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Thread: redness in cactus seedlings

  1. #1
    Devon's Avatar
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    Cactus seedling questions

    Hello,

    I germinated some Echinocactus grusonii seeds a few weeks ago... Yes, I now know it's a very bad time of year to germinate them, but it's too late now. :P

    So, I just started reading this cactus germination guide on the net and realized I'm doing a lot of stuff wrong...

    First of all, I used a peaty house plant soil mix and added a bunch of silica and horticultural, and perlite... Will they be alright in this mix for a while?

    And another problem is that I planted them in a small (2 inch deep) bio-degradable pot...

    Anyway, I have a few questions.

    Can I transplant them right away into a better mix and pot?

    Are they healthy?

    here are some pics... they're very red under the lights; perhaps I need a shade cloth.
    [/COLOR]

    Last edited by Devon; 09-10-2011 at 10:16 AM.

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    Zacham3's Avatar
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    Although I cant answer your questions, I can say that they will probably be fine. I currently have 2 cactus, one growing in a 1 inch enclosed container and its been in there for 5 years, looks like the medium is saw dust, and I have another one growing in another small capsule and its medium is just cheap potting soil. Its been alive for 3 years now and doing great
    I was here...

  3. #3

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    Considering that the mix you made is basically what's in the pre-made cactus mixes available at the stores, I think you should be okay.

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    Bett's Avatar
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    Those premade mixes tend to be bad for cacti, they tend to have way too much peat. I think the seedlings should be fine for a while though. The redness shouldn't be anything bad for them, they're just getting a good amount of light. When they grow a bit bigger and easier to work with, you can pot them up in a better mix. I usually keep my cacti in a mix of mineral soil, sharp sand, and throw a bit of coir in to hold some moisture. If it's an epiphytic cacti I add more coir and some bark chips. If you really want to, you could probably replant them right away, just be careful not to damage them. If you don't repot until later, make sure the seedlings don't get rot from the any excess moisture where they are right now. You could always plant half in a new mix and leave the other half where they are, just in case something happens and kills one batch, or just to see which group does better.

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    It looks like there is a decent amount of inorganic matter in that mix. It might be okay. Just keep an eye on it to make sure it isn't compacting and retaining too much water.

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    Bett's Avatar
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    Ah, you're right. I thought most of that was top dressing. If there's around 50 percent or more of perilite and sand, it should be fine.

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