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jeffo_grow

Growing From Seed

Jeff (5b)
November 7, 2018
last modified: November 7, 2018



This is a continuation of [Seedling Photos[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/seedling-photos-dsvw-vd~5166571), a thread started where I posted some photos of seedlings. As time went on, others joined in and there was some discussion. Perhaps this could be the place to discuss growing cactus and succulents from seed, in addition to displaying photos.

Comments (147)

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Wow!! Congrats Willis.

    Hey Wendy any luck with your ooa seeds? I haven't been having a great year so far with germination. I had a couple of trays of ooa seeds that mildewed and I tossed them. I ended up ordering more from them on eBay, so we'll see this time around. The only thing that germinated from them was 2 out of 5 of the euphorbia venefica seeds.

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Really bad luck. No germination at all for P. brevicaule leucoxanthum (10 seeds), P. baronii windsori (5 seeds) and P. densiflorum (10 seeds). One out of ten for P. ambogense P. eburneum, and Dorstenia lavrani (most expensive lavrani seedling ever, lol). Two out of ten for P. baronii, but one of them isn't forming any true leaves.

    On the other hand I have close to 100% germination for my cactus seeds (from 4 different sources). A couple of the packets did have 100% germinate, but I'm having a problem with mold on my Astrophytum caput-medusae seeds. Do you use anything on seeds to sterilize them before planting? So far the other seedlings are doing fine. I did sterilize the mix.

  • isde02(zone5b)

    I kind of have a feeling that it may be old seeds from before they moved. Not trying to bash them or anything, but terrible germination rates between the two of us on that many different species points to something wrong.

    I read that P. Baronii is very slow growing as seedlings, and have definitely found that to be true. I have P. Eburneum and Densiflorum growing with 8/10 for both but from a different source.

    I've been having a mold issue as well this year. I never used to sterilize my mix and never had any mold issues. This year I've been having issues even with sterile mix. I've been trying to use cinnamon and an organic fungicide with mediocre results.

    Jeff (5b) thanked isde02(zone5b)
  • succulentlife

    @ stupidlazydog

    I personally found that spraying with rubbing alcohol (50/50 water mix) and organic cinnamon powder (when it dries out) takes care of the mold fast.

    Jeff (5b) thanked succulentlife
  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Isde, that makes sense. I was thinking it was something I did, but couldn't imagine what. I don't think I've ever had such poor germination rates. Well, except for one batch of Astrophytum seeds I got last year. Only one out of 50 germinated, and that one kicked the bucket soon after. Won't be buying from that source again. I will give OOA the benefit of the doubt and try again sometime. Maybe next year, if they sell more seeds.

    succulentlife, thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to try that. Since the problem was with one packet of seeds from one source and no mold on any of the other cactus seeds/seedlings, I wonder if the mold spores came in on the seeds. I think I've read of people soaking seeds in a very dilute mix of clorox/water. I'll have to research that.

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    I sometimes wonder why some of the seeds I get don't sprout because they have not had a proper dormancy period

    I have had D elphantipes sprout months an months later after planting

    I know alot of tree seeds need cold period

    I planted Chinese elm , boxwood, trident maple, Aloe ramosissima, and olive tree seeds in long flat all of which have been in fridge for over month

    The aloe are coming up pretty good and 1 elm has out of 100

    Jeff (5b) thanked tanpexoctics Willis
  • Alain (San Jose, CA;9b)

    The cinnamon must be from Ceylan (most expensive one) for best antifungal effect. I make a brew of chamomille tea and cinammon in hot water and let sit for several hours before watering seedlings with that. Ideally the cinnamon should be prepare the night before as it dissolves slowly, I just add more. If you want to try this make sure you discard the undissolved cinnamon at the bottom of the dish or it will clog up your spray bottle. It's pretty good for damping off and other fungus. But like everything not 100% proof. But in my experience less damaging to the seeds or seedlings than rubbing alcohol or bleach.

    Some seeds do come with their load of spores :(.

    Jeff (5b) thanked Alain (San Jose, CA;9b)
  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Been poking around on-line, and found some recommendations for soaking seeds for a few minutes in a 4:1 water/bleach mix, then rinsing before planting. Other recommendations were for soaking in hydrogen peroxide. If the seller still had the caput-medusae seeds for sale, I'd order more and treat some with the bleach mix, some with hydrogen peroxide, and some without either. It would be any interesting experiment, but, alas, he doesn't have any listed now. Maybe next year.

    I'll try the tea/cinnamon. I think we have both on hand :-)

  • aloebot

    Dog, what kind of cactus seed have you sown? I planted about 50 Echinocactus seeds about 3 weeks ago and don't see anything yet. They were straight out of the pod and rinsed with water only. I remember that Astrophytum seeds I planted about 3 years ago came up within about a week or two.

