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Astrophytum seed germination

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Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Glochid Fingers » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:27 am

The Astrophytum Asterias (v. super kabuto) variety was too beautiful for me to resist, so i bought some seeds. They should be here in a few days. Can somebody give me some advice on germinating these guys? Im very excited to begin growing them. :D But i have no idea where to begin.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Mitchell101 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:00 am

I just sowed a whole load of seed five days ago. A few different genera but I sowed some Astrophytum hybrids, A. capricorne and A. myriostigma tricostata.

Out of all the seeds these are what came up first and with a high germination rate.
That's all I can say. I provided a heater mat but I don't have a thermometer so can't say the temp.
Sowed it in half a 2L juice container and but a bag over it to keep the humidity up.
Also sterilized the soil with fongarid.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby iann » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:09 am

Easy. Warm, moist, and humid. A. asterias are generally very fast for me, sometimes just a couple of days.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Daniel » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:27 pm

WHY? is it just me who failed, I put mine in a heated humid propagator with steralised soil and and and most rotted from the off. I have tried to save 1 but i think its doomed!!!

:oops: :cry: :cry:
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Sharpy » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:57 pm

iann wrote:Easy. Warm, moist, and humid. A. asterias are generally very fast for me, sometimes just a couple of days.


Same, mine started to pop in about 2 days and most were open by the end of 4 days. Capricorne seems to be a little more touchy on how bright the light can be. All the others had no reaction to the light level (just my observation). If the seed is good you should have no problems. If you can get a stable temperature from the lights alone, you won't need a heat mat until winter sets in. My temps are 85F day to ~74F at night.

Daniel wrote:WHY? is it just me who failed, I put mine in a heated humid propagator with steralised soil and and and most rotted from the off. I have tried to save 1 but i think its doomed!!!

:oops: :cry: :cry:


Sounds like overly wet soil to me. Or they were left enclosed to long. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Saxicola » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:31 pm

Daniel wrote:WHY? is it just me who failed, I put mine in a heated humid propagator with steralised soil and and and most rotted from the off. I have tried to save 1 but i think its doomed!!!

:oops: :cry: :cry:


Did you see any fungus, or did they just turn to mush seemingly on their own? Did direct sun hit the box at any point? I mistakenly put a pot in a baggie with Copiapoa hypogaea seedlings in a spot that got about 1hr. of sun. It was there for a day or two before I noticed and it cooked nearly every seedling. The only three that survived were right along the edge of the pot that got a tiny amount of shade. Lost a good 20 seedlings there! Thankfully it was my own seed, not some that I paid money for.

Very humid is fine, but if it was in standing water or too heavy of soil it could have been too wet.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Collection » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:50 am

Astrophytum is the genus of cactii which seeds have very high germination rate, and seedlings are very easy to grow.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Hanazono » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:15 am

I sowed seeds of super-kabuto every year last 10 years.
I think you can get a very good germination ratio when the temperature of pottingmix top was around 30 C'.
When I use a heaing plate propagator, I set heating volum as 33 C' to get 30 C' of pottingmix top.
The germination will start around 2 days and complete within 10 days.
Vary fresh seeds, just after collecting from plants will give a vest germination ratio.
More than 1 year old seeds will give a poor germinaion ratio.

Seedlings propagated from super-kabuto seeds will not be all good super-kabuto.
I select good ones when seedlings are 1 year old.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Glochid Fingers » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:37 pm

Wow everybody. Thanks! I think my germination attempt will go well with all of your tips. I was planning on a soil mix of equal parts sand, gravel and sifted compost. I will sterilize it in the microwave and let it cool, then sow half of the seed and sprinkle it lightly with sand. Then i will put it in ziploc bag with about a centimeter of water under a flourescent light with a 16 hour cycle. Any objections?
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Daniel » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:13 pm

sorry for the late reply ive been away for a while.

basically what happened is nothing. then one day I look to see if anything has happened and they are covered in fungus!!!
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Saxicola » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:32 pm

Ok, then everything wasn't sterile. If you think you did a good job on the pot and growing media then it could have come in on the seeds. I had this problem recently when I sowed some cactus seeds from my yard. I'm planning on treating the seeds with a fungicide or a weak bleach solution from now on. Obviously you don't want to do anything that will be so harsh it damages the seeds.
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Daniel » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:47 pm

thanks I have a few left so I will make sure everything is fine and sterile before I rush off and kill yet more astros! #-o
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Glochid Fingers » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:09 am

Saxicola wrote:Ok, then everything wasn't sterile. If you think you did a good job on the pot and growing media then it could have come in on the seeds. I had this problem recently when I sowed some cactus seeds from my yard. I'm planning on treating the seeds with a fungicide or a weak bleach solution from now on. Obviously you don't want to do anything that will be so harsh it damages the seeds.


Would a 10% bleach solution be sufficient? And how long would you soak them? 5 mins???
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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby midlife crisis » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:29 am

I have always just microwaved my seed mix before sowing and the only problem I ever had was a bit of green a few months down the track. The last lot that I put down I had two tray grow fungi on the germinating seeds within days of sowing them I took a deep breath and mixed up a low dose of Mancozeb fungicide and sprayed the trays .
I lost a few seedlings but I think I would have lost them any way as the had small mushrooms growing on them :shock: . The rest of the seedlings survived some were a bit stunted but other wise they were fine.
I will now prep my mix as I have always have and microwave as before but now I will sow the seeds and then give them a light spray with Mancozeb before putting the lids on or placing in bags.
After seeing the speed that the fungi took over the contaminated trays I will no longer take the risk of sowing contaminated seeds without some sort protection from fungi.

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Re: Astrophytum seed germination

Postby Hanazono » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:07 am

I wash Astrophytum seeds after collection with running water.
I also wash seeds with running water by myself when I bought seeds from someone.

I do not sterilize pottingmix but I use a fungicide.
- Spraying fungicide over pottingmix top before sowing seeds
- Spraying fungicide again over pottingmix top after sown seeds
- Do not use fungicide after starting germination

I have never experience fungi problem since I started to use this process.
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