1 week old Cotyledon tomentosa seedlings

There are so many seedlings now and more are still germinating. I have already harvested the next 10 flowers and will be keeping the seeds in a dark and dry place for the next few months. Next week I’ll have just around 600-900 seeds for if this batch fails.

I still keep them under grow lights in a bag to keep humidity up until the rest of the seeds have germinated. I don’t know exactly when you’re supposed to remove the bag and allow the seedlings to grow in lower humidity. Usually, succulents can handle lower humidity earlier than cactus seedlings, but these are just so tiny! They’re only 2 mm wide and haven’t reached their succulent stage yet. This really is a trial and error adventure.

My seed grown Lithops just turned 5!

The Lithops “seedlings” don’t get much attention on this blog anymore. Mostly because they don’t actually do anything at all. They’re slightly dehydrated after a good and warm spring and summer without any water. Right about now would be the growing season for adult Lithops. They need water before they start splitting in late fall/winter and then you stop watering again until the old leaf set is dry like a piece of paper. I keep these guys in my South facing window in the living room. So far they haven’t shown signs of etiolation.

I’m not actually sad because they’re not growing bigger or blooming. I just kept 4 seed grown Lithops alive for 5 whole years (+1 month)!

Selenicereus grandiflorus, 3 months old

My Selenicereus seedlings had a bit of an accident and I lost most of them. White mold got in and killed off the roots on my babies, and these are all I have left. At least they look somewhat healthy. Especially the one in the middle!
Right now they’re growing on my window sill and not under grow lights. The airflow here is better, but it’s slightly colder. Hopefully they survive the colder air in winter.

Cotyledon tomentosa seedlings, day 1

My Bear’s Paw seedlings germinated! The seeds were planted 4 days ago and I already see maybe 20 seedlings in there. I knew the seedlings would be tiny because the seeds were the size of your average floor dust, but it always surprises me that big plants like this can be so tiny when they germinate. The pot, I planted them in is only 10 cm wide and you can barely see the green sprouts in the diatomaceous earth, I used as soil.

I have no idea how many seeds I planted. I may end up with 300 little baby paws in this one little pot, but that won’t be a big problem because you can never have enough fuzzy succulents! Also, if you don’t know what you’re doing and how to treat them, the more seedlings you have to practice on, the better. That’s how I roll. If things go very wrong, I still have more than 40 flowers worth of seeds left. That’s just about 3.000-4.000 seeds.

One last picture of my giant Aloe vera

I decided to sell my monster of an Aloe vera because it just took up took much space on my balcony and I wasn’t really using it for anything. When I dragged it inside (with much difficulty because I had to use some force to pull it through the balcony door), I realized exactly how massive I allowed it to grow. It spent the last couple of years partially outdoors in full sunlight, getting a ton of water and nutrients every summer.
This was also the first succulent I bought as an adult after I killed the ones I had as a child. I guess this was the plant that started my succulent addiction.

Here’s a picture I took of my Aloe in April 2018 when I first put it outside. Imagine if I kept the thing out there for another 2 years..

A much needed pot upgrade for my Mammillaria spinosissima “un pico”

I finally had the guts to upgrade the pot for my Mammillaria spinosissima “un pico”. This thing is very prickly! You know your cactus needs a pot upgrade when you give it a ton of water and the pot is bone dry the next day. Apparently my dear Mammillaria was very root bound. The root ball was perfectly intact when I removed it from its old pot.
The first thing I did was to carefully loosen the roots and remove as much soil as I could, especially near the soil line. This makes the cactus very unstable when you repot into fresh soil, but it also allows water to actually penetrate the root ball. This is the first thing I do when I buy a new cactus, as well.

It looks so much happier now! The size of the new pot makes it look so small.

Cotyledon tomentosa seed harvesting

My cotyledon tomentosa (Bear’s Paw) started blooming 2 months ago in July and new flowers are still popping open! I’ve been pollinating them with a small paint brush to try for seeds. Every time a new flower popped open, I gently brushed all of them, one by one, making sure to mix the pollen as much as I could. If you decide to pollinate your own Bear’s Paw, you will most likely need two separate flowering plants. I’ve tried this with one plant before and it didn’t work.
It took a long time for the seeds to develop and mature. I started pollinating the flowers exactly 2 months ago when the first flowers opened and the seed pods have finally started to dry out on the plant. This is the perfect time to harvest.

I removed the first batch of dry flowers today, popped them in a small container and watched the tiniest little seeds fall out. Success! If the flowers are completely dry, you can gently remove the spent flower petals and expose the seed pods. Then gently crumble them between your fingers and watch hundreds of seeds scatter everywhere (preferably on a white piece of paper). The first 10 flowers gave me more seeds than I will ever need. And I left just about 40 pollinated flowers on the plant to mature.

I’ll make sure to take pictures of the seedlings if they decide to germinate.