Growing cactus seeds is a simple process, although it is important to give this process enough time and care so that the cactus can grow well. Let’s take a detailed look at how to grow cactus seeds so that you can go ahead and try it out yourself.
- 1 How to Grow Cactus Seeds
- 2 FAQs
How to Grow Cactus Seeds
You can go through the following steps involved in growing cactus seeds. Make sure you do not miss out on an important part of the process as this might cause damage to the overall health of the cactus.
1. Obtain the Seeds
The first step is to obtain the cactus seeds in the first place. You can buy these seeds online or from a nearby store. This can give you a good range of options and varieties to pick from so that you can conveniently obtain the seeds without much effort.
On the other hand, you also have the option of picking out the seeds from a mature and healthy cactus in your own home or from someone you know. These seeds are present inside a pod on the flower-bearing parts of a cactus.
Make sure you remove the seeds carefully by opening up a moist but not wet pod and storing the seeds properly.
2. Prepare the Seeds
The next step is to prepare the seeds well for planting them in soil. The seeds are likely to look different based on the species of the cactus that you have chosen to grow. Once you manage to carefully remove the seeds, you will need to prepare them.
Make sure you check that the seeds (if taken from a pod) are well pollinated, otherwise you might not be able to use them. As long as the seeds come out of the pod easily, you can use them to grow the cactus.
Soaking them in water for a couple of days can ensure that they are fully ready for planting.
3. Prepare the Soil
Make sure you use well-draining soil for the cactus seeds since cacti in particular are prone to several diseases if their roots are exposed to too much water in the soil. You can buy a cactus mix from a store and can also add some perlite and sand if not already present.
You will also need to place the soil in the oven for a few minutes so that the heat can get rid of any pests or bacteria (you can skip this step if the packaging already says that this step has been taken).
Place this soil in a container, water it well and sprinkle the seeds on the top and add another small layer of the soil or sand. Place a clear wrap or lid on this container and keep it in indirect sunlight.
4. Wait for Germination
Make sure you do not expose this mixture to bright and direct sunlight as this will overwhelm the seeds and inhibit their growth. You will now need to wait for the seeds to germinate, which is likely to take a few weeks to a month. Depending on the species, it can also take a longer or shorter period of time.
Once germination takes place, you will be able to notice small spines or sprouts growing in the soil. You can now remove the lid or wrap but only for a few hours a day. It is best to gradually start small and keep increasing the duration as time progresses.
5. Follow a Watering Schedule
Once you start removing the cover, you will need to start watering the cactus lightly as well. This is because the cover was otherwise responsible for keeping the moisture inside the container.
To prevent the cactus from dying due to faster evaporation without the cover, you can establish a pattern or routine for watering. Start off small here as well and then gradually keep increasing the frequency at which you water it.
However, make sure that you give the soil enough time to become slightly (but not completely) dry. Prevent overwatering as well.
6. Repot the Cactus
Once your cactus has grown big enough (within a year or so), you will need to repot it to a larger pot so that the roots have enough space to grow as well as enough nutrition to absorb from the soil.
Remove it carefully from the initial container and place it in a new pot with fresh soil. You can then keep it in the shade for a while and gradually begin to introduce sunlight to the cactus.
You can then go ahead and care for the plant well. Make sure you only water it when the soil dries out completely.
Should you soak cactus seeds before planting?
You should soak cactus seeds before planting so that the seed is fully prepared and ready for germination. You will need to soak them for either a few minutes, hours or even days depending on the kind of cactus seeds you are using.
How long do cactus seeds take to grow?
Cactus seeds take approximately a month to germinate during their initial stages. Once it has germinated, you will then need to wait for a few months or even a year for the seeds to grow bigger. This can also depend on the kind of species you are growing as some may take lesser time while some may take longer.
Can you grow cactus seeds in winter?
You can grow cactus seeds in winter only if you have enough heat indoors. For instance, grow lights can help with this. If you are growing some cold-hardy cactus species, then you can grow them in winter as well.
Check out our review on the best grow lights for cactus indoors.
Ideally, however, you should ensure that you maintain the proper temperatures around the cactus. Check the requirements of the particular species before you make a decision.
What is the easiest cactus to grow from seed?
An easy cactus to grow from seed is the Echinopsis terscheckii since it can grow pretty quickly. Some other simple ones include Cereus, Mammillaria, Ferocactus, Echinopsis and more.