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First opuntia ficus indica shoot showing

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First opuntia ficus indica shoot showing

Postby Patriotdevil » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:39 am

Hey guys, basically followed some tips on growing from seed off of others on here by searching the forum. Found my first one just popped up above the soil today, may sound geeky but this is my first try growing any sort of cactus so i'm pretty pleased!

There are more seeds still in the tub and I had covered the top with cling film/sarin wrap and put the tub on a heat mat. Should i take the film/wrap off, or just poke holes in for ventilation? should i keep the tub on the heat mat?
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Postby PapaBearJay » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:25 pm

Well, if you sterilized your soil before adding the seeds, then ventilation shouldn't be an issue for you right now, but if things start to grow in there that aren't cacti, say algae and fungus, I'd try some ventilation, though I wouldn't worry about giving it TOO much. The ones that decide to start growing, at least in my experience, can't be stopped, and will hang on for dear life for what seems like forever.

Really, just put it in a bright, warm spot and fo'get about it!
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Postby Patriotdevil » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:33 pm

Yeah i put the whole thing in the microwave for a couple of minutes so i'll keep things as they are for now, thanks.
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opuntias

Postby promethean_spark » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:24 pm

opuntias are pretty easy to grow from seed (if they germinate at all), the seedlings are large and have a significant root system right after germination. You'll have good results starting them like you would tomatoes or peppers (with a better draining soil). They even look more like a little pepper seedling than a cactus seedling.
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Postby Peterthecactusguy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:56 pm

PS,
it's because most Opuntia are dicots and thus have two leaves when they first sprout. Notice I said MOST not all. :)
It is funny that they have leaves at first but it's the way they grow.
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
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Postby Patriotdevil » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:21 pm

Thanks for the answers, was worried about the condensation that's forming on the clingfilm/wrap
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?

Postby promethean_spark » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:30 pm

All cacti are Dicots, even if they don't appear to produce two leaves after germination (some mysteriously produce 3 or 4).

Some opuntias produce seedlings with a stem and leaves that looks like a succulent pepper seedling (IE prickly pears), others produce seedlings that look more like typical cactus seedlings.
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Postby PapaBearJay » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:18 pm

If they produce more than two cotyledon after germination, it's usually a result of tetra- or polyploidism.

Mutants.
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