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Home > Cacti

Lophophora Williamsii

This attractive cactus is a native of the SouthWestern United States and Mexico. It has a short blue/green body and when the seedlings reach maturity after 4 - 5 years will flower freely if kept in a sunny position.

A 7 year old Lophophora williamsii cactus
Lophophora williamsii: 7 year old flowering specimen

Raising Lophophora williamsii From Seed

The seeds should be sown 2 - 3mm deep in a 3 inch plant pot containing compost such as John Innes Seed Compost. To improve drainage it is recommended to mix the compost with some sand or potting grit. The pot should be watered and placed in a warm place such as a propagator or airing cupboard.

Once the seedlings have germinated, they should be kept in a warm sunny position and watered only when the compost has dried out. As with most cactus seeds, germination is sporadic and can take from between 2 weeks to 4 months. Not every seed may germinate. Cactus seedlings are slow growing but if sown early in the year and kept in a warm sunny position through the Summer, the seedlings should reach 1cm in diameter in their first year.

Once the seedlings have germinated and are about 2 - 3 months old, it is a good idea to cover the surface of the compost with a layer of coarse sand or grit, as this prevents sciara flies from laying eggs, which is a good thing because their larvae are fond of eating cactus roots! Sand or grit also reduces the likelihood of mould appearing on the surface of the compost, which can quicky cause small cactus seedlings to rot.

Four month old Lophophora williamsii cactus seedlings
Lophophora williamsii: four month old seedlings (they are in a standard 3 diameter plant pot)

Two year old Lophophora williamsii seedlings
Lophophora williamsii: two year old plants (each cactus is about 1 cm in diameter)

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