How To Grow Ferry Morse Cactus Seeds

To thrive, cacti need a sunny location in a compost that is very well-drained, like cactus compost.

Select a windowsill facing south or east for the greatest effects. If the windowsill gets too chilly in the winter, you might need to find them another position.

How to plant cacti

Plant cactus carefully at all times. Your skin may sting and bleed from the spines. To avoid harming yourself while planting your cactus, it is a good idea to use everyday kitchen tools like a fork, spoon, and thick tea towel.

Cactus should be planted in a compost that drains very well, such as cactus compost. Alternately, use a multipurpose compost devoid of peat that has been enriched with horticultural grit or vermiculite to improve drainage.

To finish the aesthetic of the pot display, add a layer of horticultural grit or pebbles. Additionally, this stops water from re-splashing on the cactus.

In our No Fuss video guide, Kevin Smith of Gardeners’ World Magazine demonstrates how to use cactus plants to make a visually appealing display. Kevin discusses how to make a decorative mulch, which compost to use, and why salad tongs are the best tool for handling cacti:

Caring for cactus plants

Water cacti in the summer only once a week at most. A decent watering less frequently is preferable to a little-and-often strategy. In the coldest months, you shouldn’t need to water cacti at all.

Cacti should be repotted every two years to receive fresh compost; larger pots aren’t always necessary.

Stan Griffin of Craig House Cacti shares his three best growing advice for cactus plants in this Golden Rules video, including when to water, feed, and when not to. He also offers guidance on how to take cactus cuttings.

Growing cactus plants: problem solving

Cactus plants often pose no problems. Overwatering or inadequate lighting might cause them to decay at the base. The plants frequently die as a result of this.

Spindly growth is possible in cactus plants, although it is simple to fix. In our Quick Tips video, Emma Crawforth from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine explains everything.

Cactus varieties to grow

  • Golden barrel cactus, Echinocactus grusonii, is initially globular but later becomes tall. It has brilliant green stems with spiky ribs that are native to Mexico. In the summer, flowers that are bright yellow bloom.
  • The varied cactus Gymnocalycium paraguayense has flattened spines. In spring and summer, it blooms a creamy white color.
  • A globe-shaped cactus with brilliant pink, funnel-shaped blossoms is called Mammillaria spinosissima. It has reddish-brown or yellow center spines.
  • Rebutia krainziana is a clump-forming barrel cactus that grows little, white areoles and spines in contrast to its dark green, up to 7 cm in diameter stems. Large, yellow or red flowers grow in a dense clump around the main stem in late spring.

You Will Need

  • Cacique seed
  • clay and plastic miniature pots
  • Cactus compost or free-draining compost
  • fine grit or vermiculite
  • glass sheet
  • spoon or fork
  • Tweezers
  • Gravel

Step 1

A pot should be filled with a loose-draining, moist compost. Firm the surface down gently and level it. Spread your mixture of cactus seeds evenly around the area, being careful not to sow them too densely.

Step 2

Over the seeds, evenly cover the surface of the compost with a thin layer of vermiculite or fine grit. To keep the soil moist, leave the pot wrapped in a clear plastic bag in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill.

Step 4

Your seedlings should be ready for transplantation the following spring. To gently pry out individual cactus, use a fork or spoon, being careful not to get the spines on your skin.

Step 6

Add compost all around the seedling and give it plenty of water. If more compost is required, add it after placing the gravel around the seedling with the spoon. Keep in a bright area, like a windowsill, and turn on the pot as necessary.

Before planting, should cactus seeds be soaked?

Use pre-made or homemade cactus soil mix to fill a tiny pot. To level the earth, gently press it down. The soil is properly drained and aerated with the use of inorganic grit, sand, or pumice.

Step 2

The seeds should be soaked in warm water for 30 minutes prior to planting. This encourages germination and loosens the seed coat. Opuntias need a few days of soaking in warm water since their seed coverings are quite resistant. Soak the seeds, then scatter them over the top of the flat soil. Unless the seed is exceptionally large, avoid pressing it into the soil.

