Tag: cactus

The Sulcorebutia rauschii exploded with growth

Maybe it was the new pot or maybe it happened because I started to fertilize. But the Sulcorebutia rauschii exploded with growth in spring and especially here in summer.
I love this one because of its color and because they grow in big clusters, filling out the entire pot in no time. A couple of years ago I saw one in a garden center labeled as “rare cactus”. The cluster was just about the size of mine and it cost DKK 300 ($40). I bought mine as a mini-plant with only one head for DKK 25 ($3) in 2017. I’m glad I didn’t buy it back when I first saw it.

Astrophytum coahuilense x ornatum, 5 days old

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.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii flowers!

The flowers on my Gymnocalycium mihanovichii look like cotton candy 🌸 This time the cactus grew a whopping 10 flower buds and today 4 of them bloomed at the same time. I didn’t have to race home to see the flowers fully open, either, because the weather was fantastic today. Usually, this one only decides to bloom on cloudy days while I’m at work, so they start to close up much earlier in the day.

My Astrophytum ornatum grew seeds!

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!

The pollination experiment was a success! Well.. mostly.

My experiment with cross-pollinating my Astrophytum ornatum and Astrophytum coahuilense kind of worked. I used a cotton swab to collect pollen from both flowers and rubbed it on the middle part of both stigmas. Then it was just a waiting game, hoping the flowers didn’t just pop off, like they do when they haven’t been pollinated.

A couple of days later, the flower dried up and fell off my Astrophytum coahuilense. But the one on my Astrophytum ornatum seemed to stick around. I noticed that the bottom of the flower kept swelling up, too. I think my experiment was a success! Mostly.
Now.. I don’t actually know if a cross between a coahuilense and ornatum is a thing. Or even if the seeds would be viable. I’ll make sure to take pictures of the seeds and my attempt to germinate them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the result was a heavily fluffy and spiny cactus?