Growing Tiny Succulents and Cacti Seeds
Lithops, Mesembs, Crassula, Echeveria, various succulents, and many cacti have tiny seeds that are nearly as thin as dust, which can be challenging to work with. In fact, there are instances when the packet appears to contain nothing except a trace of dust-sized particles.
Germination Tips: How to Grow Tiny Succulents and Cacti Seeds
1. For seeding, use a small pan or pot; 4 or 5 inches will do.
2. Pour the seed compost into the pan or pot until it is completely full, then press it down with your fingers and a wooden presser.
3. To combine the sand and seed, add a heaping teaspoon of fine sand to the seed packet or tube and shake.
4. Place the seed directly onto the compost, pounding it gently to distribute the sand-seed mixture throughout.
5. Use the wooden presser to gently press the seeds into the surface rather than covering them with compost.
6. Place the tray or pot in a bowl of water to irrigate the compost from underneath.
7. To keep the compost damp and the air slightly humid, cover with a piece of glass, cling film, or seal inside a polythene bag.
8. Keep in mind that seeds of a finer grade germinate less frequently than seeds of a regular size and that the ideal temperature for germination is crucial.
Sowing Succulents and Cacti Seeds
Seeds can be sown inside at any time. Utilizing tiny pots or trays, pack in a well-aerated, light compost. After soaking the pots completely, stand them in the water and drain. Scatter the seeds evenly over the compost's surface. Seeds need light to germinate, so don't cover them. Instead, shade the seeds after sowing to protect them from the sun.
Plant in a propagator if at all feasible; if not, wrap the pot in a plastic bag, cover it with a glass, and set it somewhere warm and sheltered. Take precautions to keep the pots from drying out from underneath.
In general, seeds germinate most readily at 68–72 degrees Fahrenheit (20–22 degrees Celsius). Do not discard the tray too soon; germination typically takes 10 to 180 days.
Patience is needed; move into a brighter light when germination has occurred and take off the glass or plastic. Take care to maintain a wet top on the compost.
Once the initial seeds sprout, either take off the plastic or slightly lift the lid to allow for some airflow. The small seedlings now require bright light, but they also need to be shielded from the sun. For the first twelve months, shade from all sources except the winter sun is ideal.
Cultivation Succulents and Cacti Plants
Slow growth occurs 6 to 8 weeks after seeding; transfer to individual 3 inch (7 cm) tiny pots. Grow at night at 59 F to 65 F (15 C to 18 C) and during the day at 64 F to 77 F (18 C to 25 C). Cooler temperatures at night are better for foliage pigmentation. Dropping below 59 °F (15 °C) will cause deformation of the leaves. Frost does not harm echeveria. Move into a larger pot after a year or two.
Certain succulent seeds do not require sunshine to germinate; they just need to be firmly covered. Until germination, the temperature of Anacampseros, Conophytum, Echeveria, Crassulacea, Lithops, and Mesembryanthemum seeds shouldn't exceed 68 F (20 C), and they shouldn't be covered. It can take up to three months for dinteranthus to germinate.
Echeveria requires a comparatively high amount of water during the growing season and dry ground during the winter. Avoid overhead irrigation since damp leaf rosettes quickly decompose. It is necessary to fertilize at moderate levels in the spring and summer, but after mid-September, stop fertilizing.