Tag: seeds

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.

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!

Pseudolithos migiurtinus germination

The Pseudolithos migiurtinus seeds have started to germinate! I didn’t think these would have a chance because the seeds I received looked terrible compared to the ones I bought of P. cubiformis. Apparently that’s how they’re supposed to look. Hopefully the rest will germinate soon.

I’m going to keep them in my mini greenhouse for as long as the germination process takes. Pseudolithos like humidity and there’s no sign of mold just yet.

For anyone interested in growing Pseudolithos from seeds with me, here’s the guide I wrote a while back. It describes which growing medium I use, how much light they need and how often I water. It even includes a guide on how to care for an adult Pseudolithos.
The only thing I’m doing differently this time is that I use a grow light instead of a sunny window. The sun just doesn’t shine in Denmark this time of year.

New year, new seeds

Guys, look what I’ve got. I still have my grow lights from a couple of years ago and decided to buy 4 packets of seeds from Koehres Kaktus. This time I bought Adenium obesum double flower hybrid, Stephania yunnanensis, Pseudolithos cubiformis and Pseudolithos migiurtinus seeds. All of them (except 3 of the Adenium and half of the Stephania seeds) were sown today. Hopefully they all germinate. Pseudolithos seeds are expensive!
I better mention that my adult Pseudolithos cubiformis is perfectly fine. I just want even more of this odd frog-like cube plant.

1 week old Croton (codiaeum) hybrid seedling

My first Croton seed germinated barely a week ago and more are popping up! Even though I know the seeds came from my colorful Codiaeum variegatum, I can’t be 100% sure the seedlings look like their mother. So I’m going to assume that these are hybrids until they grow up. I’ll most likely end up with a pot of very different plants.

It took them 2 weeks to germinate in a pot with moist potting soil, wrapped in a plastic bag to keep humidity high. I added a top layer of diatomaceous earth after germination to prevent gnats from laying eggs in the soil. 4 out of 8 seeds have germinated so far and two of the seedlings have just opened their first little leaf set.

Here’s how the Croton fruit developed.

And here’s what the mother Croton looks like.

Growing date palms from seeds

I love dates, palm trees and growing stuff from seeds, so there really was no excuse to not try.
Here’s a collection of all blog posts from germination to the latest post about my date palms.

I bought a box of ripe organic dates (had to search hard for the ones with seeds inside of them) and removed 10 seeds. And yes, I ate way too many dates in one sitting.

Germinating the date seeds:

My plan is to soak the clean seeds in cool water for 48 hours and then place them in a wet tissue until they germinate, checking for mold a couple of times every week. I’ll keep the tissue in my warm sun room. They should germinate within a couple of weeks and develop a tap root.

I’ll plant them in soil when most of them have germinated and keep them moist until they have developed their first leaves.

Growing cacti from seeds

Growing cacti from seeds is pretty straightforward. Usually, the mixed seed packs you buy in regular stores (or the cheap ones you find online) are hardy and fast growing. Perfect if this is your first cactus-growing experience. Keep in mind that there are dozens of ways to do this. This is just what worked for me.

Germinating the seeds

  • Buy some coarse sand, pumice or turface and mix it 2:1 with peat. Some
    types of cactus need an even grittier mix (my Astrophytum asterias and
    A. myriostigma would have benefitted from that), but this is pretty
    standard for most types of cactus. Use a small pot with drainage holes.
  • Moisten the soil. You can now choose to nuke it in the microwave or leave it as
    it is. Nuking it will decrease the chance of damping off, mold and
  • Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the moistened soil and bag the pot. Use a transparent plastic bag or cling wrap.
  • Place the pot under grow lights or in a western or eastern window and wait.
    Don’t place them in direct sunlight. They should germinate within 1 week
    if the seeds are fresh.
  • When the seeds have germinated, leave the
    seedlings in the bag for the next couple of months. The seedlings
    grow their first baby spines inside the bag in 100% humidity.
  • After a couple of months, remove the bag. I’ve had success with just removing
    it entirely, but others do it gradually by poking holes in the bag.

Keep the soil constantly lightly moist for the first 3-4 months. When the seedlings
are half a centimeter in diameter and covered in spines, they can easily handle a couple of days with crispy dry soil until you water again. A year after germination you can water them like adult plants,
once every 2 weeks to once a month depending on the type you’re growing
and the soil they’re in.

Keep your seedlings out of direct light from germination to approx. 6 months – 1 year after germination depending on how big they are and the climate you live in.
Give them more light if they stretch and turn pale green. If they turn red or brown, move them further into the shade. I start my seedlings under grow lights and gradually move them to a southern window with 7-8 hours of direct/filtered light 6-7 months after germination. 

If you’re interested in seeing how my cactus seedlings are doing now, here’s a collection of all blog posts from germination to the latest post about these guys.

Pollinated both of my flowering Lithops!

I succeeded in pollinating both of my flowering Lithops! A discarded eyeshadow brush can be the perfect pollinator if you live in an apartment on the 3rd floor and the bees don’t fly that high.
Both of them produced seed pods filled with ~100 little seeds. I guess they’re going to be L. karasmontana red/beige colored hybrids.

I planted some of them in a small pot to test germination (and you can’t have too many Lithops). Hopefully they will produce healthy little Lithops seedlings in the near future.

How to remove seeds from Opuntia Ficus-Indica

My Opuntia Ficus-Indica developed two healthy fruits a couple of months after flowering. Time for a dissection to extract the seeds!

1. Remove the fruits from the mother plant without touching them.
If the fruits are ripe (colourful and slightly wrinkly near the top), they should let go easily as you twist them off. I grabbed them with a folded up washcloth.

2. Remove as many glochids from the fruits as possible.
I ended up sacrificing the washcloth and a kitchen sponge, but the process was fairly easy. I just held the fruits in the cloth and rubbed them with a wet sponge over the kitchen sink. Don’t assume that all of the glochids have been removed. They haven’t.

3. Cut them open and scoop out the delicious stuff with the seeds in it.
The pulp is very juicy and it’s a bit of a mess. Opuntia Ficus-Indica have edible fruits and they taste a bit like sweet watermelon (do not eat your cactus fruits unless you’re 100% sure they’re not poisonous! Please ask an expert).

4. Wash the seeds thoroughly. 
Now store them in a dry and clean tissue. I’ll sow mine ASAP because Opuntia seeds don’t stay fresh for very long.

Good luck