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From:Date:Zone:
dorothy20-Oct-01 03:03 PM EST 3   
Susan21-Oct-01 01:45 PM EST 6a   
Susan23-Oct-01 09:01 AM EST 6a   
dorothy24-Oct-01 01:48 AM EST 3   
Brian @ P&P Plants24-Oct-01 07:38 PM EST 3   


Subject: Christmas cactus from seed
From: dorothy
Zone: 3
Date: 20-Oct-01 03:03 PM EST

Has anyone out there ever grown Christmas cactus from seed. We have several different ones and they were all blooming at the same time, so hubby cross-pollenated them on a whim, and lo and behold the polination took and we have seed pods. I have heard that it takes several years for the seed pods to mature. These have gone from green to the prettiest greeny tinged rose And I am wondering what color is ripe and what to do next?


Subject: RE: Christmas cactus from seed
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 21-Oct-01 01:45 PM EST

I searched for information on the topic but only found one reference to it - something dated Feb. 9/96; but the article is no longer posted on the Web, so hopefully someone else may know the answer...


Subject: RE: Christmas cactus from seed
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 23-Oct-01 09:01 AM EST

I was intrigued by the idea of seeds on the Christmas Cactus, so I contacted the Clemson University Extension Service and they provided the little article on what to do. Here is the text from it...:

Buds & Blooms Column: Starting Christmas Cactus Seeds

Q. My Christmas cactus has produced a pink-colored seed pod that is slightly larger than a pea. Can you tell me how to start the seeds? How long will it take for them to flower?

A. When the fruit turns pink or purplish red, it's ready for harvesting. Extract the tiny seeds from the fruit, place them in a sieve under running water, and wash the seeds clean of pulp. The chocolate brown or black seeds may range in number from about a dozen to over 100 per fruit. Sow the fresh seeds immediately in a flat containing equal parts of moistened, finely milled spagnum peat moss and vermiculite. Press the seeds lightly into the medium, but do not cover the seed; however, cover the flat with clear plastic wrap or enclose it in a plastic bag to maintain high humidity levels. Move the flat to a location receiving bright, indirect light. Do not allow the seeds to dry out. If the surface of the medium appears dry, place the flat in a shallow container of water and allow the medium to absorb the water through the drainage holes. When the surface is moist, lift the flat out of the water. Seedlings should appear in two to three weeks. Uncover the flat when they do. Move the flat into bright, indirect sunlight. A location within three feet of a large south-, east-, or west-facing window would be ideal. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Repot each cactus into a clean pot with well-drained media, such as two parts of a standard potting mix and one part each of peat moss and perlite or coarse, sharp sand. As with all Christmas cacti, do not overwater. Mist the plant often during its active growth period and water it regularly to keep the mix moist, but not soggy. In the fall when shoot growth slows down, allow the soil surface to dry between waterings to reduce the chances for root rot to occur. When your cactus stops flowering, allow the top half-inch of soil to dry out before watering. Resume regular watering and fertilizing when new stem growth begins in the spring. Under the best conditions, plants bloom in about 18 months.


Subject: RE: Christmas cactus from seed
From: dorothy
Zone: 3
Date: 24-Oct-01 01:48 AM EST

Susan, thank you so much for your research..we have 15 fruit on the three different cacti, so we could have 1500 cacti,so it should get interesting here. As we are really anxious to see just what colors and shapes we will get from the crosses.


Subject: RE: Christmas cactus from seed
From: Brian @ P&P Plants
Zone: 3
Date: 24-Oct-01 07:38 PM EST

In addition to Susan's instructions, Maintain a temperature within the growing medium of 75 to 80 F.

Keep us posted as to your success.


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