Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Some succulents are fairly easy to grow from seed. Here are some that are recommended for beginners.
Livingstone daisy (Dorotheanthus crinoflorum)
Also known as mesembryanthemum, this annual is easy to grow from seed. Thompson and Morgan sells seeds of Apricot Tutu. This variety is about four to six inches tall. Stokes also sells a Livingstone daisy seed mix. There is also a Harlequin seed mix as well.
The seeds will germinate in about two to four weeks. Rather than covering the seeds, just press them onto the top of the potting soil. They germinate best at a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The average germination rate is about 86%.
Seeds are available from Stokes as a mix. There is also a Harlequin mix.
Moss rose and purslane (Portulaca spp.)
This is one of the easiest succulents to grow from seeds. Don’t cover them. These will generally germinate in about five to ten days. However, they can sometimes take a little longer. Keep the pots or seed trays between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The seeds of many varieties are widely available from garden centers and catalogs.
Spurge (Euphorbia spp.)
The hardy spurges are generally suitable for zones four through eight, depending on the species. The seeds of the hardy spurges can be sown in spring. They can also be planted in containers in a cold frame as soon as the seeds are harvested.
The seeds can take anywhere from a week to four weeks or more to germinate. In some cases they’ve taken up to a year. It sometimes helped if they’re chilled before planting. Freeze them for about a week often helps. Then sow them, covering very lightly.
The seeds of hardy species prefer a temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the tender spurges need it to be warmer—between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results, move the seed tray to a cooler spot once the seedlings emerge.
There are lots of tender euphorbia species as well as hardy ones grown as perennials. Seeds of various species and varieties are available from many sources. Euphorbia longifolia Amjilasso is one of the most spectacular spurges Seeds of this particular variety are available from Thompson and Morgan. This plant was discovered by the folks at Kew Gardens. Part of the proceeds from seed sales will go back to the country in which it was originally found.