Start this beautiful flowering cactus inside your home and brighten any corner of the room.
Approx 100 seeds
Plant the seeds in high-drainage soil. Whether you bought seeds or harvested them from an existent cactus, you'll want to plant them in clean, shallow containers filled with suitable soil. Moisten the soil thoroughly before planting but do not allow any standing water to remain. Next, spread the seeds across the top of the soil (don't bury them). Finally, lightly cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil or sand. Cactus seeds only have a small amount of stored energy and if planted too deeply will not reach the surface before they run out.
It's important to use a high-drainage soil for planting your cactus,especially if you're dealing with desert varieties. Since desert cacti aren't used to receiving high amounts of water in their natural habitat, they can be susceptible to root diseases if the moisture in the soil is not allowed to drain. Try using a high-quality potting mix with a high pumice or granite content for exceptional drainage.
If the soil you use for planting hasn't been pasteurized (it should say whether or not on the packaging), you may want to consider heating it in the oven at 300o F (about 150o C) for half an hour. This kills any pests or pathogens in the soil.
Cover the container and expose it to sun. Once you've moistened the soil and planted your cactus seeds, cover the container with a transparent lid (like plastic wrap) and place it in a location where the seeds will receive a good amount of sun — a sunny window is a good location. Sunlight should not be intense and constant, but should be strong for at least a few hours each day. The transparent lid will retain moisture in the container as the cactus begins to sprout while allowing light to reach the cactus.
Be patient as you wait for your cactus to germinate. Depending on the species of cactus you are growing, germination can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.
Tropical cacti are used to the shady environment under the jungle canopy and thus generally require less sun than desert cacti. You can usually get away with growing a tropical cactus in a brightly-lit spot that receives no direct sunlight. For instance, hanging pots under a shaded awning are a great location for tropical cacti
Keep tropical cacti at a steady, warm temperature. While desert cacti in their natural environment are routinely exposed to extreme temperature swings (from extremely hot during the day to extremely cold at night), tropical cacti enjoy balmy, consistently warm weather. Thus, it's a wise idea to grow tropical cacti in locations where they won't experience intense, direct sunlight during the day or chilly cold at night. Try to keep tropical cacti at a temperature of roughly 70-75o F (21-24o C) — greenhouses are great for this.
If you don't live in the tropics, you'll probably need to grow your tropical cacti indoors, where temperature and access to sunlight is much easier to control.