How to Grow A Cactus from Seed
Cacti are exciting to grow from seed – their plump seedlings appear quickly, and they’ll
begin to develop their characteristic spines in under a year.
Cactus seeds are available from seed merchants and specialist societies, but if you know someone with a fruiting plant, then you can get yours for free.
Another option is to buy dragonfruit from a grocer – these exotics contain thousands of small seeds that will develop into vine-like cacti. Source seed now, ready to sow in late February or March.
1.CACTUS seed grows best when fresh, so harvest your own from fruiting plants like this
melon cactus (Melocactus).
Ripe fruits are fleshy and colorful. Split them open and remove the seeds, then clean off any flesh as this can cause mold to develop. Place the seeds on a sheet of kitchen towel to dry out for a couple of days.
2.CHOOSE a clean, sterile pot or seed tray with holes in the bottom. Shallow containers work best as they don’t hold excess moisture. Mix one part cactus compost with one part grit or perlite, and fill the pot/tray to just below the rim. Water and leave to drain fully.
3.SOW seeds on the surface of the compost, spreading them evenly. Many cacti have black
seeds that are hard to see against dark soil, so use a torch to help you spot them. Cacti seedlings stay small for a long time, so the seed can be sown densely, say a centimeter between seeds.
4.SPRINKLE a thin layer of vermiculite or sharp sand over the seeds, just enough so you can’t see them. Enclose the pot in a clear plastic bag or propagator. Cactus seeds need heat and light, so place the pot on a bright windowsill, out of direct sunlight. Heating mats speed up germination.
5.MOST cactus seeds will germinate within three weeks, but some species are slower to
appear, and patience is required. Initially, each seedling will have a pair of small, non-spiny leaves, and only when spines develop should the pot be removed from its protective bag. When they reach a fingernail’s size, transplant the seedlings into a fresh pot of cactus compost.
You will need
- Plastic pots or seed trays (these must be sterile, so use new pots or ensure reused pots are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected)
- Cactus compost (or any soil-based mixture)
- Grit or perlite
- Cactus seeds
- Vermiculite or sharp sand
- Clear plastic bag or propagator lid
- Heating mat (optional)
That is How To Grow A Cactus From Seed
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