The Q&A Archives: Starting Christmas Cactus Seed

Question: I have two different Christmas cactus of different color. One of the plants produces seed pods. I can not get them to keep growing. How do harvest, plant and get them to grow?

Answer: Seeds of Christmas cactus are difficult to germinate and to keep growing so you're not alone in your experiences with them. Harvest the seeds when the pod is dried. Then sow on the surface of seed starting mix and barely press in with your hand. The seeds need light to germinate. Cover the trays or pots with clear plastic and keep at a temperature of 65F in a place that receives diffused light. Once some of the seeds have sprouted remove the plastic to allow air to circulate around the plants (seedlings are quite susceptible to damping-off). Keep the soil moist but not soggy wet. It's usually safer to water from the bottom than to sprinkle from the top. The growing seedlings will need bright light but not direct sunlight. You can transplant the seedlings into individual pots once you're sure they've developed a sturdy root system. (Prick one or two out of the tray to inspect the roots.) Hope you have great success with your next batch of seeds!

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