Step 3

Just enough inorganic top dressing should be used to completely cover the seeds and soil surface. Don’t cover the seeds entirely in the top coating. Water gently and let the pot entirely drain.

A word about watering: During step 4, it is essential to use freshwater or distilled water to help avoid bacterial and algal growth. If the chlorine in your tap water is overpowering, you should think about drinking distilled water instead. The chlorine will damage or stop growth by burning the young, delicate roots and perhaps causing iron chlorosis. Careful watering can be accomplished by either letting the pot stand in water that is half its height or less, or by gently watering from the top while being careful not to wash away the top dressing. Allow the pot to drain completely in both scenarios.

Step 4

With a plastic container that enables light to pass through, cover and seal the pot. This might be a plastic tub or a supported plastic bag that is rubber-banded shut around the plant. The goal is to create a setting that will act as a greenhouse by retaining heat and moisture. Many things will work, so think creatively and ingeniously! But take cautious not to leave the seedling container submerged in water for too long. If you have chosen a plastic cover that is clear and colorless, move the pot to a location with bright indirect light that is approximately 70 F (21 C). If you’ve picked a clear but colored container, like blue or green, you should put it somewhere with a little more light while keeping the temperature the same. If you have chosen a container that is slightly hazy or foggy, you should put it in a cooler environment, 65 F (18 C), where it receives at least 4 and no more than 8 hours of direct sunlight, with the remaining hours of the day spent in brilliant indirect light.

Keep in mind that the sun is hotter in the late morning and afternoon than it is in the early morning or early evening. Consider the plastic bottle in general as sunscreen. The most light can travel through clear, colorless plastic, slightly less light can pass through clear, colored plastic, and even less light can flow through fogged, clear plastic. In every situation, the plastic container’s interior will warm up.

Don’t fry your young, delicate plants! If the walls of your container dry out during germination, water sparingly, reseal the container, and move it to a warm, well-lit area. If algal growth appears, remove the cover and let the seedling pot partially breathe before wiping it down with a solution of no more than 1 part bleach to 20 parts water (5 percent bleach in water). Give the cover time to dry. Place the seedling container back in a warm, well-lit area after recovering it and sealing it. As needed, keep cleaning the plastic container.

Step 5

The recently sprouting seedlings appear to be well on their way, despite being above earth. They have disproportionately small root systems underground, making it difficult for them to quickly take in the nutrients they need to grow into mature plants. Therefore, until they are almost fully grown, the seedlings should be kept in a plastic container at a high humidity level. Up until appropriate root systems are created, high humidity makes it easier for the roots and leaves to absorb water and nutrients.

Step 6

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, carefully take each seedling from its original nursing pot while wearing gloves or covering your fingers with tape. If the soil has kept moist, this is much simpler.

Step 7

Repot the seedling gently into a pot filled with cactus and succulent soil mix, filling the pot all the way to the top, and top dress with sand, gravel, or pumice. 3 or 4 days later, water. Never put the cactus back in its humidity compartment made of plastic.

How are astrophytum seeds germinated?

The plant’s habitat has seen over collection of it, endangering the wild population. Purchase your star cactus plants from a reputable nursery that raises them from seed. Although this cactus thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 9, it also grows beautifully in a bright window at home.

If you can, start seedlings in flats filled with a sandy composite soil mixture. Keep the soil moist until the seeds begin to sprout, and then transplant them to a sunny spot that is shaded during the midday light.

When tending to star cactus infants, mist the soil because overhead watering might harm the delicate tissues. Until the seedling is strong and at least 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) tall, they must be kept moist.

Is it hard to cultivate cactus from seed?

Some people are interested in learning how to cultivate cacti from seed due to the rising popularity of succulent plants and cacti. Anything that produces seeds can be propagated from them, albeit not all seeds are capable of doing so. If the conditions are ideal, cactus seed growth might proceed without your assistance, but this is uncommon. It may take many years for certain seeds to germinate once they fall in their natural environment. You might have to initiate the procedure yourself to get them going. More cactus plants are produced when cactus seeds germinate successfully, increasing your collection.

Do cactus seedlings require sunshine to sprout?

