When growing cacti most people use cuttings. Cuttings are the easiest way to get a huge cactus garden within a few months. But seeds can be more fun, if you want to see how the cactus works its way up to a strong plant.
Growing cacti from seeds:
- A flat, but wide flower pot
- Cactus Soil
- A piece of plexiglass, although transparent foil will also work
- Distilled water
- A thermometer (a cheap one will do the job)
- A 75 Watt daylight / full spectrum lamp
- A tablespoon
- Cacti seeds
Growing cacti with cuttings:
Step one: Fill the flower pot with the soil and make the soil wet with the distilled water. Flatten the upper part of the soil. Now put the cacti seeds into the soil, at a distance of 1,5 - 2 cm between the seeds is enough. Press the seeds into the soil, but not too deep. Now cover the flower pot with the plexiglass or the foil. The use of distilled water is essential in order to avoid fungus infection. The cactus needs high humidity to germinate. That is why the plexiglass is used.
Step two: Place the prepared flower pot under the 75 Watt daylight lamp. Put the thermometer on top of the foil or the glass to check the temperature (the lamp gives off a lot of heat, so adjust the height until the thermometer shows the exact temperature). The average temperature should be at 26 degrees C°. You can keep it at 32 C° at daytime and 15 C° at night. But it’s easier to keep it at 26 C° all the time. The cactus needs 16-18 hours of light each day.
Step three: Check whether the soil is wet enough on a daily basis. If not, spray some distilled water on it and close the pot again. After 5-10 days, the first seeds will start to germinate. Meanwhile, just keep them in their flower pot and keep them wet with distilled water.
Step four: You can keep your small cactus in the pot for another 2 - 4 weeks after germination until they are a few cm tall (2 - 3 cm). Now they are ready to be transfered to regular sized flower pots. When moving the small cacti, pick up the cactus together with the earth around and underneath it. Because the roots aren’t big yet, you can use a tablespoon to scoop it up.
Step five: Your small cactus still has to be handled with care. If you put them into direct sunlight, it may burn and die. At this stage, you will have to start using regular water to keep the soil wet. Regular water contains minerals which are needed by the cacti. After taking them out of the germination pot, the humidity will be too low for fungi to develop. You can also start adding fertilizer (use regular cactus fertilizer, available in most garden centres) every 1-2 months.
Growing cacti from cuttings
To obtain the cuttings, we just need a big and healthy plant. Cut a 15-20 cm long piece away from the top of one arm. The wound of the old plant will heal and 1-3 new arms will appear. The cutting has to be kept in a dim room at medium temperature (about 20-23 degrees). After 1-2 weeks, the cut surface will have dried and your cutting will be ready!
Take a flower pot, fill it with cactus soil and make it wet. Put your cutting with the cut surface about 5-6 cm deep into the soil. The soil needs to be kept wet all the time. After only 5-10 days, your cutting starts to develop new roots and will continue growing.