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    This year, almost all astrophytum, mostly different forms of asterias, some variegated (hopefully) myriostigma, and some caput-medusae. The asterias and myriostigma all started germinating on day 3, the caput-medusae took a little longer (about a week). I also planted 10 ariocarpus seeds and they took about a week to start. I've never grown Echinocactus from seed, but 3 weeks does seem like a long time.

    I do have them on a heating mat, so maybe that gets them going faster.

    Jeff (5b) thanked stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a
  • Stefan

    Hello everyone. Im back. Just right of the bat, anybody grow ceiba insignis from seeds?

    I got a whole freshly opened pod...

    Jeff (5b) thanked Stefan
  • Jeff (5b)

    aloebot, I sowed some Gymnocalycium and then took over three weeks, which surprised me. I used the bag method. I gradually took them out of the bag after about three months and most have died. I'm never doing that method again. I just don't have a feel for it.

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Here are some P. Baronii seeds that were sown on 9/22/18, compared to some P. Eburneum and Densiflorum that were sown about a month ago.

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    Now that is some fast growing conditions must be perfect Isde

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Not for Baronii lol. They're slow as heck.

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Look great, isde!

    Here are mine at just over a month old...

    Pachypodium ambogense


    Pachypodium eburneum


    Pachypodium baroniii


    And going nowhere fast...

    Dorstenia lavrani

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    And here are my cactus

    When little, they're in plastic boxes. I started keeping the lid off at about 8 months last year.


    various asterias seedlings at 3 weeks old. Hard to see unless you zoom in.


    One year old Astrophytums. These were from seed marked "gift mix" so a range of types.


    More one year olds, A. myriostigma, A. asterias, one pot of Mammillaria hahniana, and 2 lonely Lophophora diffusa in the back corner


    Here are my 2 year olds. Seed was marked A. myriostigma Japan mix, but most look more like A. capricorne seedlings to me.

    It amazes me how much moisture small cactus seedlings want/need.

    Jeff (5b) thanked stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a
  • Jeff (5b)

    Just to be clear, you left the lid on for 8 months? Maybe my problem with the bag is I took it off after around three. Maybe I opened it and removed it too fast too. So strange how they like so much moisture.

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    I did lift the lid to look at the seedlings every now and then, but I didn't start taking it off for any length of time until 8 months. I may try leaving it on for the first year this time around. They do like a lot of moisture. Once the lid is off, I water them quite frequently. If I don't growth stalls and they just exist.

    I have some 2 year old Ariocarpus seedlings. I took the lid off these fairly early, and had them under lights with my other seedlings. Growth completely stalled, and they looked stressed and shriveled.

    Here's a photo taken the end of November...

    They just kept looking like this, sad and shriveled. I was about to toss them, but decided to repot them into a plastic pot and put them back in a covered plastic box. I also moved them out from the lights, and in front of a north facing slider. I did this on 3/23/19.

    Here they are now...

    Now looking plump and happy, and actually starting to grow. I figure I lost close to a years worth of growth :-(

    I have come to the conclusion that Ariocarpus seedlings want less light than the Astrophytum seedlings can take.

    It's strange, but Adenium and Euphorbia seedlings I've grown can take (and actually want) more light and less water than the cactus seedlings.

  • Jeff (5b)

    Very helpful. Thanks. My Gymnocalyciums from the bag method also just exist as you say. They didn't disappear, but they're very brown instead of green. I thought I made sure to water them everyday, but that must have been not enough or there was too much shock. I'll try covering them again and lessening the light, just in case they're growable.

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Sld your seedlings look great, especially your cacti. Your p. baronii look to be catching up on mine, and I'm glad you were able to get at least one of the p. ambogense to sprout. Those are rare, I'd never seen them before until the seeds listed for sale.

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    I had a P. ambogense that I had gotten from OOA a number of years ago. Summer of 2017, it was outside and we had a freak really cold night in August. That was the one plant that bit the dust. At first it looked like it would be o.k. but it just slowly died. It had flowered for me the year before it's demise :-(

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Here are a couple of photos of it...

    Sept. 2015


    April 2017 Not a great photo, but there it is in the back. It had branched the summer before and leaves were just starting to grow.

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Yep, I need one of those....and a dorstenia gigas lol

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    I had them both killed them lol they are cool plants

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    D. gigas is one of my favorites. Haven't killed it yet, knock on wood :-)

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    Yeah I like them but they don't like me I figured I let the professionals keep them from now own

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Here are my Euphorbia francoissii seedlings, kind of forgot about them. They're about 10 months old now.

    A big range of sizes among them.

    A couple of the larger ones...

