Growing Succulents from Seeds – A Full Guide

Growing Succulents from Seeds

Hello gardeners, we are here with a new topic today. The topic is all about growing succulents from seeds. Do you want to grow succulents from seeds? Well, follow this complete article to know about growing succulents from seeds.

Introduction to Growing Succulents from Seeds

Succulents are the type of plants that have parts that are thickened, fleshy, and engorged, usually to retain water in arid climates or different soil conditions. Succulent plants are often grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and very unusual appearance, as well as their ability to survive with relatively minimal care. Succulent plants will store water in various structures, such as leaves and stems. Now let us get into the details of growing succulents from seeds.

A Step By Step Guide for Growing Succulents from Seeds

Succulents survive in the sunshine and even in well-drained soil. Without the sun, they grow very pale, and with too much water, they will rot. Better plant in a sunny spot in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is less intense.

Guide for Growing Succulents
Guide for Growing Succulents (Image credit: pixabay)

What Are Succulents?

Succulents are kind of plants with fleshy, thickened leaves and/or swollen stems that can store water. The word “succulent” comes from the ancient Latin word succus, which means juice or sap. Succulents can thrive on limited water resources, such as dew and mist, making them tolerant of drought. There are several different species and planters of succulents spanning several plant families, and most people associate succulents with Cactaceae which belongs to the cactus family.

Things You Will Need To Growing Succulents from Seeds

  • Shallow planting trays (not more than 4 inches deep with drainage holes in the bottom of the tray)
  • Sand (try a horticultural type of sand or builder’s sand), pumice, or perlite
  • Potting soil (optional)
  • Succulent seeds
  • Clear lid or any sort of plastic wrap for trays

Indoors Best Growing Succulents from Seeds

  • Jade plant
  • Christmas kalanchoe
  • Mother-in-law tongue or snake plant
  • Crown of thorns
  • Medicine plant (Aloe Vera)
  • Christmas cactus
  • Zebra cactus
  • Panda plant
  • String of bananas
  • String of pearls
  • Hens-and-chicks
  • Pencil cactus
  • Burro’s tail
  • Pebble plant or living stone

Propagation for Growing Succulents from Seeds

Succulent seeds require a sterile, very fine particle soil mix, heat (approximately 24°C to 27°C), reduced light, and low maintenance of even moisture without being soggy to germinate. Prepare a pot with a fine particle soil mix and then water it thoroughly. Gently disperse the succulent seeds on top of the soil, by allowing spaces between the seeds so that the seedlings will have room to grow. (Succulent seedlings are tiny at first; usually measuring but 1/8″ of an in. in diameter, and, depending upon the species, remain that tiny for months). The seed is then covered very lightly with a fine particle “top dressing” (such because the same soil but sifted). The seed pan should be watered daily with a really fine mist with a sprayer, ensuring that only the highest surface is allowed to dry somewhat in 24-hour intervals. Seed should begin to germinate within a fortnight but will appear as tiny bright green dots. Because the seedlings approach 6 weeks aged, they will be gradually “weaned” from the water. At this point, the seedlings are often watered every other day except in extremely popular weather. Depending upon the variability, the seedlings are often taken out of the seed pot at 6 months to a year aged and put in small pots.

In case if you miss this: Vegetable Seed Germination Chart.

How to Grow Succulents Indoors?

Because of their special ability to retain water, succulents tend to survive in warm, dry climates and don’t mind a touch of neglect. This makes them very well adapted to indoor growing and ideal for people desiring low-maintenance houseplants. If you’re choosing succulents for the primary time, follow these steps for the successful care of your new plants.

1) Select an appropriate succulent for your indoor conditions

Most succulents like direct sunlight, but if all you’ve got maybe a shaded corner in your house, accompany low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-law’s tongue. If you propose to grow your succulent during a hanging planter, a trailing variety sort of a string of bananas may be a great choice. Always read the plant labels to work out the daylight needs, size, and spread of your succulents.

2) Provide a well-draining potting medium

Nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that’s too rich and retains an excessive amount of moisture, so you’ll want to re pot your succulent as soon as you bring it home. Start with a rough potting mix and with good drainage and even aeration. You’ll find special cactus and succulent mixes at the nursery or maybe use an African violet mix. To further improve drainage and stop compaction, add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the entire potting mix, counting on your particular succulent’s moisture needs). Always wet the combination before using it to make sure it’s evenly moist.

3) Choose your container

When re-potting, use a container that features a drainage hole and is a minimum of 1 to 2 inches larger than the nursery container. Avoid glass containers (such as mason jars or terrariums) as a long-term potting solution, as they don’t allow roots to breathe and may cause plant disease over time. Fill rock bottom one-third of the container of the plant with a pre-moistened potting mix, and then position your plant container inside and backfill with more pre-moistened potting mix.

4) Place the potted succulent during a sunny location

Most succulents prefer a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day, so attempt to place them near a south- or east-facing window. You’ll notice your succulents becoming spindly or stretching toward the sunshine if they don’t get enough sun.

5) Allow the potting mix to dry out between watering’s

The number-one mistake many of us make with succulents is overwatering them. It’s best to water more, but less frequently. Saturate the potting mix thoroughly (while ensuring water flows out of the drainage hole properly) but allow the combination to dry out slightly before subsequent watering. If the potting mix stays consistently wet a day, the plant may eventually die.

