Last Updated on February 25, 2022 by Griselda M.
If you own a blooming cactus, you’ve probably thought about how to get seeds from succulents, and will they even grow into a plant? Succulents are some of the most popular plants. Most of them are low maintenance and perfect for people with a busy lifestyle. Although succulents are not very expensive, some exotic kinds can burn a hole in your pocket.
But what if we can grow them at home? Let’s find out how to extract succulent seeds and what you can do with them.
Expanding Your Succulent Garden
Did you know there are over 10,000 different types of succulents? They all come from 60 families, but there are around 30 popular types we grow at home nowadays.
When you want to grow more of the same plant, you try propagating. Of course, succulents too can be propagated in water, but not all kinds. Some don’t offset and are better grown from seeds. After all, succulents aren’t really water lovers. So if you’re looking to expand your succulent garden, you can try propagating or growing new plants from seeds.
Growing the plant from seeds is fun, exciting and leaves you with plenty of examples to gift to friends and family. But where do you start? First, make sure you have a blooming succulent. Some succulents take years before they bloom, some bloom once in a lifetime while others do several times a year.
Succulent Seed Pods – How Do They Form?
Succulent seeds are located inside the flower. But not all succulents that bloom produce seeds. Some require cross-pollination to form seed pods. If you keep your plants outside, insects will take care of that. But if you’re keeping your succulent garden inside, you must take the matter into your own hands.
As soon as the blooms appear, take a paintbrush and try to cross-fertilize the two examples of the same plant. If you were successful, seed pods would appear as soon as the flower petals fall off. As pods ripen, it’s best to cut them. Place the pods in a paper bag or a small box. The seeds are so small that you’ll easily confuse them with dust.
How To Get Seeds From Succulents
Getting seeds from your succulents depends on their maturity and ability to produce seeds. After you’ve picked the succulent you’d like to reproduce, research a bit. A quick search will tell you if this kind produces seeds and when.
If the succulent requires cross-pollination, you need to obtain two plants of the same kind. Once you get the hang, you might try to cross two different types. It’s best if they’re both the same age. Note that some succulents reproduce on their own, usually through offshoots.
Even though there are thousands of succulent types, their flower shape and reproduction are the same.
So how to successfully pollinate your succulents?
- First, monitor the flower of the donor plant once it blooms. Then, pick it once the anther is full of pollen. Do this by removing the petals and pulling the stamen together with the anther.
- Next, locate the receiving flower’s stigma. That’s the stalk right in the center of the flower. If you can reach it, you might need to remove a few petals.
- Once the stigma is sticky, it’s time to brush the pollen over it. The stigma leads to the flower’s ovaries, so your help with the reproduction process ends here.
- Don’t forget to mark the flower you pollinated. When the process is successful, the flower’s bottom swells up. This happens in a matter of a few weeks to a few months, depending on the succulent.
How To Harvest Succulent Seeds
You must harvest the seeds when they’re dehydrated and ripe. At this point, their viability is the highest. Depending on the succulent type, the seed pods might break, and seeds will fall out. You can’t guess the time and day when the pods might break. So to ensure you’re not left chasing tiny seeds, place a plate under the plant.
For microscopic seeds that resemble dust, place a paper bag over the flower. Cut it and then flip the bag. With this method, you’ll have a minimal waste of seeds.
Processing The Seeds
Some seeds don’t fall out of the pod on their own. So you might need to switch the approach. After harvesting, try to open the pods and remove the seeds by hand. Always pick a sheltered spot or do this at home – a little wind can ruin months of effort.
Some succulents produce hard shell seed capsules that you need a tool to open. Put the seed in a plastic bag and use a small hammer to break it. When working with microscopic seeds, use a strainer to sift and separate the residue.
Storing Succulents Seeds
After harvesting is essential to keep the seeds in optimal conditions. Avoid hot and humid places, plastic and glass storage containers. Paper bags are the best option. Even if you’ve harvested the pods too soon, and they still have some moisture, the bag will absorb it instead of trapping it. When stored properly, succulent seeds are viable for years. Don’t forget to label the kind and year of harvest.
How To Plant The New Seeds?
Get well-draining sand-based soil that resembles the natural habitat of the succulents. Place the soil in a shallow planting tray and water it thoroughly. Let the excess water drain and then disperse the seeds. If you’re growing larger succulents, space them out. And you’re done! Succulents require hot and humid conditions to grow. So optionally, you can get a small plant dome or even a repurposed plastic bag to cover the succulents and speed up their growth.
Final Say: How To Get Seeds From Succulents
A large number of succulents reproduce by blooming and producing seeds. To get seeds, make sure the succulent is a blooming one. Then pollinate it or place it outside and wait for insects to do their job. Wait until the flower is swollen, dry and ripe. Harvest the seeds by carefully picking the capsules. Keep them in a paper bag for years to come, or plant them right away!
Did you know you can grow succulents from seeds? Share the knowledge with someone and dive into the experiment together!
Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.