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germinating cacti in a dub tub

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#1 newmoon



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Posted 19 October 2019 - 05:43 PM

I wasn't sure if this was a good idea but so far it's working out much better for me than the takeaway tek, which I normally use.


Baby lophophoras in a dub tub:

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It's hard to see in the pictures, since they're wee little ones just a few days old, but the germination rate is good.


Soil mix is equal parts pumice and vermiculite with something like half a part of worm castings. Moisten, put seeds on top, seal it up. There are 6 small holes in the top tub with medical tape over them to keep flies away.

#2 Skywatcher


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Posted 19 October 2019 - 06:25 PM

Vermiculite is bad news for cactus. You will get germination and a start, but the inability of the vermiculite to dry out and its ability to hold moisture will eventually start rotting the baby roots off.

You have a little time. The dub tub is not a problem and would probably hold your humidity well. You could wait until you see the baby lophs blackening, but I think I would personally try to move them to a better draining soil medium before they get much root growth to minimize the stress.

I have not had to deal with this myself, so you might try to move some, and leave some to get bigger before relocating them to see how they do. I will guarantee however the vermiculite will cause you grief at some point.

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#3 newmoon



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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:17 PM

Thanks for the advice! I've had success in the past keeping them in moist "soil" until big enough to lower humidity and then transplant out - certainly wouldn't use that as the soil mix forever. For bigger cacti, I've been using a mix of pumice, sand, coir and worm castings that seems to work pretty well (more or less of each part depending on the species).


I'm definitely going to keep an eye on them and see if they start looking unhappy. I'll post pictures as they keep growing...

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#4 newmoon



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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:56 PM

Looking good so far, starting to see some small spines.



Here is another tub I started a bit earlier with the same soil mix. These have their first set of spines, am thinking about starting to harden them off to lower humidity. There are some ferns starting to grow, too! Must have been spores in the worm poop...



Here are some of last year's seedlings which I recently transplanted. This tray is a mix of lophophora, astrophytum, ariocarpus, and others.


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#5 newmoon



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Posted 20 April 2021 - 03:14 PM

Just wanted to give an update - I did this method for two tubs, and the seedlings are looking good! They're big enough now that I'll transplant them into trays in the next week or two using pumice + worm poop as the soil. I'm growing these slow, didn't water very much at all.


lw.jpg lw2.jpg lw3.jpg lw4.jpg

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