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Discussions on how to propagate your plants sexually and asexually, by seed, natural division or leaf pulling

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By Apollyon
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Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#368774
After my recent experiments with Byblis (I now am the owner of 5 species :D), I decided to see what effects gibberrellic acid would have on Sundew seeds, specifically tuberous seeds. I was inspired to attempt this by the time of the year. At this point in the natural cycle, tuberous sundews and their seeds are in full swing or moving towards it. When planting these seeds, most require you to keep them in specific conditions for a time to simulate a natural cycle that triggers germination. This can be anything from water levels to brush fires and temperature. There are a host of variables at play. In nature, the plant will germinate at a certain time of the year, use their growing season (winter) to take in as many nutrients as they can and then die back down below the surface to create tubers to preserve themselves through the hot, dry summers.

Sorry for the long winded description but it was necessary to explain why I'm doing this experiment. By this point, if I was to germinate "naturally," I would have had these planted by the first week of September to give the plants enough time to germinate and grow before dying back. It's important they get enough nutrients in their cycle. Since I am two months behind, I considered gibberrellic acid. Using it at a dose of 250ppm, it's my hope that they'll germinate in the next few days, effectively shaving off a month or more of pre-treatment in order to catch the seeds up to their "natural" cycle. After that, it'll require frequent feedings but I wanted to see if I can grow these plants late through their season and still have them form tubers at the end. I used Drosera Hookeri, an easy to grow tuberous sundew that does not have the extensive requirements that others have. However, GA3 could also be used to skip heat stratification and effectively be used for seeds that do require smoke treatment (such as other tuberous species and Byblis).

It was a chore trying to work with the tiny seeds, I landed on soaking the seeds in a 250ppm mixture (rather than 500 for byblis) for approximately 24 hours. Using a coffee filter, I soaked the seeds and inverted the filter over the pot and washed them out from above. There was probably a more creative and less messy way to handle that but it was the best idea I had at the time lol. I planted these seeds tonight. If there are any significant things to repot, I'll update this thread.

Current Conditions:

Soil: 2:1 Sand/Peat Mixture with a little perlite in a 3.5x3.5x5 inch pot
Light: Yescom 225 white panels with a timer currently set to 12 hours
Temperature: Current temperatures are about 75 degrees day/69 night

I also used the 250ppm mixture to soak some Drosera Burmannii "Perlata" (HK x Red) seeds that I received from the seed bank. Burmannii are finicky seeds in my experience. If I plant 50, I get 4. If I leave the plants alone, they'll propagate on their own at random. It took months to see any response from the seeds at all so I wanted to see if this would get them in the game faster. We'll see how it turns out.

11/12/20 - Sowed seeds after soaking in a 250ppm GA3 mixture (is not necessary with this species if planted by September)
Last edited by Apollyon on Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By murrkywaters
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Joined:  Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:39 pm
#368792
Just FYI on the burmannii. Make sure to rinse excess ga3 off of the seeds before you plant. My ga3 after germination group grew elongated stems rather than leaves. The ga3 did seem to have ok results with germination, but all my seeds sprouted so I'm not sure what conditions are giving you issues. I did get mine fresh, so it could be an age thing. Let me know how it works for you.

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By nimbulan
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Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#368794
Another thing I'd recommend trying with burmannii: keep the pot in warmer conditions. D. burmannii grows in essentially lowland tropical areas and some forms (particularly the giant red form from Hann River) are very reluctant to germinate at lower temperatures.

Personally I've never had any luck with GA3 with tuberous sundews, but good luck with your experiment. For what it's worth, I wouldn't worry too much about sowing seeds late. I've sown seeds in January before, and while it's not ideal I've gotten germination and had the plants survive dormancy despite the short timeframe.
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By Apollyon
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#368801
Interesting, that's why I only did about a third of the burmannii seeds; In case it damaged the seed coat or did something weird. Unfortunately, I'm committed. Hopefully I washed enough of it off to where they won't be affected. The process flooded the pot a couple of times.

@nimbulan, That makes sense. The spot where the Burmannii germinated is about 80 degrees on average but was limited with the results. I have another spot that gets about 90, I'll put the pot with my petios for a bit. I thought it was something like temperature but then a couple of them did. Couple of species have given me trouble like that. Admirabilis SP Floating and Venusta have yet to germinate as well. I tried moving a venusta pot to see if heat would make a difference but it did not.

I've never tried it either. Honestly, the 250ppm was inspired by someone else's attempt with Drosera species. I'll know if it worked within the next week or two. It is kind of a relief to hear about the timeframe though. I feed my plants heavily so I believed if they did germinate, I could bring them to dormancy effectively. You hear people say they grow species late and they die off. Could be species or lack of knowledge. There's a lot of information that's mixed up online. That's another reason I wanted to make this thread. If successful, I wanted to document my experience with it so if people wanted to try the easier species, they wouldn't be nervous about it. Ideally, I'm hoping to resupply the seedbank at the end of the season. Thanks for the helpful tips!
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By nimbulan
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Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#368811
Apollyon wrote:@nimbulan, That makes sense. The spot where the Burmannii germinated is about 80 degrees on average but was limited with the results. I have another spot that gets about 90, I'll put the pot with my petios for a bit. I thought it was something like temperature but then a couple of them did. Couple of species have given me trouble like that. Admirabilis SP Floating and Venusta have yet to germinate as well. I tried moving a venusta pot to see if heat would make a difference but it did not.

