Can a San Pedro Cactus Be Grown From Seed?
The San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi) adds long-lasting beauty to landscaping within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10a and above with its ribbed, columnar branches and white, trumpet-shaped flowers. Although best propagated from cuttings, San Pedro cacti will also grow from fresh seed. However, the seeds must be sown under the right conditions to ensure successful germination and minimize the chances of infection.
San Pedro cacti bloom in midsummer, but their fruit doesn’t fully ripen until early autumn. The seeds should be gathered once the fruit ripens to a pinkish color and produces an abundance of brownish, hairlike structures on the outside. Remove the spongy matter from inside the fruit, then pick out the tiny black seeds. The seeds germinate best when fresh, so sow them in autumn immediately after gathering them.
The right equipment and thorough preparation will substantially increase the likelihood of successfully germinating San Pedro cactus seeds because it will limit the chances of disease and infection. Shallow, 3-inch pots with drainage holes and sterile, fast-draining medium such as sand or perlite provide the right conditions for healthy root production, but the pots must be thoroughly washed and the medium must be rinsed before use. Fill the clean pots with the moistened medium, leaving the top 1/2 inch of each pot empty.
San Pedro cactus seeds germinate somewhat erratically, so it is best to sow several in each pot. The seeds should be placed on the surface of the medium roughly 1/2 inch apart, then gently pressed onto the surface so they are firmly anchored. Light exposure is important for germination, so cover the seeds with a single layer of perlite, which will allow light to penetrate while still holding moisture around the seeds. Mist the perlite with cool water and gently tamp it to settle it atop the seeds.
Constant warmth and humidity play a key role in San Pedro cactus seed germination. The pots should be warmed to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70 F at night using a bottom-heating propagation mat, and they should be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap to hold in the humidity and warmth. Six to eight hours of daily sunlight is also required, so position the pots near a south-facing window. Check the moisture level in the growing medium every day and water if it feels nearly dry. Overhead watering encourages harmful bacterial growth, so watering from the base is best. Place the pots in a tray, then pour water into the tray until the pots are halfway submerged. Let the water soak in for 20 minutes, then remove the pots.
Aftercare and Planting
Healthy San Pedro cactus seeds will germinate in roughly one month, at which point the seedlings should be thinned to one per pot and moved to a sheltered location outdoors. The propagation dome or plastic wrap should be lifted gradually over the course of one week, then completely removed once the seedlings are acclimated to normal humidity levels. Once hardened off, the San Pedro cactus seedlings can be transplanted into larger containers filled with standard cactus potting mix and grown under light shade for their first summer before being planted into the garden in autumn.
Can a San Pedro Cactus Be Grown From Seed?. The San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi) adds long-lasting beauty to landscaping within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10a and above with its ribbed, columnar branches and white, trumpet-shaped flowers. Although best propagated from cuttings, San …
Growing san pedro cactus from seed
First learn the basics of plant care by raising ordinary house plants or vegetables and herbs instead of experimenting on a rare and expensive sacred cactus. There is no point in trying to grow cactus from seed if you haven’t been able to create a healthy environment to raise adult specimens. In fact, only after you have a collection of healthy sacred cactus should you look to having children.
Growing from seed is fraught with problems:
1) No one certifies seed so you may have wait years to see what your plant becomes.
2) The seed may be genetically inbred, or have very poor germination.
3) You might spend months raising seed only to have it die from drying out, or turn to goo from a fungus infection.
Seed from Peru, purchased in 2007, resulted in zero germination!
Now a new source, direct from Peru, is the best germinating of all. Only problem is that it will take several years before the mature plants shows what it truly is.
San Pedro cactus, Trichocereus Pachanoi, Peruvian Torch, Sacred Cactus