The Q&A Archives: Germination of Cacti

Question: I bought a pack of assorted cacti seeds the other day - just for fun. There is no information on the packet on soil composition. Can you tell me what type of soil would be best to germinate these in?

Answer: Equal portions of sand and peat moss will hold just the right amount of moisture, and yet drain rapidly. If you can't find a commercial potting soil for cacti, you can mix your own. Sow seeds on top of moistened soil and press them in with your hand but don't cover them with additional soil. Cactus seeds can take anywhere from 5 to 180 days to germinate, so don't be discouraged if you don't see results right away. Keep the flats or pots in a warm area (75F - 80F degrees), and put plastic wrap over the top to help keep moisture in. As soon as most of the seeds germinate, remove the plastic. Keep the plants warm, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings, but don't allow it to dry out so much that it pulls away from the sides of the containers. Good luck with your cactus garden!

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