Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

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metsolt
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Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by metsolt »

Hello everyone!

So just a year ago I was a guy who had a few common cacti and came here to find IDs, but I ended up being obsessed with them, growing my collection and deciding to grow more from seed this spring.

Anyway, I recently got Lophophora williamsii seeds from Aiko and decided to sow them right away. The seeds were harvested this year. I received 21 seeds, but one was crushed, so I sowed 20. All seeds looked viable, no variation in size or color.

When it comes to soil, I was not sure what would be suitable for LW, but some research told me they would be okay in organic soil at least until they're mature. As I was out of perlite and would not be able to get more for a while, and pumice is impossible to find where I live, I decided to sow the seeds in regular organic soil and fix it when the time comes. The soil was sterilized using boiling water, as well as the pot itself. The seeds were sterilized as well.

I made a setting with artificial lights, 6500K, 1300 lumen some 20-25cm above the soil level. Temperature does not go below 20°C or above 22°C. They get around 14 hours of light a day for now.

10 days after sowing, 14 seeds germinated. I noticed a problem with one seedling, as it looked orangle-ish and deflated after germinating. At the same time, I noticed a small green dot, which I suspected was algae growth, but wanted to take care of it so I opened the bag, removed the soil where I suspected pathogenic growth with sterilized tweezers and treated the spot with hydrogen peroxide. I took a chance to remove the bad seedling just in case and also treated the spot with peroxide.

So here are the results. In the second picture, the one on the bottom and bottom left are 6 days old and others followed.
I must say, I just love how they look!

I hope to be posting updates here.
Any comments or advice are more than welcome!
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samhain
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by samhain »

Nice. I have one about a year old looks about the same size.
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Jangaudi
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by Jangaudi »

Your soil looks like a swamp, will be fine for germinating, but high rot alert later on in these conditions. Seeds germinate just fine with way less moisture than this, so I'd see if there's a way to reduce it, without letting in pathogens. And don't worry about some algea, much better to have these than mould ;)
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metsolt
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by metsolt »

Jangaudi wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:22 pm Your soil looks like a swamp, will be fine for germinating, but high rot alert later on in these conditions. Seeds germinate just fine with way less moisture than this, so I'd see if there's a way to reduce it, without letting in pathogens. And don't worry about some algea, much better to have these than mould ;)
It's partly because the light was directly above the pot, dispersing the light so it looks more moist than it is. Granted, the fact that it's 100% organic leaves room for excess moisture, but I made sure it was well drained before sealing.
Either way, I'm keeping close eye on them.

Thank you for your input!
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7george
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by 7george »

I would increase maximum temperatures to ~ 25 - 30 C. This will reduce risk of fungus infections and increase growth rate of the seedlings. At low temperatures these seedlings grow quite slow: I have some in several small pots and forgot already how many years old are they now. Also consider changing the soil mix to more porous and inorganic one after several months.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
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Steve-0
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by Steve-0 »

Hey J. , congrats on the germination of these seeds. I would like to follow their growth progress. Will you update this thread from time to time ....like every few weeks or each month? I'm sure others would agree and like to see their progress. Thanks in advance. Steve
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metsolt
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by metsolt »

7george wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:40 am I would increase maximum temperatures to ~ 25 - 30 C. This will reduce risk of fungus infections and increase growth rate of the seedlings. At low temperatures these seedlings grow quite slow: I have some in several small pots and forgot already how many years old are they now. Also consider changing the soil mix to more porous and inorganic one after several months.
Thank you!
I will try to increase the temperature.
And yes, I realized my mistake with the soil. I guess I'm so impatient that I could not wait to get some perlite and then sow. I will be looking for it today. I hope they'll be okay for at least a month before I move them. I'm already learning from my mistakes...


