I decided instead of breaking it up into two postings, I would wait until my succulents sprouted before I bothered updating again. The seeds did come, and I tried my hand for the first time at starting succulents from seed. Here is a pictorial description of the steps taken!
First off: the seeds arrived the 4th of January. These things were TINY. I expected as much, but boy were they hard to get out of those packages!
So I prepared a mix of cactus soil and crushed coral (I didn't have any sand on-hand) and sanitized them in the microwave. I also laid down a line of
Here are the seeds compared to the fine-grain coral. This was the small amount going into the ziplock baggy method.
I broke the seeds up into quadrants, each variety getting its own cube. I placed a marker so I could figure out who did best! I then place it outside, and heated from below using a reptile heating cord (a trick I picked up starting seeds in California)
Now unfortunately, a crack developed in the water tray (probably from the heating element), so the water drained a couple times before I figured out what was happening. So, I switched to some tupperware and as you can see: despite freezing temperatures the seeds stayed quite warm
Fast forward two months....
First, the Cheiridopsis on the seed flat:
Meanwhile, in the ziplock baggy....
BAM! These things got huge! They also were sat on by the cat, since they lived in a sunny window. I also had some drying out issues, since they were easy to forget about. I misted them about once a week, and kept them sealed 24/7. They might have done better if I were more adamant about re-misting them, and keeping fat cats off of them (note the broken one)
Next, the Echeveria seed flat:
Nothing too spectacular. They were a little light in color, probably got too much sun before I took their cover off. But, what i'm lacking in size i'm getting in quantity! These two squares were the most prolific, but there were a lot more I couldn't see as well.
For the ziplock bag...
Just as many numbers wise, and a bit brighter in color.
Next up: Gibbaeum
These are sooooo pretty. I really do love the purple! I got a fair amount, to boot.
About a whole 4 squares worth.
The Ziplock bag, however:
A measly 2 buds. Sadness.
It's hard to tell from my blurry picture, but these have some super cool red speckles! Got a nice amount on the seed flat. But for the the Zip-lock bag, I got a big fat zero. Nothing to show for. Either the bag was bad (it did dry out more often than the others) or just a fluke on placement in the window/cat sat on them too much.
So what will I do differently next time??
I'm considering starting another batch in the late summer, so I don't have to deal with heating from the bottom as much (maybe just at night?) or I'll just stick with the plastic bag approach, and be better about checking for drying out. Either way I've officially hardened them off, so they will now live un-covered but still being soaked from the bottom. That way I don't have to worry about misting them, and they won't dry out.
Wish me luck as this little experiment continues!