• Members of the previous forum can retrieve their temporary password here, (login and check your PM).

The Ugly Truth of Culling and growing from seed

Migrated topic.


Rising Star
The ugly truth of culling, where to begin?

Many fancy growing a batch of seed and acquiring their own unique specimens. The truth is, you can indeed grow out a pure species specimen collected from the wild and come up with more than one phenotype if you simply grow out enough seed. You may even notice that some specimens within your batch of seeds grow markedly faster than others or have particularly beautiful spines.

Now, if your growing hybrid seeds, the possibilities for novel looking phenotypes increases and the more seed one grows of a particular cross the more one may be able to discern that one unique specimen that simply calls out to you.

So, how does a person cull or get rid of all those specimens that do not meet ones requirements?

For me, I look for hardiness first and foremost. I grow out as many seedlings as I can and right at the start I expose them all to full sun. I don't want any seedlings that can't survive growing in full sun.

But is that enough? Not at all. I enjoy being able to push my cacti to grow as fast as they can so I do just that from the start. I expose my cacti to high temperatures in a green house with high humidity levels. Those that succumb to any sort of rot or pathogen at any point get tossed.

I like to push the extremes of temperature from both hot to cold in that same first year of growth and thus, I expect some die off at each testing point and those that don't die... but simply don't fare well are still often removed.

If I hear that someone has beautiful cacti from start to finish... I wonder exactly how hard are they pushing their cacti? To what extremes are they pushing those cacti and how are they selecting their cacti?

If it is not completely clear by now, I cull all my weak cacti and then and only then does my real selection process begin.

To that end, I have lost a great many seedlings over the years... many of them variegates, crested specimens, etc. They simply could not withstand the environmental pressures I subjected them to in quick succession.

Does that mean everyone has to have the same goals when selecting which cacti to cull?

For me, I think if the answer was yes to that last question we would live in a sad world indeed. I love the fact that so many people are growing out so many different seedlings and each grower is deciding which ones to keep and which ones to cull for their own reasons.

For me, there is so much excitement to be seen in a hybridizer who releases a new hybrid batch fo seed. So many new untapped possibilities. But the truth of the matter is there are many seedlings that while different in appearance from either parent.... it can indeed be hard to select the one or two special seedlings to keep from any one particular cross. That is of course unless you have unlimited land and resources.


  • uglytruth55.jpg
    937.9 KB · Views: 0
Top Bottom