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 Seeds - Trays or Individual Pots...?

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Calm and Collected

Number of posts : 176
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PostSubject: Seeds - Trays or Individual Pots...?   Seeds - Trays or Individual Pots...? EmptySun Apr 27, 2008 7:32 am

I have always wondered what is easier with seeds and then the emerging seedlings.

If you put them in seed raising trays (which are shallow) are they easy to 'prick out' or do you wait till they have quite a lot of root then remove them? Is it easy to damage the plant?

If you put them in individual small pots (as seeds) is that easier? Firstly, you're not translocating them until they're much older and more established and you have more individual control over conditions.

The latter is probably more expensive (right?).

And thirdly... If you have say 5 or 6 different types of cactus seed, with cactus that may come from different parts of the world, hence different growing conditions, is it ok to germinate them together?

I know - so many questions, but I am a noob and I really want to get this right the first time.

The next question then... If they're in seed raising pots or trays are these best left to dry out? Or do you mist them every morning? Or what?

Do you leave the trays outside? Or do you provide them with a heat mat (don't forget I am in the tropics)?

Well, thanks for all your help (pre-emptive thanks)... it's all appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Seeds - Trays or Individual Pots...?   Seeds - Trays or Individual Pots...? EmptySun Apr 27, 2008 12:38 pm

Trays are much better and more economical. Crowded trays are particularly good when growing columnular genera like Trichocereus sp., Cleistocactus sp. or Pilosocereus sp., generally all columnulars will benefit from the extra support of the other seedlings and will not so easily topple over.

I use takeaway containers though Wink

It's best to wait as long as possible to prick the seedlings out and it can even be a few years, especially for the slower growing species. The most sensitive area is the the extra fine roots that can be easily damaged. Once damaged, this can lead to problems. That said I have transplanted young seedlings, as young as a couple of months with little loss. It depends how careful you are. i don't advise it though.

The best way to grow seeds is seperately. Say if you have Astrophytum asterias seeds and you also have Astrophytum asterias var. nudum you should even sow these separately.

The climatic conditions of the cacti's origin is very important and if you start mixing up seeds from Mexico with seeds from Peru (for example) you are going to get some difficulties arising because the climates are so different hence the cacti will require something similiar to it's native clime.

You shouldn't let your seedlings dry out or even lose too much humidity until you are to harden the seedlings off, which can start from 2 months (normal cacti) can be up to 2 years for species like Ariocarpus.

You shouldn't really need any sort of heating mat if you are from the tropics. Depends when you want to propagate (time of year) and what sort of scale you want to propagate on. I leave my trays outside (covered, remember I use takeaway containers) and move them to a shady (but decent light) spot in the greenhouse after the have hardened off.

Don't forget NEVER place seed trays, or whatever you use or seedlings in full sun as they will fry, if you give the seedlings too much sun the will turn red/bronze and stall. I never put my seedlings in any sort of sun light. Just a well lit area.

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