opuntia cultivation

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opuntia cultivation

Postby strongoak52 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:05 pm

how do you start opuntia sp.? i'v tried years ago but none came up. do you scarify or soak the seeds? what am i doing wrong
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Postby dustin0352 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:17 pm

starting from seed is somewhat difficult. Its a whole lot easier to take a cutting off of one and start it that way. But if you must start from seed search the Grown From Seed forum for some helpful tips.

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Postby Saguaro123 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:09 pm

I agree with Dustin. Opuntia Species are propagated by cuttings. The pads are really easy to root so seeds may not be a good choice.

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Postby Tony » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:10 pm

Hello strongoak52, and welcome to the forums.
Acording to Bill (ihc6480) you throw them in your wife's flower bed and wait a year or so, then wait for the screaming. :lol:
I have not tried opuntias from seed yet, mostly because they are so easy to start from cuttings, but they certinly can be grown from seed. I've been told to Try soaking, soaking then drying, scarifying, stratifying, and to Just keep trying.

Someone will be by eventualy that can actually help. :)
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Postby ihc6480 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:48 am

Tony wrote:Acording to Bill (ihc6480) you throw them in your wife's flower bed and wait a year or so, then wait for the screaming. :lol:

Yup, it works and she does scream :lol: I won't devulge what happened after the screaming stopped :shock: :lol:

I have found it easiest to sow the seeds in pots in the fall. Then leave them outside during the winter (if you have cold winters) but somewhere out of the elements (rain & snow). Once spring rolls around they will usually start sprouting.
Cold strafification the mother nature way :wink:

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Postby iann » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:56 am

Opuntia seeds don't need cold stratification, but certainly putting them somewhere out of the way where they will experience a wide variation of conditions is a good recipe for germination. If nothing else, just ignoring them for 6 months and then finding some sprouts is more satisfying than watching them every day and seeing nothing :)

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Postby mendel » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:03 pm

I have heard from a few nurserymen that 5 year old Opuntia seeds germinate more quickly and at a higher rate than 1 year old seeds. Gibberilic acid seems to do the trick as well.

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Postby globetrottersara » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:48 pm

I'm experiencing what iann said. I sown my seeds and forgot about them.
They started sprouting after 3 weeks. Most of the seeds germinated within 4-5 weeks. They were in the same propagator with the other seeds, but Opuntias do take longer.

PS: no stratification, scarification, soaking etc...
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Postby Lewis_cacti » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:31 pm

Throw the seeds on the ground and come back in five years time :)

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Postby iann » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:50 am

Or wait five years and then throw the seeds on the ground ;)

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Postby Sarah727 » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:00 pm

I soaked mine in water for 24 hours (sitting in a teacup on the radiator) and then scarified using a pin. Some were too hard so I had to nick the seedcoat after soaking. The first seedling came up after 8 days (in case you are wondering, I had seeds of opuntia ficus-indica).

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