Sterilizing soil and starting Astrophytum asterias seeds – Microwave and plastic bag methods

I ordered some Astrophytum asterias seeds a couple of months ago and I’m finally potting them up! I wanted to go the extra mile and sterilize the soil in the microwave, and pots in bleach water, because there are some special varieties I really want to succeed.

With the humidity here in Houston, fungal gnats can be a big nuisance so this is also going to help kill off any eggs before sealing the bag. Sterilizing also helps kill any unwanted mold spores and pathogens from surviving in the soil. 

Watch as I use the microwave method to sterilize the soil by gradually bringing the temperature up to 190F/88C. It took about 4.5 minutes to get there using 30 seconds to 1 minute increments.  

I clean the pots with bleach and water, and finish by sealing the pots in the plastic bags. Now we wait! 

Started Astrophytum asterias: 

Pink Superkabuto, Superkabuto, Iwata, x asterias, x asterias 5 rib

Seeds from @crescentcitycactus on Instagram

Soil from Quality Feed and Garden in Houston

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