Peyote Seeds Germination
Propagating Peyote from seeds is a really rewarding experience, lophophora seeds are easy to sprout but it require great patience in the long term as lophophora williamsii is a really slow growing cactus. It will take years before you get a mature peyote plant able to flower and produces seeds.
Lophophora seeds can remain viable for years if kept dormant in a cold, dry and dark place. You can get seeds from your own cactus plant or you can buy them here. Mature lophophora williamsii flowers in response to watering and sunlight, after the flower it may produces a pink fruit containing 6-10 seeds, I sometimes got up to 30 seeds per pod by cross pollinating them: Peyote flowers should be fertilized with a small paint brush that have pollen of another cactus on it. I practice out crossing to get the most fertile seeds. I transfer some pollen from the flower of one plant to the stigma of another plant.
Seeds of lophophora williamsii can germinate all year long in an appropriate environment. Even in winter when it is cold outside you can grow them indoors, the best place is in a room that is about 20-25°C or 70-75°F during the day, under a light or near a window, they will get enough light. If it is more cold at night it is better, as this is what happen in the desert. Peyote will germinate with better results with a thermal shock between night and day. Starting in winter is actually a good choice as they will be ready for the coming spring and summer.
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Soil: I got the best result by using ordinary humus or good quality peat moss in the beginning, we need ground that won’t dry too quickly. After a few month I add sand, limestone and pumice. Soil must be kept very humid (80-90%) – Remove all leaves or wood from the soil, for better results you can put the soil in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes, then put it inside a small pot and water it. It must be watered for at least 5mn, then just put the lophophora seeds on top of the ground, do not bury them and spray water to humidify a last time then put in a plastic bag or cover the pot with plastic foil but the best is our germination kit, because our special little container is really sealed so the humidity level will be at its best. After a few minutes mist should appear, if it doesnt appear humidity is not enough so just spray again. You are done when mist appears.
Humidity: I wet the soil very much and then I put a plastic over the pot or inside a sandwich plastic bag that can be sealed. Keep in mind that humidity is the most important factor at the first stage of the process. Humidity level must me 80-90% minimum so we recommend the use of our small sealable container.
Temperature: 20-25 degrees celsius, 70-75 fahrenheit, and cooler temperature at night time, the purpose is to get the same condition as they get when they are in the desert, a real thermal shock is required to get the best results.
Light: No direct sunlight, they will sprout near a window or they can sprout under an incandescent light or a grolux that you can turn on for 12h. After 1 or 2 weeks, they should all have germinated, and they now need 12-14h a day of no direct sunlight. The lophophora babies are still doing fine under a lamp or near a window if you don’t have enough sunlight in your area. Note that seeds are living organism, some may sprout in a few days, sometimes 1 or 2 but some take more time, can be a few weeks. Be patient.
When most of the peyote seeds have grown I take away the plastic (folie) after 5-6 weeks, you have to open the plastic bag step by step, a little first, then a little more… or you make holes in the plastic foil if you covered the pot with plastic foil. Then let the soil dry – water — let them dry — water and so on…
Note that you have to adapt those advices to your particular growing conditions, there is no strict rules as there is different climates, grounds and so on. React when you feel or see something uncommon is happening to your babies peyote.
lophophora seedlings :
After a few months, we can start treating the cactus like adults and give them less and less water. Make sure that the soil completely dries out before watering the cacti, to simulate dry growing conditions and allow the root to look for water.
When your little peyote is about one or two year old (or 1-3 cm in diameter) you can start thinking about repotting them. Always keep in mind that a bigger pot is not always better.
Try to get a pot that has about the 3-4 times the diameter and 4-5 times height of the cactus. Changing pots will give you the opportunity to give the cactus more nutrients in the new soil. Providing Peyote with a deep pot gives it opportunity to grow a healthy tab root.