- Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:04 am
I sowed 5 seeds a couple of months back and have had 4 germinate so far. They were sown on vermiculite in a plastic "take away food" container and the vermiculite was kept very wet with the water level 1/2 to 1cm below the seed - I kept the container covered to increase humidity and placed it in my greenhouse where the temperature has regularly been down to 5c overnight and up to 36c during the day.
The seed has a tough coating and germination can be helped along if you rub the seed between some sheets of sandpaper to rough up the seed coat, or carefully remove the pointy end of the seed with a sharp blade (being careful not to damage the embryo plant inside of course) then put the seed in pure water for a few days to soak before finally transferring to the vermiculite. My first seed germinated after waiting for a month & a half, and I was beginning to wonder if they would ever sprout!
Once you see the green shoot emerging from the seed, CAREFULLY transplant the seedling to it's final pot - I have used a very free draining sandy / gravelly mix with a little peat in a 5" terracotta pot. Note that you will not be able to re-pot in the future as any root disturbance will likely kill your plant. When the plants get bigger I plan to "double pot" or place this smaller pot inside a bigger pot and surround it with sphagnum. This will allow me to water the sphagnum, and the terracotta pot will act like a wick. This should keep the soil moist but not wet, as Drosophyllum prefer drier, free draining soils and are prone to rot if kept too wet and / or humid.
When you have potted up your seedlings, place the pots in a tray or saucer and water only from below - don't allow the pots to sit in water and only add enough water for the soil mix to absorb. Keep the soil moist until your seedlings have developed 8 leaves then begin to let the soil mix become drier between watering.
Some people think that placing Drosophyllum close to each other can result in stunted, inhibited growth. I have not personally observed this but it's probably best to keep the plants several feet apart anyhow.
Good luck with your seeds.
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