HOW TO COLLECT CACTUS SEEDS
Collecting cactus seeds is not particularly difficult, but you must follow some small tricks to prevent damaging or even losing during collection.
All cacti bloom and, if fertilized, emit a fruit just like for all (or almost) plant in nature. The seeds are inside the fruit and should be collected with a minimum of care. In the tutorial propagation by seed we described the types of fruits according to their behavior once they reach full maturity; we now see the steps to follow for a proper collection.
First, the fruit must be fully ripe. If the fruit is already partially dry, perhaps the seeds are already visible on the inside (eg. Epithelantha, some Mammillaria) and in this case it is sufficient to pick it up, rub the fruit between your fingers on a horizontal plane and easy collect the seeds. When the fruit is not ripe, it will tend to remain attached to the plant resisting the outward traction: in these cases it is best not to force it, but wait for its complete maturation.
The seeds of some plants are contained within special capsules that open when the fruit is still on the plant and the seeds fall down on the mother plant’s body (eg Strombocactus, Notocactus). Thus it’s very difficult to penetrate with your hands or tweezers among the thorns to go to pick them up; you can use the so-called "seeds-aspirator". It is a very simple tool that allows to aspirate the seeds inside a small container so as to avoid their dispersion.
We suggest to watch this short video that illustrates the stages just described.
Stay tuned! Soon we will focus on how to prepare seeds for sowing or for storage.
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