    Jeff (5b) thanked stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a
  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    My 1year old Euphorbia.F and tulan.

    On the 14 these is what left. I must be a terrible framer..

    Jeff (5b) thanked Ycloh1 (Singapore)
  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Ycloh, I love the dark red, almost black, leaves on that last one.

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Hey Wendy do you still have your adenium somalense nova to?

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Isde, is this the one you mean?

    A. somalense Tanzania

    This has been one of my most frustrating plants ever. When I got it in 2013, it had a good bit of rot in the roots/base of the caudex...

    OOA refunded a large part of the price, and gave me advice on what to do.

    I cut out the rot, hung it up in the shed to dry, and then potted it up. I may have dusted it with cinnamon, but I don't really remember.

    The roots grew back just fine, and have looked fine since then, but the plant hardly grows. I just haven't been able to figure it out. It did start looking better last summer, but now in my great Adenium spider mite battle, it has lost most of its leaves. Didn't seem to like the spray very much.

    I have been on the edge of giving up on it many times :-(

  • isde02(zone5b)

    Yes that's the one I was talking about, awesome plant. Maybe it's just having a hard time adjusting to new growing conditions. I wasn't sure if you still had it, I just received some seeds of it. Hopefully it will be easier to grow from seed.

    As far as the spidermites, someone on the adenium forum suggested a systemic granule product that worked out for me, Bonide.

  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    I keep telling myself that, but it's been almost 6 years....

    I've also discovered root mealies on some plants (never have had them before, yuck.) so I have treated all my plants with Bonide systemic granules. The active ingredient is imidicloprid. I didn't think that did anything about spider mites. Hope it does, though :-)

  • Jeff (5b)

    Lithops karasmontana 'mickbergensis' C168


    Lithops julii 'Peppermint Creme' C297A


    Thank you for all of the great seedling photos you guys have been posting.

  • Jeff (5b)

    I've got one Euphorbia horrida seedling. (I can't get those to germinate.) It has little leaves falling off of it already. I wonder what these are, and if it's too wet or too dry. Do any of you find some of the similar Euphorbias liking conditions that are different from mesembs or other succulents from seed? The white spot is the "lethal" juice where I pulled a dead looking leaf off. I also don't know where and when the spikey things start developing.



  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Dog, your Smalense Tanzania in this situation, I would removed the rot part by carving it with a clean sharp knife. Than soak in fungicide solution, dry it than dap it with cinnamon powder, repot in dry mixed.

    And let nature take over..

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Euphorbia SP. Seedlings and mother plant. Got 7 seeds , 100% germination.

    Jeff (5b) thanked Ycloh1 (Singapore)
  • stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a

    Thanks Ycloh, that's pretty much what I did, except I didn't soak it in fungicide. I got the plant Aug. 2013 and cut the rot off right away. Almost all roots were cut off, but they grew back fairly quickly and have been fine ever since. There's been no rot in the past 5 1/2 years, but the plant just doesn't grow much for me.

    Sorry for the thread hijack, Jeff.

    Here's a pic of my Euphorbia 'Toxic Milkshake' x obesa seedlings at one year old...

    Jeff (5b) thanked stupidlazydog CT zone 5b/6a
  • isde02(zone5b)

    Euphorbia Venefica

    sinningia iarae
    pachypodium rutenbergianum ready to be repotted.
    anacampseros
    operculicarya decaryi

    Jeff (5b) thanked isde02(zone5b)
  • tanpexoctics Willis

    Like that last one good looking plant actually they all look good

  • Jeff (5b)

    SLD, I love those Euphorbias.

    Not sure if I posted this--Faucaria getting its first baby teeth.



  • tanpexoctics Willis

    My Aloe ramosissima seedlings growing like weeds


    Jeff (5b) thanked tanpexoctics Willis
  • isde02(zone5b)

    Wow!! How many? Are they from seeds that you produced?

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    Isde they are from seed from Africa

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    I would like to be getting my own seed not sure ththat will ever happen lol I think around 40 out of hundred got some in another pot

  • tanpexoctics Willis

    Starting to send up new runners now most have caudex like pictured by dime be alot of repotting one day


  • aloebot

    Bursera seedlings from this year and last year.


    B. fagaroides/odorata and B. microphylla.


    These are all B. fagaroides/odorata one year old from my seed. B. hindsiana in bottom right that was bought.

    Jeff (5b) thanked aloebot
  • Jeff (5b)

    You guys have such a wide variety of great plants going.

    Lithops verruculosa v glabra C25 - very tiny


    Haworthia hybrid


    Cactus and gibbaeum heathii - strange bedfellows


  • tanpexoctics Willis

    Looking good

    Aloe you get more of those seeds than you can handle let me know like those bushes

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