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 Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?

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Eck



Number of posts : 98
Location : VIC
Registration date : 2012-12-04

PostSubject: Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?   Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:52 pm

What techniques do the experts here use to germinate cactus seed - particularly for seeds which may not be so fresh?

For myself I've been using 6cm square pots placed inside a ziplock bag.  This seems fine for fresh (?) seeds but produces mediocre results with others.  Would it help using a closer-fitting cover e.g. plastic cling wrap placed directly over the top of the pot secured with a rubber band?

Anyway, I'm interesting in hearing the germinating techniques folks here use and their experience with it.  Thanks.
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?   Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:07 pm

I'm certainly no expert but the best results I have ever had was in a clear lid container under a fluro grow lamp. Though temp and humidity is important, I personally think the secret is in getting the soil right for the species. Some seem to like slightly acidic and others slightly alkali. Also the amount of degradable matter in the soil can play a part in successful germination. I'd recommend doing some research on the species you are trying to cultivate. Look for information on the soil types that the plants are found in naturally.

For example I planted two lots of aztekium seeds from the states. One in straight seedling mix (works well for trich and astro) and the other in seedling mix with added sand, lime and gypsum. The latter had far better results. I figured this is because that species is found growing on near vertical limestone or gypsum cliffs.

Also I would recommend searching for seedling threads on this forum. Some of the members here are freakishly god-like at propagating from seeds.

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Hanazono
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PostSubject: Re: Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?   Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:39 am

My standard setting for the cactus seeds germination is used a plastic wrapping as shown on the photo.
Pots are 10 cm square.
You need 20 mm space at least between the top of soil and the wrap.

Since an additional plastic lid is used, it is a double sealed.


I believe any methods can not compensate the freshness of seed.
You have to select appropriate seed sowing timing to meet each species.
Some species need very fresh seeds but some others are not.

Hanazono
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Eck



Number of posts : 98
Location : VIC
Registration date : 2012-12-04

PostSubject: Re: Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?   Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:51 am

Thanks for the replies and photos.

On the subject of germination mixes I revisited information I had gathered a few years ago.  One nursery recommended a high coarse sand content (two thirds) to minimize rotting, algae etc.  Initially I dismissed this as it wasn't the general advice I was seeing on the internet.  They also suggested placing larger seeds just under the surface.  I assume this is to ensure the seeds get sufficient moisture (my problem?) while the grains of sand keeps them aerated.

Regarding seed freshness, there seems little choice in Aus - buy what's available and hope for the best.
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Navajoa
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PostSubject: Re: Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?   Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:10 pm

Be careful with a sandy seed mix to remove the fines, you don't want it to pack down as then the seedling roots will struggle to penetrate it.
The idea of slightly covering large seeds is to help with this issue, the covering gives the seed something to use leverage against so it doesn't just get pushed away as the roots grow.

Personally, I believe the ratio of coarse sand Vs organics is less important in a seed mix as long as you're vigilante. If algae etc are an issue, consider sterilising your mix prior to sowing and top dressing as soon as possible....
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Eck



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PostSubject: Re: Germinating techniques esp. stubborn seeds?   Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:46 am

Thanks for the tips, Navajoa.  I had some excellent results recently leading me to believe most of my previous problems had to do with seed that was too old.
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