I've never tried it either. Honestly, the 250ppm was inspired by someone else's attempt with Drosera species. I'll know if it worked within the next week or two. It is kind of a relief to hear about the timeframe though. I feed my plants heavily so I believed if they did germinate, I could bring them to dormancy effectively. You hear people say they grow species late and they die off. Could be species or lack of knowledge. There's a lot of information that's mixed up online. That's another reason I wanted to make this thread. If successful, I wanted to document my experience with it so if people wanted to try the easier species, they wouldn't be nervous about it. Ideally, I'm hoping to resupply the seedbank at the end of the season. Thanks for the helpful tips!
The South African species will definitely prefer it cooler. Room temp works great for me with those though they might even prefer it cooler.

One interesting thing about tuberous sundews is that when seeds germinate, often times the plant will dig a stolon down and start forming a tuber even before the first leaf unfurls. They prepare for dormancy from day 1. I've had seeds germinate as late as April, never even get to the point of forming a full leaf rosette, and still survive dormancy, though it's certainly not guaranteed at that point.
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By Apollyon
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#368818
They dig in right away? That's fascinating. My auriculata are beginning to form their stems now, they germinated about a month ago. I may try to work with that when I have more of a supply to work with. Wish I as able to get a hold of different species though. I've been keeping them about room temp and they don't seem particularly phased by it. I was worried I messed up because my window ac was leaking and I had to take it apart for a couple of hours. Temps got up to about 90 degrees but it doesn't look like it had an effect on them, so far anyway. I'm interested to see how large the tubers get at the end of the season, then I'll transplant them together. I didn't know what to really expect with them as far as size and germination so I had them in a few pots. They are much smaller than I expected as far as diameter, which isn't really a bad thing. My d erythrorhiza squamosa tuber never sprouted, at least so far. I dropped the photoperiod in the hopes it may trigger something but it might've been my inexperience that messed that up. I sprinkled water through it every couple weeks and then threw it in a tray around september. Water sits about an inch and it's in a gallon nursery pot. I couldn't discern the "eye" when planting it because there were several points that looked possible but nothing stood out. I imagine it may have rotted from the damp soil but I'll hold out and see what comes of it. Sounds like you've been at it for a while with these plants. I wanted to challenge myself because I heard they were difficult.
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By nimbulan
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#368822
Species in the D. peltata complex will easily go from seed to flowering in one season. The tubers for those won't get particularly large, maybe 5 or 6mm at most.

For the squamosa, I wouldn't give up hope yet. My squamosa just popped up a week ago or so, and there's still a number of rosetted plants I'm waiting on. I will say it took me a lot of trial and error to reliably keep tubers alive after receiving them (and getting them through dormancy) but I think I'm finally there.
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By Apollyon
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#368824
Yeah, conflicting information on just damp and bone dry and then they're vague on the species lol. Hardest part is finding species of tuberous. I'd love to try to grow more of these but the accessibility is awful. I got the squamosa on ebay as a dormant tuber. I went looking into it after the post and it appears this particular time is when they start to sprout. Hopefully it does indeed sprout though I've had it in water now for a time. I'll see if it turns out something in the next month. I further reduced the photoperiod so I'm looking at about 11.5 hours. Congrats on cracking the mystery of them though lol. What kind of photoperiod do you have for your squamosa?
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By nimbulan
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Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#368827
I use a natural photoperiod for South Africa and southern Australia for most of my plants. It varies from 10-14 hours depending on the time of year, and the tuberous sundews will generally be growing when it's <12h. Dormancy moisture is a tricky topic - recommendations vary widely and in the end it may end up depending on your local climate. For me I've determined that bone dry is a bad idea, I think largely due to the low summer humidity. In more humid areas, it may work better.

As for availability, I agree it certainly is difficult. I've obtained tubers where possible, but a lot of my winter-growing plants I've started from imported seed. I'm hoping to spread a lot of these around in the future but they're not exactly fast-growing plants so it takes quite a bit of time.
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By Apollyon
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#368832
That's cool that you have those started from seed. It gives you a chance to produce seed yourself. That's what I would like to do but I don't know where to find them. I know rarexoticseeds sells them but they don't ship to the southeast due to customs issues. I've considered mailing it to a friend and then having it shipped to me but idk. That would be cool, hopefully you get that going in the future. I'd be happy to get some seed or a tuber in the future. If the squamosa pans out I'll check back on ebay. Some guy from poland was selling in an incredible variety of species, they were just expensive.
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