Succulents and Cacti are the no-brainer plant selection when it comes to owning, growing, and taking care of a no-fuss plant that requires little attention. They are harder to kill than the average plant and drink up little water, once they have grown past their sprouting stage.
They can take some thoughtfulness, care, and patience (lots!) to get going from seed, but are even more rewarding in the end!
Think about where Cacti and Succulents naturally grow; more often than not, it's in a desert or a pretty hot and dry location with lots of sunshine! When you plant your seeds, and even after they sprout, you want to replicate this environment for best germination success and plant health. We've put together our favorite tips and tricks to help you along your cactus and succulent growing journey.
Sowing the Seeds:
Before sowing your seeds, you'll want to soak them in warm water for 1-2 days. The warmer you can keep the water, the lesser amount of time you'll need to soak them. This helps loosen up the seed's casing and improves germination. An insulated mug is a great way to do so, but hot sunshine will also do the trick.
After soaking the seeds ( you'' want 3-5 per pot, based on a 3" pot), you want to plant them right away. Gently sprinkle them across the top of the soil and don't press in! Then use a tad bit of soil or sand to sprinkle over the seeds, you don't want them buried too deep!
Preparing the perfect Soil:
If you own our Succulent and Cactus Starter Kit, you are all set! If you need to purchase soil, you'll want soil specifically for seed starting, nothing else. Make sure your soil is wet ( it shouldn't have water dripping out if squeezed) before sowing the seeds. We also highly recommend you have a bit of sand available. You don't need sand, but it will help the germination rate and makes those little seeds feel right at home!
Once your soil is soaked, fill up your pot, leaving about an inch of space from the top. Now you'll need that sand, about a tablespoon. Mix it in within the top quarter of the soil. This will help keep the seeds toasty
We like it HOT and sunny!
You need to give your seeds desert-like heat for the best success! You'll want temperatures at 80F to see the most varieties sprout! Some of the succulents will pop up at 70F, but it's not likely that the Cacti will sprout at that temperature. If temperatures dip below these levels, it will re-start the seeds "germination timeclock" and take longer to sprout.
You'll want to keep them in the sunniest/warmest location you have! If you can't give them a warm location, you'll want to purchase a seed heating mat. Keep your pots away from drafty locations such as windows!
Once the seeds sprout, they need at bare minimum, 6 hours of hot sunshine! If you have a hot south-facing window, they'll love it. If you can't give them enough hot light, you'll need a grow light.
We can get thirsty and hungry sometimes!
A high-humidity situation is ideal. You can do this by misting the pots frequently or placing them in a humidity box( designed for plants).
You don't want your soil to dry completely out either. Although these species tend to be "drought tolerant", the sprout's tiny root system will need to stay moist, and won't tolerate drying out until they are mature.
You can do a "deep watering" 1-2x a week ( depends on heat, light, and quantity of sprouts) and mist them daily.
Although the species require very little added soil nutrition, you may find your sprouts or mature plants needing a little help once in a while! If you choose to feed them, make sure you ONLY use plant food/fertilizer that's specifically for cacti and succulents! Anything that reads over 1-1-1 on the food/fertilizer bottle could potentially kill them!
Take an Easy Seat, Relax!
We mentioned it before at the start of this article, and we'll shout it from our rooftops, growing cacti and succulents from seeds take lots of patience!! While some seeds will sprout in the first couple of weeks, some will take their sweet ol' time and take up to a couple of months to show their faces!
Need help? We are here for you ( and your seeds)!
You can find our handy how-to video on planting up your succulents and cacti here. If you have any questions about growing your seeds or caring for them along the way, please reach out! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Facebook and Instagram!
Happy Cactus and Succulent growing!