Growing Succulents from Seed: Tricky Yet Possible

Ed Wike
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How to Prepare your Succulent Seeds

Selecting Succulents for the Seeds: The easiest way to start this process is to purchase a plant that already has several capsuled seeds attached. Providing the seeds have not already begun germinating. Grind up the seed pods with a mortar and pestle, or freeze in a sealed plastic bag.

Expected Germination Time: It generally takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks for a seed to germinate, depending on the environmental conditions and its characteristics. The average is around 3 weeks. Soak the seed about halfway with a fine mist of water and place in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel. Place bag in a warm, sunny spot that will receive a few hours of sunlight a day.

Succulent care while the Seeds Germinate: Check the soil daily to insure the seeds have not dried out and the soil is not soggy, but able to retain moisture. Each week rotate the bag and look for signs of life. If the soil begins to dry out, add a fine mist over the surface of the soil to keep it moist.

Generally, your new babies will not need fertilizer during the germination time. However, if after several weeks, you have not seen any signs of life, it is safe to add a light fertilizer. Water with a fine mist before adding the fertilizer to avoid burning the young plant.

Necessary Materials

If you want to grow succulents, you’ll need to start with seeds. Some succulents have very few seeds, so you may need to do some searching. You should still check to make sure that your source is reputable, as many seeds may be mislabeled.

Once you have the seeds, you’ll need to germinate them. You have two options for this, which are germination or direct seeding. Germinating seeds gives you more control over the conditions. The downside is that many people aren’t willing to wait for months. Direct seeding allows you to plant the whole flower pot with the seeds. This is great for people that understand that growing succulents from seed takes patience and have the ability to check on the growing process daily.

The next step for growing succulents from seed involves choosing a container. You’re going to use this container to support the seedling root system as it develops. Many companies make containers specifically for seedlings, and they are sized and shaped for optimal growth. You can also buy several smaller pots to fit your growing container needs.

Remember that you can grow your own succulent containers if you like.

How to Grow Succulents from Seeds

It is not very easy to grow succulents from seeds. Many gardeners who start a project using this method give up because they have difficulties.

The main problem is that succulents do not come true from seed. So you may end up with a plant that looks different from the parent plant. This can be a good thing: it means that you will have a variety of plants with unique appearances … or it can be a bad thing: it could mean that you might have a totally different plant.

But onward and upward!

If you have the time and patience to use a few tricks, you can learn how to grow succulents from seeds. Use a combination of different methods from the ones below and you are bound to end up with a big collection of succulents to keep or give away.

Plant six to twelve seeds at one time. Water them daily. You will find that, as seeds, they need more watering than mature plants. Most seeds require light for germination, so place them in a clear container with lid or put them in a lighted room. Maintain as much heat as possible. Provide a few inches of light organic soil for the baby plants. Put a few holes in the bottom of the container. Make sure that they are small enough to prevent the baby plants from falling through. Place the container in sunlight.