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Growing cactus from seed

Don't make a science project out of growing a San Pedro or Peruvian Torch. Some think that they have to provide 500W grow lights, grow them hydroponically, want to force growth in the winter months, try to produce seed from a single plant (inbreeding), or dream up special soil mixes. Some visitors have emailed me only to argue about why I recommend such large containers.

First learn the basics of plant care by raising ordinary house plants or vegetables and herbs instead of experimenting on a rare and expensive sacred cactus. There is no point in trying to grow cactus from seed if you haven't been able to create a healthy environment to raise adult specimens. In fact, only after you have a collection of healthy sacred cactus should you look to having children.

Growing from seed is fraught with problems:
1) No one certifies seed so you may have wait years to see what your plant becomes.
2) The seed may be genetically inbred, or have very poor germination.
3) You might spend months raising seed only to have it die from drying out, or turn to goo from a fungus infection.

Because of these problems � I cannot offer a tutorial or provide email support. The difference between a professional and an amateur is hundred or even thousands of hours of experience. As you gain experience with plants you learn that it is both art and science. Skill is everything.
(below) Zero germination on the left and decent germination on the right.

(below) Germination indoors allows temperature control. Where I live it is too hot outside and seed will cook.

(below) Standard Peruvianus at 3-months

(Below) At 5 months. Germinated in fall and raised under lights during the winter months.
Growing rare Peruvian cacti from seed NOT from Karel Knize
Seed from Peru, purchase in 2006, was a disappointment. Seed from European sources germinated just fine.

Seed from Peru, purchased in 2007, resulted in zero germination!

Now a new source, direct from Peru, is the best germinating of all. Only problem is that it will take several years before the mature plants shows what it truly is.

(above) These racks represent part of the 2,000 tiny seedlings individually pricked out from the seed beds and repotted in 2" pots. If these seedlings are not watered for two days they'll die. When you raise seedlings you can't go far from home.

Contact: Cactus_Kate@trichocereus.com
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