6) Fertilize your succulents a minimum of once a year

The plants benefit most from fertilizer within the spring (when the times get longer and new growth begins), and again in late summer. Use a fully balanced, all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 diluted to half the strength recommended on the package instructions. There’s no got to fertilize succulents in winter when they’re semi-dormant., they don’t need the nutrient boost because they’re not actively growing.

Planting Procedure for Growing Succulents from Seeds

Get the pots fully ready. Succulents require pots that will easily accommodate the plant comfortably. The actual pot size will depend upon the size of the plant you choose. Be sure that you are not using either too large or too small a pot.

There should be nearly 3 or more holes at the bottom of the pot to allow complete drainage and aeration. Clay pots are good and best.

Fill 1/3rd of the pot with gravel. Then cover it with a 1-2 inches thick layer of coarse sand.

Prepare your medium. If you do not want to use it, or do not have ready access to, ready-made succulent mix available within the market, prepare your own. Use one part of garden soil, one a part of coarse (river) sand, and two parts of leaf mould and blend them thoroughly. Please remember to grind the soil and therefore the leaf mould well before mixing.

Provide good sunlight. Succulents prefer bright light; hence, place the pots in a neighborhood where much sunlight, direct or indirect is out there. Ideal sun exposure is going to be from dawn to noon during the summer.

Some species just like the Epiphyllum and Rhipsalis require less exposure to direct sunlight, because it may damage the plants.

Fill the pot until the specified level with the potting mix so that the tip of the roots will touch it. Then, hold the plant carefully at the centre of the pot, allow the roots to hold inside, and place the potting mix loosely around the roots till it covers them up. Tamp the combination delicately, if necessary with a little stick, round the roots. You’ll also knock the pot softly on the bottom, to settle the potting soil.

Water your plant. The primary watering is going to be done on the 3rd day of planting. The plant would require the primary two days staying the soil dry to heal any possible damage to the basis system during re-potting or transit.

It’s best if the primary watering pot is done from the bottom; to try to do this, you would like to put the pot during a half-filled tumbler when water will climb up the soil mix through rock bottom holes by capillarity. It’ll also permeate through the minute pores of a clay pot, along its submerged part.

Subsequent watering will need to be undertaken consistent with the expansion rate and species of the individual plant. A thumb rule is that the soil mix should be allowed to dry up before subsequent watering. Succulents grow during summer and rest during winter. Usually, you need to water twice to thrice every week during the summer, once every week to once a fortnight during early and late winter, and once a month during the height of cold is suggested.

Over-watered plants are soft and discolored. The leaves could also be yellow or white and lose their color. If they’re brown and rotted, cut away dead roots and re-pot into drier potting media, or take a cutting and propagate the parent plant.

An under-watered plant will first stop growing, then begin to shed off the leaves. Alternatively, the plant may develop brown spots on the leaves.

Fertilize, during the summer season, as you’d with other houseplants. Stop fertilizing entirely during the winter. The nitrogen content of the used fertilizer should be very low.

A low nitrogen NPK, as within the ratio of 5-15-15 is often utilized in a diluted, liquid form. Counting on the season, rate of growth, and therefore the overall health of the plant, this will be mixed with the water every 2nd or 3rd watering. Always dilute quite the stated instructions advice, because the recommended dosage is just too strong for these plants.

For the organic option, liquid trash manure, obtained by mixing fresh trash with water (1 Kg in 10 Litres) and storing it every week, is often utilized in 1 in 20 dilutions once every week while watering.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Succulents from Seeds

Questions about Growing Succulents
Questions about Growing Succulents (pic source: pixabay)

Can I use sand to plant succulents?

Though it may seem like succulents survive in the sand out in the wild, they usually prefer different kinds of soils like loose soil, rocky soil and need nutrients to grow well. When used on its own, and tends to compact over time, this may cause too much water retention in a container. The best potting medium for a succulent is one that is specially formulated for cacti and succulents, or a well-draining mix of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice.

Can I start succulents from seeds?

Yes. Succulent seeds can be grown indoors by maintaining suitable conditions like light, moist soil (much like other plant seeds), but they tend to grow more slowly and generally don’t reach transplant size until six months to twelve months after germinating.

Why my succulent leaves are falling off?

Like many other plants, the lowest leaves on the stem, which means closest to the potting mix will eventually shrivel up and drop. This is something normal and nothing much to worry about. If the topmost leaves of the plant are dying, it could indicate the conditions like overwatering, pests, or even disease conditions.

How long does it take to grow succulent plants from seeds?

Even after the seeds are collected and sown, they can take three weeks or up to a year to germinate, let alone grow into full-sized succulents.

Should I soak succulent seeds?

Just before you are ready to plant the succulent seeds, you need to soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes or so. This process loosens up the seed coat and activates germination. Opuntia species have very tough seed coats and they require a few days of soaking in warm water. You should not press the seeds into the soil unless the seed is exceedingly large enough to sow.

Do I have to germinate succulent seeds?

Succulent seeds need more light to germinate. They will also need constant access to water. The best way to water the succulent seed is by flooding the container from below.

Do succulent plants multiply?

Many succulents multiply themselves through the division method, but some cacti will have very small plants appear along the ribs or leaf edges of the plant. When the plantlets are big enough to be handled easily then they can be removed.


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