti by seeds, they are lightly pressed into the soil using any object with a smooth surface, such as a matchbox. Since the seeds of cacti need light for germination, they are not sprinkled on top of the soil.
After this, the seeds and the substrate must be moistened. Of course, it is impossible to make a watering can, because in this case, the seeds will be washed from the soil surface with a stream of water. Therefore, the plates with sown seeds are placed in a container filled with settled water and kept there until the substrate is well saturated with moisture to the very top layer. For the prevention of fungal diseases for glaze You can use 0,05% solution of chinosol (1 tablet on 2 liter of water). Quinozole is a mild disinfectant. In conclusion, the seed pots or pots are placed in a mini-greenhouse, where, thanks to the transparent plastic lid, the required moisture content of the substrate will be maintained.
Cactus seed germination after planting
During germination after planting cacti seeds the substrate should not dry out. The temperature is best controlled with a minimum-maximum thermometer.
The seeds of many cacti germinate within two weeks. It is interesting to observe how small green balls begin to appear on the soil surface and two well-marked cotyledons develop, between which a stalk of a cactus later forms.
When most of the seeds germinate, the cover of the mini-hothouse is slightly raised from time to time to reduce the humidity of the air, and with it the danger of a fungal infection. After three or four months, the plates with seedlings can be removed from the greenhouse. Now they need to be placed in a bright and slightly sunny - but not in bright sun - place; as well as in natural conditions, cacti seedlings grow in the light shade of adult cacti or under the protection of higher surrounding vegetation.
Seedlings best to push for several months to develop in the pot, where they sprouted. Now, between successive watering, the soil in the bowl should dry out slightly, however, despite this, seedlings need to be watered more often than adult cacti, since a relatively more loose soil mixture is used for sowing seeds, and the roots of seedlings are not yet very well developed. Watering in the future should be made below. To make the seedlings grow healthy and the substrate is not alkalized, potassium phosphate can be added to the irrigation water (1 g per 2 l of water).
When the seedlings begin to form a thick pillow (curtain) in the pot, they should be smashed into fresh soil.
In this case, the substrate in the planting pot or the pot should be dry, then it easily disintegrates and allows you to remove the seedlings without damage. Young plants, which by this time have a diameter of about 0,5 cm, are not planted in separate small pots, but planted in large pots or bowls.
The dishes for planting young plants are filled with a relatively dry ordinary soil mixture for cacti. Then with a pencil or a pointed stick they make a depression, place the seedling in it and carefully pour the soil on all sides.
Seedlings are planted from each other at a distance equal to approximately three times the diameter of young plants.
After transplants seedlings kept in a warm, shaded place; they are carefully watered not immediately after transplantation, but only a few days later, when they are overgrown, it is possible that damage to the roots took place. When the seedlings take root in fresh soil, after about a week, they are again transferred to a bright, slightly shaded place from direct sunlight. Now plants grow and develop relatively quickly and without any problems.
How to plant cacti seeds in a closed plastic bag (with video)
Some cacti growers achieve good results using the simple method of sowing cacti seeds. Before planting cacti with seeds, pots or flat dishes are filled, as described above, with a well-steamed soil mixture, and poured on top with a layer of sterile material such as sand, perlite, crushed basalt or pumice. Then, cacti seeds are sown on the surface of the substrate and the crops are thoroughly watered from below, adding any fungicide preparation to the water, for example, quinosol.
After draining the excess water from the pot, it is placed inside a sealed (not having holes) plastic bag, tied and put or hung in a bright, but not sunny place.
Since moisture in a closed plastic bag cannot evaporate, crops do not need constant monitoring and can be left to themselves for a quarter of a year. The crucial point for the successful production of seedlings with this method of sowing is the elimination of fungal infections.
After three or four months, the bags are opened, the substrate is slightly dried in pots and the seedlings dive as described above. This simple way of sowing cacti is definitely worth trying, first of all, in the case when it is received - for example, from a familiar amateur cacti-grower - many seeds of some particularly hardy species.
See how to properly propagate cactus seeds - the video shows all the complex technical coins of sowing, picking and organizing the care of seedlings: