How to plant and grow succulents from seeds correctly? The most burning and mysterious question that torments any lover of succulents! This article reveals all the details and secrets for you. After it, you will have no questions, but confidence in a successful experience.
The most favorable time for sowing succulents is spring, the beginning of the growth period. For sowing they use small plastic pots for sprouts or just plastic bowls. It is desirable that they are new, the used ones should be disinfected.
The ground for sowing should be fresh, sterilized, loose, without hard lumps. It is best to initially make the right soil, suitable for succulents, in order to transplant the seedlings as rarely as possible. Since transplanting is always a stress for plants, it can easily and easily destroy even weaker young shoots. Finished land, which is sold in the store in pure form is not suitable for succulents neither at the stage of cultivation nor for further growth. This also applies to peat pills and peat substrates.
The main stages of growing
Succulent seeds are very small and can be easily sprayed and deflated even when breathing, so it is better to first put the seeds on a white sheet of paper and then sprinkled to the surface without recesses in a clean, fresh and loose soil; Substrate is moistened from the spray and covered with a greenhouse; For germination it is necessary to maintain a high temperature, about +25 ° and humidity. If your Succulent Shelf is far away from the battery and you can’t keep this temperature, you can use an electric heater; Succulent seeds germinate in the light, but not in direct sunlight. You can do this by using an electric heater. Lighting should work for about 12 hours, as well as for adult plants, both during germination and for further growth; the most important point is ventilation! After planting, the greenhouse is ventilated for a couple of hours 1-2 times during the day. This is a necessary condition for germination of seeds. This way the seeds get the necessary air circulation, and no mold will appear in the ground; at the stage of long-awaited germination, it is important not to overwet them, otherwise they will die. Remember, they are already beginning to acquire their natural succulence – the ability to retain fluid for a long time. Succulent shoots are even more vulnerable and capricious than their adult counterparts, so it is not recommended to remove the greenhouse before 2 months.
What else should I know?
During germination, the land should never dry out, otherwise you can’t count on success. Sometimes, in their fears, beginners amateurs of succulents excessively moisten the ground, resulting in the appearance of mold in containers with seedlings. Mildew is the lower microorganisms that live in the air, water and in the form of spores and individual microscopic mycelium hyphae.
The root system of adult plants is able to secrete special substances that inhibit mold development. But young shoots do not yet have natural immunity and may die if necessary measures are not taken in time.
Reasons for mold in seedlings
Heavy airtight soil, in which water traps for a long time; High humidity (above 95%), prepared substrate (more than 80%) and high air temperature; No air exchange; Lack of lighting and UV rays.
Ways of control; Lack of light and ultraviolet rays.
Replace contaminated parts of the earth;Acidify the soil with hydrated lime (dilute with water and spray with sprayer), then mycelium will be destroyed by other more friendly microorganisms;Dry the substrate.
Initially to make a light and loose breathable soil; Add to the resulting substrate grinded charcoal. As you know, charcoal is an excellent antiseptic that prevents the emergence and development of rotten and parasitic processes. Moreover, it improves gas exchange and frees the soil from excessive moisture; ventilating pots with seedlings during the day is mandatory.
How to increase seedlings?
Succulent seeds are not cheap, especially when it comes to beautiful species of Echeveria, Sedum, Graptopetalum, Aeonium and other plants. Very often, when the price is high, there are very few seeds in the bags sold. And even more often, in fact, their minimum germinating capacity comes out, i.e. only two seeds can grow out of five, and sometimes one seed can grow into a warrior’s field. Having studied specialized literature on succulent plants and compared it with my knowledge and the results of my experiments with growing, I came to certain conclusions.
Seed germination process – how does it happen?
As the seeds germinate, water starts to penetrate through the ribbon. At the same time, the moisture content in the cells sharply increases, the embryo increases in size, and there is a primary rupture of the seed peel. Some hormones, growth inhibitors, are washed out of the seed box when wet, stimulating the growth process. Visually, at this point, we see the curse of the seed.
Cellular respiration produces a large amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the environment. High levels of carbon dioxide reduce the intensity of redox reactions. Therefore, germinating seeds and sprouts need to be ventilated. The increased concentration of pure oxygen in the seed germination zone has a beneficial effect on the germination and growth of young plants.
How to achieve high seed germination?
Seeds treated with just water can lie quietly for a long time without any signs of germination and eventually either rot in the greenhouse or not germinate at all. Succulent seeds are especially slow to germinate.
After all, any seed contains growth inhibitors for protection, slowing down the process of germination of the seed.
There is a very effective way to increase seedlings is to use 3% hydrogen peroxide. If you stimulate seed growth by reducing the blockage of growth inhibitors and softening the seed box, the seeds will go through faster.
Hydrogen peroxide is absolutely safe when germinating or soaking the seeds. There is no need to be afraid that it will burn the plants. Therefore, there is no need to flush it off the seeds or the seedlings with water, because hydrogen is a volatile gas and after half an hour it evaporates completely and only water remains.
Since the seeds of many succulents are as small as grains of sand, it is easier to simply spray peroxide all over the surface of the ground as soon as you pour it on a wet substrate. To do this, pour peroxide into a bottle with a sprayer.
The effect is due to the fact that hydrogen peroxide contains atomic molecular oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide in contact with tissues decomposes into water and oxygen. At this point, the oxygen atoms oxidize, releasing energy and thus destroying a little and softening the seed box. This helps the seeds to slip more quickly and easily.
This is a particularly effective way for those seeds that require scarifying, dense seeds are soaked for half an hour in pure undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide before planting.
For growing succulents, it is not advisable to use wide planks in which several species are usually sown at the same time, separating by partitions. This is wrong, because different species need a certain temperature. It is better to sow each type of succulent in separate pots and at once in the right soil to avoid unnecessary stress in not yet strong shoots. At the bottom of the pot must be laid a thick layer of drainage for better air circulation.