These adorable astrophytum seedlings are now 3 months old. Not all of them grow at the same pace. This one seedling is miles ahead of its brothers and sisters.
Look how adorable my little CO x OR hybrids are today! They’re like little fluffy stars.
I recently took them out of the little greenhouse, I kept them in. Some of the old seed shells started to grow some sort of white fungus, which would have killed the nearby seedlings very quickly if I hadn’t removed the top of the greenhouse. Astrophytum seedlings are notorious for dying from damping off, so maybe it was about time I introduced them to lower humidity.
Right now I keep the soil from drying out by watering a couple of times a week. They’re still under grow lights and probably will be until next spring. They’re still way too small to experience the late summer sun.
Little fuzzy ribs are starting to form and the spines already went from white and transparent to dark brown. I remember my Astrophytum myriostigma seedlings being less hairy than these CO x OR seedlings are right now. I think this means that the coahuilense genes are present and the cross pollination was a success!
Look how massive my seed grown Astrophytum myriostigma is now! I’m such a proud plant mom. This is the biggest of the three plants and it seems to grow at a much faster pace than its siblings.
I don’t have too much to say about this one. It’s just perfect in every way!
My Astrophytum CO x OR seedlings are very much still alive. Most of the seedlings have now developed little fluffy haircuts and short, white spines. The grow lights are doing their job keeping the seedlings from etiolating. I may have placed them a little bit too close to the lights because some of them are a tiny bit too red or brown. I’ve lost exactly 0 seedlings so far, so I think the lighting situation is going to be okay.
There’s fluff on the CO x OR seedlings already after 2 weeks, and also tiny transparent spines. It’s nice to see them grow this fast without any casualties. They probably inherited the hardiness of the Astrophytum ornatum.
This cactus is sooo slow growing I can’t believe it. I grew this from seeds 3,5 years ago and it’s only 3 cm in diameter. It just grew a spine-looking thing, but it’s easy to miss. The spine is poking out right at the top of the plant. Hopefully this will grow into one of the characteristic curly spines, that made Astrophytum capricorne a popular cactus.
More Astrophytum coahuilense x ornatum seedlings have germinated. The oldest ones now look like little pink hearts. The grow light bulbs are a tiny bit too strong for cactus seedlings, but the redness here is still within the normal range. At least they aren’t stretching for light, which is arguably worse.
So far I have only seen mold on a couple of seeds and it’s especially visible when I use the macro lens for my phone. I’m keeping an eye on that, because I don’t want it to spread to the healthy seedlings. I’ve managed to keep it down to a minimum by washing the seeds in hydrogen peroxide before I tried to germinate them. I make sure to vent the little greenhouse I keep them in, by taking the lid off for half an hour each day, too.
My experiment was a success! The seeds are viable and the first one germinated today, 5 days after sowing. Pretty much all cactus seedlings look like this when they first germinate, so it’s still way too early to tell if they’re a hybrid of my Astrophytum coahuilense and ornatum. It will probably be at least 4-5 months, maybe even a year before you can properly spot the difference between these hybrids and “purebred” ornatum or coahuilense.
First, let’s just see if they actually survive the tiny seedling stage.
I haven’t checked on the Astrophytum ornatum for a few days, so I only just noticed that its seed pod popped open and the seeds were almost spilling out. I didn’t want to harvest them too early, so I just left the pod on the plant and forgot about it. Now they’re definitely ready to be planted!
The seeds are supposed to be a hybrid of Astrophytum ornatum and Astrophytum coahuilense, but I’m not sure how that works or if this hybrid has a name. Coahuilense x Ornatum maybe? I don’t know, the seedlings may just all end up looking like regular Astroptytum ornatum when they’re older.
I washed the seeds in 3% hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes and planted them all at once. If the seeds are fertile, they should germinate very soon!