|How to grow Peyote from seeds|
The Peyote is a small, slow-growing cactus from the desert regions of Mexico. It is a popular choice with collectors not just because of its ornamental value but also for its psychoactive properties. While slow to grow they are relatively easy to germinate from seed, just so long as you can sufficiently replicate their native habitat.
Consider using a 50:50 ratio by volume of John Innes seed and gritsand. The peyote has evolved in alkaline soils so avoid using a peat-based or ericaceous composts, or for that matter lime-free grits or gravels.
While adult cultivated plants have a history of being susceptible to root rots if kept too wet, their seeds in the wild usually germinate during the hot September- October rainy season. So as you can imagine you will need to provide hot and humid conditions to encourage germination.
First, soak the seeds in warm water of approximately 25-30 degrees Celsius for a couple of hours. Then using a large modular seed tray (large modules not large tray) fill with the compost and tap to settle it down. Water in and allow the excess to drain away. So the seed at a rate of one seed per module. Peyote seed will need the presence of light to germinate so do not bury the seed into the compost, just press it into the surface to that it has good contact with the surface. If you like you can apply a thin layer of vermiculite onto the surface.
The propagator will need to be kept in a position where it will receive as much bright light as possible but avoid direct sunlight as this can overheat the seeds or dry out the compost. Alternatively you can consider using fluorescent tube lighting for approximately 16-18 hours a day. To prevent the compost from drying out and to help maintain a humid atmosphere water the compost regularly using a mist sprayer. You can expect the seeds to germinate within 2 to 14 days.
Once the seeds have germinated maintain the damp, humid conditions for a further 4 weeks, after which slowly reduce the humidity by less frequent watering and from progressively opening the vents. After a few more weeks you can completely remove the lid, but still keep the soil warm and moist for a further 8 weeks. Continue to keep them in indirect sunlight but once they reach about 12 months old you can pot them on into individual pots and begin to slowly harden them off to direct sunlight. Peyote seedlings should be a healthy green colour if you have been hardened off to the appropriate light levels. If the stems start to turn a red colour then this may be an indication the the seedlings are getting too much light too quickly. If so either move the seedlings to a site with lower light levels or apply shade to the windows where they are.
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