Steve-0 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:59 am Hey J. , congrats on the germination of these seeds. I would like to follow their growth progress. Will you update this thread from time to time ....like every few weeks or each month? I'm sure others would agree and like to see their progress. Thanks in advance. Steve
Hey, Steve,
Yes, I plan on posting updates every once in a while. Maybe once a month or so, just enough time for something to visible happen.
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greenknight
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by greenknight »

Starting cactus seedlings in an organic medium can work just fine, commercial growers start them in peat. They grow them on capillary mats so they draw up moisture from below and remain constantly damp - but never soaked.

That's the key - keep the medium evenly damp and they'll do fine. Get it too wet and they'll rot. With artificial light and heat there should be no problem growing them on until they're big enough to transplant easily. You may get some algae growth, but that won't hurt the cacti.
Spence :mrgreen:
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metsolt
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by metsolt »

greenknight wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:46 pm Starting cactus seedlings in an organic medium can work just fine, commercial growers start them in peat. They grow them on capillary mats so they draw up moisture from below and remain constantly damp - but never soaked.

That's the key - keep the medium evenly damp and they'll do fine. Get it too wet and they'll rot. With artificial light and heat there should be no problem growing them on until they're big enough to transplant easily. You may get some algae growth, but that won't hurt the cacti.
I will try drying the soil out a bit soon.
There is still no sign of any unwanted growth after the intervention. I did have algae growing in a pot with Astrophytum this spring, but I noticed it didn't affect them so I know it's not anything to worry about.

I can see first areoles popping up on most of the seedlings, but I'll want for 2 more weeks to take pictures.
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greenknight
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by greenknight »

The best way to maintain the right moisture level is to water from below, but not with deep water. The medium won't become saturated with water that it wicks up from below, it gets too wet only if it's underwater. The nurseries automate this with capillary matting, which is just a rot-proof absorbent mat - the mat draws water from a reservoir on the end of the bench, and they just keep that filled. You can get the same result with a thin layer of water in the tray the pot's sitting in (a sprayer bottle works well for this), that's the way it was done before there was capillary matting. To check the moisture, you look under the pot - if there's a wet spot, no water is needed; if it's dry, add water.

If a pot should get dried out, you can set it in a dish of deeper water - up to half the depth of the pot - and check it often. As soon as a wet spot appears on the surface, take it out of the water. The moisture should spread until the whole surface is damp.

By watering from below, you can insure that it's moist all the way to the bottom of the pot - which encourages deep root growth - with no risk of getting it too wet.
Spence :mrgreen:
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metsolt
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by metsolt »

greenknight wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:33 am The best way to maintain the right moisture level is to water from below, but not with deep water. The medium won't become saturated with water that it wicks up from below, it gets too wet only if it's underwater. The nurseries automate this with capillary matting, which is just a rot-proof absorbent mat - the mat draws water from a reservoir on the end of the bench, and they just keep that filled. You can get the same result with a thin layer of water in the tray the pot's sitting in (a sprayer bottle works well for this), that's the way it was done before there was capillary matting. To check the moisture, you look under the pot - if there's a wet spot, no water is needed; if it's dry, add water.

If a pot should get dried out, you can set it in a dish of deeper water - up to half the depth of the pot - and check it often. As soon as a wet spot appears on the surface, take it out of the water. The moisture should spread until the whole surface is damp.

By watering from below, you can insure that it's moist all the way to the bottom of the pot - which encourages deep root growth - with no risk of getting it too wet.
Now I definitely know why it's too wet. I did water it from below, but the water level was higher than you recommended. And I think I left it there for too long, as well.
I will definitely try it more with a few test pots to get it just right before sowing any more seeds. Thank you!
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greenknight
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by greenknight »

If it's much too wet, you can set the pot on a dry towel and let it wick out the excess moisture.
Spence :mrgreen:
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metsolt
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by metsolt »

I just decided to take another picture, since there are visible changes.

Now they're 3 weeks from first germination.
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PseudolithosLover
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by PseudolithosLover »

D'awwww
Trade with me :) Always looking to expand my collection! :D
samhain
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Re: Growing Lophophora williamsii from seed

Post by samhain »

Dang! Definitely bigger than mine.
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