So I decided to sow

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mmcavall
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So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

I have a set of cacti and mesembs seeds, and feel each day more and more inclined to sow then. I have no experience, so this thread will have much more questions than results, but I hope having something to share with people here.

As I have about 40 species to sow, I think it would be wise to sow in small groups of about 6 species each time, instead of trying to do all in a single day.

Having this in mind, I would like to have advices about with which species start, and which species should be left waiting. I would start next week and may took several weeks to sow all, so we would reach September, which is much hotter than July/August.

In other words, the first group of species would ideally prefer relatively cool weather, and the last group would prefer relatively warm weather. Any advice on any of the species below will be appreciated.

The weather forecast for the next 15 days:
Minimal Temperatures (night) range 10C - 15C (50 - 59F)
Maximal Temperatures (day) range 27C - 30C (80 - 86F)
11h of daylight, increasing

Below are the lists of cacti and mesembs.
Please any advice would be helpful.

CACTI
Acanthocalycium spiniflorum
Astrophytum capricorne
Echinocereus fitchii
Gymnocalycium mazanense
Gymnocalycium quehlianum
Gymnocalycium schickendantzii
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii
Lobivia aurea
Lobivia haematantha var. corrugata
Lobivia pentlandii
Notocactus leninghausii
Notocactus magnificus
Notocactus mammulosus
Notocactus submammulosus
Notocactus turececkianus
Rebutia pygmaea
Soehrensia bruchii
Soehrensia formosa
Trichocereus andalgalensis
Trichocereus huascha
Trichocereus pseudocandicans

MESEMBS
Cerochlamys pachyphylla
Delosperma bosseranum
Delosperma crassum
Delosperma esterhuyseniae
Glottiphyllum oligocarpum
Glottiphyllum peersii
Glottiphyllum pygmaeum
Lapidaria margaretae
Marlothistella uniondalensis
Monilaria moniliformis
Nananthus wilmaniae
Pleiospilos bolusii
Pleiospilos compactus
Pleiospilos nelii
Schwantesia herrei
Schwantesia loeschiana
Tanquana prismatica
Wilk
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by Wilk »

I would have thought that all the species you have listed would be happy in the kind of temperature range you have now. I am not sure how much hotter temperatures would affect germination and whether it would be worse (I don't think it would be better). How do you intend to sow?
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Wilk wrote:I would have thought that all the species you have listed would be happy in the kind of temperature range you have now. I am not sure how much hotter temperatures would affect germination and whether it would be worse (I don't think it would be better). How do you intend to sow?
Thanks, Wilk, for replying. I'll start sowing as soon as possible.

I'm not confortable with the bag method, I think I will drop the pots, make a mess...the grid of my table is larger than the square pots, any wrong move and they will fall. So I'm looking for more "stable" pot. I found those, but maybe they are too shallow:

Image

here with (few) potting mix:
Image

here the place I'll let them, very light but no direct sun:
Image

This week I'll search for similar, but deeper pots.

And here are the ingredients of the potting mix:

Image
from left to right: grounded clay pot, washed coarse gravel, charcoal and top soil

the mix:
Image

the mix after soaking
Image


Perhaps here the weather is too warm to let the pots closed. I'm considering let half of the seeds in open pots (I have had success with Melocactus and Mammilaria).

Any advices are welcome!
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

An update:

I decided to start with the Mesembs. Seven days after sowing and I have very satisfatory results:

(assuming that each pack has 20 seeds - if counted, it is indicated)
Cerochlamys pachyphylla 09/20
Delosperma bosseranum 0/20
Delosperma crassum 22/20
Delosperma esterhuyseniae 0/20
Glottiphyllum peersii 18/20
Glottiphyllum pygmaeum 11/24
Lapidaria margaretae 15/20
Marlothistella uniondalensis 04/20
Monilaria moniliformis 17/20
Nananthus wilmaniae 06/20
Pleiospilos bolusii 15/24
Pleiospilos compactus14/24
Pleiospilos compactus minor 0/20
Pleiospilos nelii 16/25
Schwantesia herrei 12/20
Schwantesia loeschiana 18/20
Schwantesia loeschiana minor 23/20
Tanquana prismática 1869.48 03/20
Tanquana prismática 1869.53 12/20

I believe that the (relatively) cool weather helped:
Temperature range (last 7 days)
Minimal (night) from 11C to 14C (52F to 57F)
Maximum (day) from 27 to 30 (80F to 86F)

I wonder now if I should open the pot's caps and give them more light: the Pleiospilos sprouted with long "stems", I can't imagine how the new leaves will appear "so high" and how it will assume the round fat form that touch the soil (the Lapidaria, on the other hand, is flat and very close to the soil level, as I have imagined for Mesembs seedlings).

