bananaman’s Cactus Seed Log

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bananaman

 
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bananaman’s Cactus Seed Log

by bananaman » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:33 am

I decided that I wanted to try my hand at growing some of the Echinocereus native to the Edward’s Plateau because they’ve got awesome flowers, nice looking stems, and can be grown outside all year here without worry (because I’m on the eastern edge of the plateau).

They grow relatively fast from seed and can bloom after only a few years, so I picked up some seed from Mesa Garden with location data: E. coccineus var. paucispinus from Kimble Co., E. coccineus var. roemeri from Llano Co., E. dasycanthus from Crockett Co., E. enneacanthus var. brevispinus from Kimble Co., E. reichenbachii from Kimble Co., and E. reichenbachii "castaneus" from Llano Co. You can probably tell that I focused on ones from relatively nearby: that’s on purpose because I’ve spent a lot of time in Kimble and Llano counties and their weather is quite similar to here. The only other close locality they had was Burnet Co. (which they misspelled Burnett...), but they only had one species from there IIRC. The Llano ones might not take our alkaline soil as well as the others because they probably are from granite, not limestone. But that’s years away to worry about.

I made a nice, well drained mix of peat, perlite, succulent soil from a local producer, and lots of lava sand. I filled up little pots and topped each with about 1/2 cm of lava sand to help suppress any weeds or mold or algae.

I put 12 seeds of each to start in different pots: I’m seeing if these conditions are good for them and don’t want to waste all my seeds. They are now bagged up under lights and on a heat mat, both of which are on an astronomical timer (so ~14 hours on right now).
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I’m going to keep track of their progress in here.

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Re: bananaman’s Cactus Seed Log

by bananaman » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:27 pm

I’ve already got germination on both E. reichenbachii, E. enneacanthus, and also E. dasyacanthus. I’m stunned — I had the first sprouts only 3 days after sowing!
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I may start the other portion of the seeds I’ve got soon, depending on how these little guys progress.

I don’t know what the daytime temperatures are on the heat mat, but the nighttime temperatures are around 70°F. I’m guessing it’s around 85°F during the day, though.

The astronomical timer the lights and heat mat are on doesn’t have an exact latitude selection, so the days are somewhat longer than what they’d be experiencing in their habitat and what we’re experiencing outside here. It is pretty close, though. The temperatures are a bit cooler during the day than what they get in nature: normal highs are mid 90s this time of year in their habitat (and here). Normal lows are around 70°, though.

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Re: bananaman’s Cactus Seed Log

by Adelae » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:39 pm

I had never even thought about what cactus seedlings might look like until now, thanks for sharing!

Are those cotyledons, or do they just start being a cactus right off the bat?

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Re: bananaman’s Cactus Seed Log

by bananaman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:54 pm

Adelae wrote:I had never even thought about what cactus seedlings might look like until now, thanks for sharing!

Are those cotyledons, or do they just start being a cactus right off the bat?

Those are the cotyledons. They haven’t opened up yet, but once they do, the cactus grows straight up out of the middle of it.

EDIT: A photo from the side makes this clearer. This is E. enneacanthus. See the cleft between the two cotyledons?
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Re: bananaman’s Cactus Seed Log

by bananaman » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:12 am

I took a trip for a week and came back to many more seedlings.
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E. reichenbachii from Llano Co. has 8/12 sprouted and from Kimble Co. has 6/12 sprouted. E. dasyacanthus has 5/12 sprouted and E. enneacanthus has 6/12 sprouted. The only E. coccineus sprout is from Llano Co.

Some are starting to show their first spines:
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Oddly enough, the pot with E. reichenbachii from Llano Co. seemed to have dried out significantly while I was gone and the seedlings are a bit skinny. That seems really weird because they’re in a sealed ziplock bag, but whatever. I watered them all so that they stay nice and moist.


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