Germinating is the most rewarding way to achieve and obtain new plants and endangered species. Taking cuttings or dividing a plant often gives the quickest results and is a reliable method of reproducing plants. But it is not for an impatient person. It can take up to a year for many cactus seedlings to reach the size of a pea.
Dry seeds are available commercially, but for best results use fresh seeds. Sometimes commercial seeds can be named incorrectly too, be careful. When picking fresh seeds, allow the pods to ripen then squash the wet seed from a fleshy fruit on to a paper towel and leave the seed to dry. Remove any chaff that could cause rot. Sow the seed towards the end of winter so that the seedlings are as large as possible by the following winter. Take note, some species require different planting times, for example, Conophytum seeds should be planted before winter.
There are different methods for planting seeds. Some use pot method, or glass method. Either way is good to use. The Pot method is to plant the seeds in small pots or punnets. Water the seedlings well, and then place the pots in a sealed zip-lock plastic bag. The bag will sweat, and recycle most of the water the seedlings need. This is simple and easy, as well as requiring the least amount of additional water and monitoring. The seedlings will take care of themselves, but you will need to keep an eye on them as different cactus and succulent seeds germinate at different times. If you leave them too long or take them out too early, they will die.
The glass method consists of placing glass over the pot containing your seedlings, allowing room to grow, but not allowing them to dry out at all.
While they are in their pots, keep them out of direct sunlight, as this will cook the seedlings in the bag, but keep them warm so it encourages growth. If cactus seedlings are kept too wet, water-borne diseases occasionally set in. Watch for signs of fungus or diseases and treat them as soon as possible.
Do your research on each species before planting your seeds to achieve the best results. Hope this helps in germinating your seeds!