I have been hoarding seeds over the past few months. With the new colder temps that force us inside, I am going to try my hand at seed propagation. There is a great little seed shop on Etsy called SmartSeedsEmporium. They have a great selection of unique seeds and I had a hard time choosing which ones I wanted to try so I ordered a bunch. After receiving the seeds I decided to first try the cactus Cereus Forbesii Monstrose or “Ming Thing”. The “Ming Thing” seeds were a little less expensive than some of the other seeds I bought so I wanted to try these first just in case I make a mistake and they don’t germinate.
The “Ming Thing” cactus grows like a slow-moving blob and takes on all different shapes and sizes and bubbles up and over itself as it grows. What better way to experience the uniqueness of the Cereus forbessii monstrose than to start it from seed.
Growing Cereus Forbessii Monstrose:
I ordered this little starter kit off of Amazon, which I don’t think is necessary, but I am trying to put my best foot forward and at $15 I figured it was worth it. It came with three little plastic tools, a stack of plastic cards for labeling and fifteen trays with cups and lids.
I filled the tray with my favorite cactus mix, which is Black Gold. I like this particular mix because it has a lot of large particles and it drains well compared to other mixes I have used, but I am sure any cactus mix will do. You can’t tell by the photos, but the segmented tray comes with a black plastic tray that it sits in to hold water and keep the soil moist. After It was filled with the cactus mix, I added water to the bottom tray and sit the segmented tray inside and wait for the mix to absorb the water.
Once the soil is moist, I put one seed in each little cup and cover the top of the tray with sand and give it a good soaking with a spray bottle.
Full disclosure, a couple of days later I noticed the sand seemed to disappear into the soil mix. I got nervous and added a little more. I can’t really say if that did anything or not but wanted to be honest with my process. After placing the clear lid on top, I found a sunny spot on the windowsill.
This October has been the wettest I can remember. It rained the entire first week that the seeds were in the tray. I was worried that the lack of sun and warmth would stunt my seedlings. However, a week after sowing I had a few little sprouts.
A week later they were more and they were a little bigger. At week 2 There seems to be a funny split happening at the top of the seedlings. A little fuzzy mold appeared on a couple of the seedlings. Not to worry, it’s pretty harmless and nothing a little airflow can’t remedy. Removing the lid for a few hours a day should help and create stronger seedlings. I still close the lid at night to keep the seedlings warm since it sits near a windowsill.
Over a Year Later…
It has been over a year and here we are. Not much further than we were before. However, my seedlings are a little more mature, changing color, maybe even morphing into actual cacti. It really puts into perspective how long it takes to grow a cactus from seed to a mature cactus.