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how do i harvest seeds from my cactus

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do you like thin and tall cacti? or spherical shaped cacti better?

Poll ended at Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:01 pm

spherical
9
90%
thin and tall
1
10%
 
Total votes : 10

how do i harvest seeds from my cactus

Postby cactuslover911 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:01 pm

im new to growing cacti and i want to know how to collect the seeds from mine :?: :!:
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Postby Saguaro123 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:10 pm

This is a tough deciscion for me! :shock:
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Postby *Barracuda_52* » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:23 am

I love spherical cacti, i havent collected seed from cacti yet so i cant help ya much there, but hope you get lots of um.. :D
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Postby daiv » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:26 pm

Hi, I moved this topic out of Seed Depot as that section is reserved just for the depot.

It is sort of two things in one here so I wasn't sure where else to put it.

I can't really answer the poll as I like all cacti.

For seed collecting, it varies by plant. When you get some fruits or if you have some now just say which species and someone here will be able to give advice.
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Postby hegar » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:48 am

I do not have any special technique for harvesting cactus seeds. I do leave the fruit on the plant as long as possible though. Sometimes ants will assist me by removing some of the pulp and leaving the seeds behind. Some cacti do not produce fleshy fruit. Those seeds are easy to harvest. For example, I only need to pull out the spent flower/fruit growth from the Echinocactus horizonthalonius. However, a lot of the seed will stay behind and then I use tweezers to pick it up. Seeds from Echinocereus plants do usually produce a fleshy fruit. I wait until the fruit starts to split and discolor. Then I cut the fruit into sections/slices and let it air dry. Once that has been done, it is easy to crumble the fruit pieces between your fingers. The fruit pulp will be like a flowery mass. I do not get any good seed separation that way, but I do not consider that necessary. When I tried to get seed out of a Cereus peruvianus fruit I noticed, that this method does not work well, because the pulp is kind of oily and does not get as brittle, which makes it difficult to extract seeds. For those kinds of fruit I placed the fruit into a blender with water and added soap. Then after a few short bursts I did strain the pulp and seeds through a paper towel and let it air dry. Some of the seed will be damaged in the process, but you will still be able to obtain a good quantity of useable seed this way.

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Postby Buck Hemenway » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:46 pm

Harald's blender method works well, although I don't use any soap. You will notice that most of the seed will sink to the bottom of the blender cup. Those are the viable seeds. Everyhink else that is floating can be poured off and tossed.
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