Not much has happened sizewise, but I managed to capture a better pic of my small Bear Paw seedlings with a macro lens. I’m no longer growing these under grow lights because the sun is currently shining and they looked like they needed some air. The airflow in the closet I use as a grow chamber isn’t the best. When I fertilize the small seedlings for the first time, mold starts to grow on the surface of the soil.
I wonder when they’ll grow their first set of true leaves.
I think.. more seedlings germinated. I wonder how many I actually planted. The germination rate must be crazy high if the seeds come fresh from your own plants. They don’t seem to grow very fast at all, but I like how adorable they are at the moment. At some point I probably need to weed out at least 50-70% of them depending on how big they get when they start to develop their true leaves. I don’t think I need 300 Bear Paws.
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 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.
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.
I found these variegated Cotyledon tomentosa at my local grocery store and I couldn’t stop myself from buying some. I already had one plant at home, well hidden in the pot with my regular green Bear’s Paw. The problem was that it didn’t do too well in there because the green version took over the pot, preventing the variegated plant from getting enough sunlight. It was pretty sad looking in its own pot, too.
Now it has more friends to play with in a bigger pot just for variegated paws. They look magnificent together!