Update on cactus seedlings and semps

That "best of the year" post I did the other day took a lot of time, and took a lot out of me. So today it's short and to the point. Time for another update on the cactus seedlings and sempervivum.

The cactus are really starting to look cactusy, not in overall form, but definitely in the spine department.


It's really interesting to see how these are developing. The spikes on top are starting to separate into groups.

I'm certain this next one on the left is a different type now, as it doesn't have the reddish spines of the other green  one (in the earlier image):

The exciting news is that something germinated in the final pot -- the one that just had the "big" seeds in it:

I don't remember planting one of the seeds in that position, so it's possible this is another type of seed that got in there without me noticing. I could be wrong about the positioning though, so time will tell. I hope some others start germinating soon so I'll know for certain.

The sempervivum are all doing quite well. Last time I mentioned that some of the offsets were dying, and I actually lost one entire plant (a variety called 'The Platters'). I still don't know what was different about the ones that died. I've  been afraid to give these much water, as I know that too little water is better than too much.

Some are getting quite large:

A few more are producing "chicks" now:

Many of the colors are still changing, and quite nice (they look more colorful in person -- I'm having a hard time getting the color balance correct under these lights):

I'll be transplanting these into larger pots and moving them outside sometime soon, but I don't want to do it until temps are staying above freezing. Although sempervivum are quite cold-hardy, these plants are acclimated to the 70-80ºF (21-26ºC) temperature under my lights, and I don't want to kill the tender new offsets by freezing them outside. Maybe I'll see what Don at Squaw Mountain Gardens says about that.

I love the progress all of these plants are making, and really enjoy checking their progress every day, but I need to get the semps off of the seed starting table. I'll need the room quite soon now!


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anne  – (March 7, 2011 at 7:24 AM)  

Your cactusy posts are my favorites! I would never have thought about growing them from seed and it's fun to follow.

Christine  – (March 7, 2011 at 8:01 AM)  

I don't actually like succulents much, but you make them look quite beautiful. I'm starting to look at them through different eyes.

Meredith/Great Stems  – (March 7, 2011 at 9:23 AM)  

Okay, those are really cool. A few of my baby cactus and succulents didn't survive the winter, and you've made me want to rush right out and get something new!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 7, 2011 at 9:27 AM)  

I agree with Anne, these posts are so much fun. Amazing how "cactus-y" those little seedlings are beginning to look!

The larger seeds might be opuntias (prickly pears). See http://www.oldthingsforgotten.com/seeds/seeds.htm#Cactaceae.

:: Bamboo and More ::

Alan  – (March 7, 2011 at 1:52 PM)  

Gerhard: I also thought the big ones were the prickly pears. I wonder if I should have nicked the seeds before planting? I hate seeds that take months to germinate, although they're better than seeds that NEVER germinate (like some of my bamboo seeds).

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 7, 2011 at 1:58 PM)  

Alan, check out these instructions from CactusStore.com. They suggest soaking large, hard seeds for up to 36 hours. They don't mention nicking but a small nick probably wouldn't hurt.

I just ordered some barrel cactus seeds from them (blue barrel and compass barrel). My first foray in this exciting new universe :-).

Lesley  – (March 8, 2011 at 10:08 AM)  

I know everything comes from seeds, but I never thought about cactus seeds before...cool pictures. I'm lucky to live in Florida. The last time I wanted a cactus, I yanked a piece from my neighbor and stuck it in the ground.

Alan  – (March 8, 2011 at 10:58 AM)  

Why does your neighbor have cactus stuck all over him/her? They probably appreciated you pulling it off. ;-)

I have a neighbor who grows a hardy prickly pear, so I may see if I can get a piece from them. I should be getting some seeds for cold-hardy cactus soon too.

Potted Farm  – (March 8, 2011 at 2:57 PM)  

Wow! You've got quite the collection. My cactus sprouts aren't looking anything like that right now. I'm hoping the soil didn't have something else in it...

Alan  – (March 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM)  

"Cactus sprouts" sounds like something from the world's worst salad bar. =)

hp.8  – (March 21, 2011 at 3:36 PM)  

How your cactus' going on?
They are really cute and they seem a lot to mine! But mine is younger than your, i'm wondering how they are going to evolve.

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