I wonder now if it would be a good season to sow the cacti listed above (it is not too much cold at night?).

Please comment!
iann
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by iann »

You should cover the cacti, certainly until they germinate, but keep them out of the sun. You don't want the small seedlings in direct sun anyway. They grow best in warm, bright shade, and high humidity. Maybe that describes your normal weather?

Long stems on mesemb seedlings, assuming they really are mesembs, indicate temperatures are too warm (especially at night) or too little light. Or both. They will grow well in direct sun, except maybe in Arizona. You do need to give them good ventilation though, or they will boil to death.
--ian
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

iann wrote:You should cover the cacti, certainly until they germinate, but keep them out of the sun. You don't want the small seedlings in direct sun anyway. They grow best in warm, bright shade, and high humidity. Maybe that describes your normal weather?

Long stems on mesemb seedlings, assuming they really are mesembs, indicate temperatures are too warm (especially at night) or too little light. Or both. They will grow well in direct sun, except maybe in Arizona. You do need to give them good ventilation though, or they will boil to death.
Thanks Iann
Cacti: I have not sowed the cacti already, and I'm aware of the need of protection agaist dehidratation, BUT probably I have naturally "warm, bright shade, and high humidity". I'll keep them covered but at sometime I'll try to open one or two pots to test. I'm sure that I don't need, and probably I should not, keep them closed for 8 months or more. May hesitation now is about sowing: 13ºC at night may be too cold (according to the Mesa Garden recomendations). However, day temperatures may become to hot soon, puting the seeds in dormancy.

Mesembs: After 7 days in closed pots I noticed a fungus in one of the pots (Tanquana prismatica). Reading a little here and there, I decided to open all the pots. Probably it would be easier to kill them keeping them closed, moreover when outside the pots the termometer reaches 30ºC.
Now they are all opened, and I monitor the pots when I can, to avoid dehidratation.

I'm more concerned now about the light. Some of the species seedlings are turning their cotyledons to the lighter side, which means light is not sufficient. BUT, I can't give more light, this part of the greenhouse is the lighter shade. The next step would be direct sun but I'm afraid to do that.

My question is: can I put seedlings of about 8-10 days after germination in direct sun? (I think yes, provided that for short periods).

You said: "They will grow well in direct sun, except maybe in Arizona". This means I should have germinated them under direct sun? But not in closed pots, I imagine...

I have already "intuited"that they need more sun and started to spread the pots in the spots of sun in the inferior shelf, but I'm afraid of give too much sun.
Maybe a picture would help here...


Second question: is there something I can do about the long stems? I read about mulching them with grit. It would help?


I know pictures would be nice. I'll try to take some and post here.

Thanks
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Another update

15 after sowing and all but one species (Delosperma bosseranum) germinated.

They are receiving good sun now, from 10 a.m. to 15 p.m.

They are doing fine, I think.

Some pics.:

Some of the pots:
Image

Cerochlamys pachyphylla:
Image

Schwantesia loeschiana:
Image

Pleiospilos nelli:
Image

Lapidaria margaretae:
Image

Monilaria moniliformis:
Image
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Some update.
Pictures taken today, August 24, 30 days after sowing:

Monilaria moniliformis:
Image

Schwantesia herrei
Image

Delosperma esterhuyseniae
Image

Delosperma crassum
Image

Cerochlamys pachyphylla
Image

Glottiphyllum peersii
Image

Pleiospilus compactus
Image

Marlothistella uniondalensis
Image
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

I forgot to say that I had been experiencing some problems, posted in another thread, so in the case of interest please see here
http://www.cactiguide.com/forum/viewtop ... 16&t=37787" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also, I've sowed the first cacti about 10 days ago, a some are sprouting (most of them, not). Soon new pics.
Pushrestart
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by Pushrestart »

Great thread, Im following along :) ! Im getting ready to sow next week myself so a bit uneasy as to how things will go.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Pushrestart wrote:Great thread, Im following along :) ! Im getting ready to sow next week myself so a bit uneasy as to how things will go.
Thanks Pushrestart, good to know that my experiences can be useful to people here. This week I'm planning to post pictures of the Mesembs, which are now about 35 days old, and to report my first batches with cacti seed. Keep following.
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

So here are some pictures of the Mesembs seedlings, 35 days old.

