Succulents are a great thing to have at home, in addition to its fascinating and splendid appearance. If you plan to upgrade your indoor plant set, do not just buy them. You grow them yourself!
With a little bit of patience, growing succulents from seeds can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you want to know how to do it, the following article explains how to do it, what you will need, and how to get your own succulents to produce seeds!
- Germinating Succulents: What You Will Need
- How to Get Seeds from Succulents?
- Can You Grow Succulents From Seeds?
- What Do Succulent Seeds Look Like?
- Caring for Your New Little Succulent
Germinating Succulents: What You Will Need
The The thing that makes growing succulents from seeds so appealing is that you might already possess most of the items you will need at home. As we will be describing below, you may not even need to buy seeds if you have succulents or blooming cacti in your collection!
The items needed for the succulent growth project vary greatly depending on which method you take. Every succulent grower works differently, so you can always experiment a few different things. A recommended favorite among all is the vermiculite method, although we will also discuss some of the other soil mixing options below.
The things you will need:
Some cacti and succulents grow easier than others. Most places sell mixed cactus seed packets, which are beginner friendly. These seed types are usually hardy, and fortunately growing cacti from seeds is almost like growing other succulents.
If you have a little more experience growing cacti and succulents, you might want to go for something harder to challenge your gardening skills. Lithops super slow growing mesemb for example, might be a good choice if you can muster the patience.
Next, we will proceed to acquire succulent and cactus seeds.
The container in which you will grow your succulent seeds can be as elegant or simple as you like. Most importantly, it must maintain moisture in some way, as our succulent seedlings cannot afford to die out in the early parts of their life. A lidded plastic container will suffice, but a real seed starter tray is probably recommended. These feature many separate small containers, and a subfloor for easy flooding, as well as a lid to keep moisture out.
Few succulent planters will agree on this next point. We prefer using pure vermiculite as it is loose but still holds moisture well. Other alternative soil options include coconut, coarse silica sand, finely crushed perlite, and even unscented cat litter.
Ensure that the medium is not overly thick so as not to kill your small succulent seedlings, but also be careful not to have it too fine, or it will become too compact, stunting growth (like play sand).
If your windowsills are full, you can grow succulents from seeds using only grow light in a place that would usually be too dark. An LED grow light works best. It will not emit heat large enough to burn the seedlings, and it helps keep them warm and well-lit.
And honestly, that is it for the basics. Some like to have a little kitchen paper on hand to put the seeds in, as well as toothpicks to put the seeds in (as they are very small), but it all depends on how you would like to plant.
Acquiring Succulent Seeds
As mentioned above, the different species of cacti and succulents differ in how difficult it is care and grow them. One more factor to consider during your seed purchase is the quality.
Read up on some review articles on reputable companies before going out there to buy your succulent seeds. There are eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, as well as independent review websites, so you will not have any trouble finding your seeds. Read all about the best place to buy succulents online here.
How to Get Seeds from Succulents?
If you have been growing succulents and they are doing well, chances are they are flowering. Species like Gasteria, Echeveria, and Haworthia tend to flower quite frequently, and in fact, you can start the harvesting process once the flowers die. The method involves pollinating the flower, making sure that seeds are formed, after which you can remove the small seeds.
A little difficult, but very satisfying if your seeds starts to bloom!
Can You Grow Succulents From Seeds?
If If you purchased your cactus or succulent seeds, chosen your soil type, and bought a suitable container to start the seeding process, you are good to go. The steps below will guide you how to sow seeds and care for seedlings.
Step 1: Planting
Firstly, planting your succulent seeds will not be done outdoors. The seeds are too small that the slightest presence of wind can blow them away, so put everything on an indoor table. Placing kitchen paper underneath does help, if somehow you manage to lose some seeds along the way.
Fill the seed tray with vermiculite or any other medium you choose. Then, moisten the soil, by making use of a propagation tray as they usually come with an undercoat that can flood. After the soil has been moistened enough, you can scatter the seeds there.
This can be done with the fingers, but some prefer to use toothpicks or a brush since the seeds are very difficult to work with. Put some seeds in each container, but do not overdo it, as your subsequent propagation can be tough to perform.
Step 2: Placement
Ensure that the moisture remains and allow the seeds enough time to grow. If you use a regular pot, put it in a clear, zip-lock bag. Then place it on a windowsill, or under the growing light that receives a lot of light but not direct sunlight.
Step 3: Germination!
Most seeds can germinate fast, with results as soon as a week, provided the circumstances are favorable, and the seeds are fresh. Once the sprouts appear, you can remove the cap to give them access to fresh air, as over-moisturizing it can cause rot or mold problems.
They will need to constantly be kept wet initially until their root system is strong, but as the weeks progress you can gradually reduce the frequency of watering.
What Do Succulent Seeds Look Like?
Many succulent seeds bear a close resemblance to dirt or dust, which is why they are often mistaken for something else. Our recommended store for succulent seeds is Etsy (which you can read all about it here) They boast a huge collection of succulent seeds, especially some rare species ones. Not to mention their seeds quality is top notch. Below are a few examples of the various kinds of succulent seeds.
Caring for Your New Little Succulent
Although succulents are slow growing, most should start to resemble small versions of their grown-up counterparts in a few weeks. Once the leaves have grown, you can breathe a sigh of relief and say to yourself you did it! Now you have little succulent babies.
Taking care of these is like taking care of adult succulents once they have developed their own root systems: pay attention to water when the soil completely dries up. Bright lights should be shone on it but make sure it is indirect light until the succulent has grown (about 6 months old). The seedlings will tell you how they feel about light, growing paler and paler if lacking light, and displaying a reddish-brown sunburn when too much light is present.
Since you have most likely sprayed multiple seeds into every tray compartment, there comes a point where you will have to replant the seedlings to avoid overcrowding (usually after a few months). If you have used a mix like vermiculite, it will be easy. Just relocate the seedlings to a normal succulent soil medium with perlite, bonsai soil, or potting soil and voila!
As a conclusion, growing succulents from seeds can be easy and doable for any houseplant enthusiast. Just remember that it is normal for these things to sometimes not turn out the way you would like – some batches just will not work out. Be aware of any mistakes you have made and do not let it scare you off!