Seed Germination and Care Instructions
SEED GERMINATION AND CARE INSTRUCTIONS
The conditions for high germination rates and success in growing
strong seedlings is: warmth
(70- 90 deg. F), bright light, soil that drains
well, even moisture from watering, high humidity, and air
patience. A few days or even hours of inconsistent conditions can quickly lead
Germinating desert tree, shrub and other
1. Soak large, hard seeds overnight (up to 36 hours) in water to
start the germination process.
2. Bury seeds to a least the depth of the
3. Germinate seeds in pots with sterile soil (1/2 peat moss
and 1/2 perlite is one popular mix)
or plant directly into non-sterile
commercial potting mix (approx. 75% tree compost and 25% sandy loan)
directly into the garden.
4. Germinate in full sun during growing season.
Soil needs to be 75 deg. F. + for quick germination.
5. Provide plenty of
water until seeds are established. Keep evenly moist until roots are fully
Germinating desert tree, shrub, ground cover and
other small seeds:
1. Sow directly into rich garden soil or in pots with commercial
potting mix or (our favorite) 1/2 peat moss
and 1/2 perlite. Cover with a
thin layer of soil and keep moist until seeds germinate. After seeds germinate,
decrease moisture level.
Germinating Cacti Seeds: Sow seeds in compost. There is a great
debate as to the best "compost".
A popular mix consists of 50% aged, black,
fine compost (from bark), 15% sandy, sterile loam, 15 % pumice
and 20% fine peat moss. I use a mix of 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 perlite. Shallow (
3" deep) plastic
grower's trays with newspaper lining the bottom make
excellent growing containers. Other have good luck
with very different mixes
Sprinkle seeds on surface, they should not be completely covered.
Water from beneath. If watering
from above, be sure that the mist is quite
fine. Seal growing area with glass or plastic, leaving plenty
of room over
the seeds for ventilation. Maintain a soil temperature of 70-85ºF. Bottom heat
effective. Keep moist, having a sterile soil with peat moss and
pumice is very healthy for the seedlings.
Good moisture, good drainage very
bright light and heat and aeration are important factors for high
rates. Commercial growers use a general fungicide so that the frequent watering
misting does not encourage fungus attacks. The conditions that young
seedlings like are the same
conditions that most fungi like. The cacti can
become a quick meal if the moisture content gets out of
whack or if the soil
is not reasonably sterile.
When germination commences, make sure that the infants receives
indirect, bright light (do not place in sun).
Allow good air flow. Keep warm
70-90ºF. When seedlings begin to overcrowd the container, thin them
spoon. Try not to disturb the roots. During the first winter season, make sure
to keep plants warm,
depending upon the variety. Allow to dry between
watering but not allow to get too dry. After your first
winter, slowly harden
the plants by a longer drying period and brighter and brighter light. By year 2
should be strong starts.
Note: Some of our desert tree seeds have been treated with SEVIN
(a pesticide) to control weevils.
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