Despite the fact that many of us have tried and failed, growing cacti from seeds is not as difficult as you may imagine! Planting the seeds too deeply is one of the biggest errors people make. Given that seeds are wide, it would be advisable to just plant them deeply in the soil. When seeds are sown too deeply, the little plants emerge, start to grow, but are prevented from reaching the surface before their food reserves run out. You will succeed if you follow these guidelines for raising cacti from seeds.

Seeds

Most cacti should be grown from fresh seeds. You can either harvest seeds from a plant in your collection or buy them from a commercial source. When taking seeds from a cactus collection, be cautious. True seed cannot be guaranteed for some cactus species unless pollination has been properly observed because some cactus species easily hybridize.

Soil

Cacti can be grown from seed in a good potting mix that has been improved with 1/2 its volume of granite, perlite, or pumice for drainage. Pests must be kept to a minimum in the soil. Put the soil in a shallow heatproof pan and bake it at 300°F (150°C) for 30 minutes to pasteurize it. The majority of commercial soils have either been pasteurized or sterilized. Verify the label.

Planting

Ensure that all used containers are clean. Although it is not crucial, shallow containers are favored. Before planting, properly wet the soil and allow it to drain. The seeds should be evenly dispersed throughout the soil’s surface. Mix or very fine sand should be used to softly cover the seeds. Cover the pot with any clear lid after planting. The seedlings will be able to receive light and retain moisture as a result.

Germination

To germinate, cactus seeds require both light and warmth. A window that gets enough of sunlight is ideal, but watch out that it doesn’t get too hot from the light. The seeds should be able to germinate thanks to the moisture that the cover has managed to preserve. Be patient; while most cactus seeds germinate in three weeks or less, some take considerably longer. Raise the cover once the spines are visible to allow for daytime ventilation. Keep the soil from drying out. The amount of heat and light the seedlings receive will determine how much water they need. Pay close attention to the seedlings. Don’t drown them in standing water, but also don’t let them entirely dry up.

Repotting

When seedlings attain the size of marbles, which occurs between six and a year after germination, they are ready to be transplanted into larger containers. Make sure the soil mixture has excellent drainage, and that the container’s diameter is no more than twice that of the plant. Until they are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across, plants can be grown in clumps or groups of 6 to 8 per pot. After that, they can be separated and reported individually. Carefully remove the tiny plants from the growing medium, set them in the new container, compact the dirt around their roots, and water them.

The young plants should ideally recover from transplanting in a shaded environment. Seedlings will be sensitive to the full sun until they are older, even in cacti that naturally prefer it. As a result, gradually expose a young plant to the sun, starting when it is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across. Until they are around 3 inches (7.5 cm) across, it is frequently simpler to adapt young plants to the light in the winter and provide some shade in the summer.

Fertilization

During the growing season, which is often the warm season, fertilize young seedlings every month. Use a cactus-specific formulation or a general-purpose soluble houseplant formulation at half the advised strength.

How can I speed up the growth of my cactus?

Cacti, often known as cactuses, are fairly slow-growing plants that can take years to exhibit noticeable growth. Is there anything you can do, though, to help your cactus grow more quickly? You’ll discover general care advice and advice on how to make your cactus grow quicker in this post.

You must maintain a regular watering schedule, enable adequate air exchange, and water cacti with soft water if you want them to develop more quickly. Additionally, nurture your cactus while they are growing and let them inactive throughout the colder months.

How much light do young cactus plants require?

Succulents and cacti typically require between 10 and 14 hours of light every day.

However, there are several things that affect how much light you should provide! What kind of light is it? Is it man-made or natural? Is the light direct or indirect?

You should at the very least be aware of whether your succulent prefers full sun, full shade, or a combination of the two. If you’re unsure, you can presume the plant needs full sun. Cacti and succulents in general are!

Ever questioned why you couldn’t simply leave the lights on all the time? That would imply that it is constantly expanding, right?

Actually, not quite. Like people, plants also require rest. Particularly in the case of desert flora. They engage in CAM photosynthesis, a unique type of photosynthesis. They truly only produce plant food at night, unlike other plants. They would starve if the darkness didn’t exist.