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.
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 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?
This is so cool. I’ve had this Astrophytum coahuilense for 5 years and even though I got it with what looked like a flower bud, it never bloomed for me. My cacti have all been asked to bloom during bank holidays and weekends so I’m home to see it and they usually listen to me.
Astrophytum coahuilense looks almost like an Astrophytum myriostigma, but the “fur” grows closer together and it feels fluffier. It has no spines on its furry body, but the flower bud is both fluffy and spiny. It also grows super slowly. In the 5 years I’ve had it, it has only grown a couple of cm taller. Maybe because the little hairs block most of the sunlight.
Now what I’m trying to do is cross pollinate my Astrophytum coahuilense with my A. ornatum. I have no idea if it will work, but it’s a fun experiment. I found a cotton bud and mixed the pollen from the two flowers, making sure to hit the stigma in the process. I’ll make sure to update you if it worked.
The weather has been kind of nice lately. Several of my cacti and succulents have bloomed already, now including my big old Astrophytum ornatum. As you can see in the bottom of this picture, my slightly discolored Astrophytum coahuilense is developing its first flower bud, too. I’ve had that one for 5 years and it’s finally happening!
This Astrophytum ornatum has been with me for 4 years now. This cactus is probably the fastest growing Astrophytum, but it only really shows when I look at the pics from when I bought it. It’s been in the same pot with the same soil for all of these years and I think it loves it because it blooms almost every month from spring to fall, every year.
Mine lives on my frost protected balcony all year and it gets to experience the cold months in winter and direct sunlight in summer. It’s pretty much impossible to kill. It loves water and it can handle months of drought. In fact, I can forget about it and just leave it completely dry in fall and winter and then immediately drown it in water in summer with no repercussions whatsoever.
My trusty old Astrophytum ornatum is flowering for the first time this year! What a great way to start the weekend ?
Yet another Astrophytum ornatum flower ?
This guy has been flowering all spring and summer and there’s even more on the way!
My Astrophytum ornatum is flowering again and it has a little visitor. Hoverflies are the most adorable pollinators ever.