Cacti are everywhere here in Tucson. Simply looking at our prickly landscape, it is easy to forget that if you go back far enough in time, every single cactus you see was once a tiny seed. Growing cacti from seed is one of the most rewarding and educational activities a cactophile can engage in. It allows commercial growers to offer the plants we love. It also permits conservationists to propagate plants for reintroduction into the wild. Unfortunately, very few enthusiasts end up giving sowing a shot. As we will see, it really is not all that difficult. However, seedlings need vastly different conditions than their adult counterparts, and there is lots of conflicting information out there. Together, we’ll attempt to make sense of it all, and hopefully some of you will go home having caught the seed-growing bug. Make sure to bring your glasses so you can enjoy the intricate diversity seedlings have to offer!
Growing up in Belgium, home of the biggest cactus and succulent conference in the world, I moved to Montana in 2008 for college. In 2016, I started my doctoral studies at the University of Arizona, working on the impact of climate change on plants, including cacti. Early this year, my wife and I acquired property here in Tucson to start a succulent conservation nursery. I currently grow the majority of critically endangered and endangered cacti, most from seed. My goal is to propagate every single species of cactus to protect against extinction and to make rarely grown taxa more widely available. Tucson is without a doubt one of the world’s centers of cactus mania, much of it revolving around the many beautiful nurseries here as well as the activities of TCSS.
Please join us for an excellent presentation by Michiel. Enjoy some great refreshments (please bring food and snacks if your last name initials are requested). Also, win a plant and get a free plant (provided by TCSS) when you retire for the evening.