Apart of the probably too hot weather, and of the problems reporter in another thread (viewtopic.php?f=16&t=37787), they are doing fine. Some displays the first or second pair of leaves, while some are still in the cotyledon phase.

I had good germination rates and for most of the species I have had few losses until now (which are not the case of the cacti, theme for another post). These are my sowing and seedlings care methods:

- Seeds from a reliable seller (Mesa Garden)
- Plastic pots with very draining potting mix (see some posts above)
- Pots were opened about 7 days after sowing, and were never more closed. Most of than had most of the seeds sprouted, but some took about 15 days to sprouting
- Pots were soon moved to sunny spots, but under shade clothes (i.e. from bright shade to some direct sun)
- During the first 3 weeks, I sprayed water twice a day; I’m sure that they had never dried up
- Then reduced to once a day when I felt secure to do that
- Now I’m watering each two days and using a watering can (no more sprays)
- Days are hot, about 30ºC
- Species that are growing more slowly or had had losses are more protected from the sun, but even with those I begun to reduce humidity, considering that they are winter growers and days are getting hotter and hotter…hope this works out

Some pictures:

Pleiospilus compactus:
Image
And
Image

Pleiospilus nellii:
Image

Glottiphyllum peersii:
Image

Glottiphyllum pygmaeum:
Image

Marlothistella uniondalensis:
Image


Nananthus wilmaniae:
Image

Delosperma crassum:
Image

Delosperma esterhuyseniae:
Image

Schwantesia herrei:
Image

Schwantesia loeschiana minor
Image

Monilaria moniliformis:
Image

Lapidaria margaretae: one by one are dying...only 3 left, but they look fine:
Image

Tanquana prismatica, not very well, I’m worried about that one:
Image

Another T. prismatica:
Image
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Now that my Mesembs seedlings are more than 40 days old and showing their first true leaves, some doubts appeared:

When do watering must be seriously reduced? I read in many places that the easiest way to kill a Mesemb like Pleiospilus is giving it water.

But usually this is being said for mature plants care. What about the seedlings?

I started to let the substrate dryes out before watering again, which occurs about each two days. However, my fear is to kill the plants if it becomes too dry (the plants are barely with their first pair of leaves).

Also, I would like to know which is better: soak the soil with an watering can (provided it is well draining and will dry out quicly) or just spray a little water over the surface of the pot and plants?

Thanks in advance
iann
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by iann »

Once the true leaves appear you should reduce watering. Or humidity. Or both. You want to keep the true leaves well-fed, but not so well-fed that the seed leaves stay fat and strangle them. Once you have true leaves, I doubt you will have the courage to leave them dry long enough to hurt. Deep watering is good for the more vigorous species like Delospermas and Glottiphyllum. Smaller and more xeric species do well with regular spraying (add very dilute fertiliser) so that they keep growing without drowning.

Tanquana is a winter grower, or at least a cool weather grower. I guess that will really mean winter for you. I think it will struggle through your summer at that size. Just try to keep it comfortable (cool, spray enough to keep it plump) and don't try to push it. Lapidaria is similar but a little bigger and tougher in the heat. It might take another few months for the true leaves to appear, just keep it lightly sprayed until then, and then slowly let the seed leaves dry out. Monilaria is an obligate winter grower, completely dry in summer. I suspect at some point it will lose those leaves, but don't assume it is dead. Water well in winter, leave dry when it looks dead.
--ian
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mmcavall
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Re: So I decided to sow

Post by mmcavall »

Thanks Iann for the advices and explanation.

Yesterday, before I read this, I've put an aditional shade cloth over all seedlings and separated then in two groups, one to receive water from the water can, and the other, more protected from the sun, to receive only spray. In the latter group are the Tanquanas, Molinaria, Lapidaria and a Delosperma bosseranum that is struglying. So I think I separated then correctly.

My doubts:

1. Any tips for Schwantesia loeschiana? It is small and dont show true leaves yet...

2. "Once you have true leaves, I doubt you will have the courage to leave them dry long enough to hurt"
=> Did you meant that once they have true leaves they are succulent enough to stay some days dry and I'll not have courage to let then too many days dry...? I'm not sure that I understood what did you meant....

3. "Water well in winter, leave dry when it looks dead (Monilaria)"
=> Do I have to spray it until it looks dead, and then totally stop spraying for the about 4 months of summer? Wow that's freakening!

Thanks again!
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