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Thread: How to start drosera from seed

  1. #1

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    Hi
    I am a begginer in cp's and i have just recieved my first drosera seed and i was wondering how i am supposed to sow and germanate

    LMK

    Oliver
    Oliver

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    It depends on the species. If it is a tropical species, such as capensis or spatulata, you can just plant at normal house temperature, in peat/sand or peat/perlite mix, or long fibered sphagnum. Just sprinkle them on the surface, and water from below using a tray. Be sure it gets enough light, and is humid enough. If your house isn't humid enough, you can put it in a terrarium (with or without a lid), or even just put saran wrap over the top of the pot. Hopefully, in 3-5 weeks, you should have a bunch of seedlings. If it is a temperate species, it will require stratification (a month in the fridge).

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    Here is how I do it:

    Have your moistened mix in the pots and ready. Take a sheet of white paper and fold it. Good bright light is needed to see the seed. Put your seed on the paper, and by gently tapping, try to roll individual seeds down the fold, and onto the medium, one by one. Don't sow too thickly: although the seeds are small each one is a potential plant. 25-30 seeds is a good sowing, and this is not much when you see it on the paper. Seedlings grow best when not overcrowded. Keep the end of the fold moving, so that you plant each seed in a different place

    What you want for mix is a fairly loose medium for the small roots to penetrate, which is why I recommend peat/silica sand 50/50. The sand needs to be silica sand: white quartz, and should be rinsed until the water runs clear to remove micronutrients that will favor algal growth. If you plan on transplanting after the seedlings develop a little, then pure peat is an option, as is milled dead sphagnum moss. Both these substrates have natural antiseptic qualities, and they also discourage fungus and algae. Algae can interfere with germination, and competes with the seedlings. You should however aim at getting them into their permanent homes in a good 50/50 mix as stated after they form 4-5 leaves. Remember to be patient: this seed can take awhile to germinate, usually in about 2 weeks to a month you should see some results, longer in the cold of winter. Don't water or spray from the top as this can bury the seed. Use only rain or better, distilled, water. Give it warmth, but light levels should not be high until there is germination: too much light will support algal growth. Check the pots weekly (or daily [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img], and when you can see germination, move the pots into good bright light, no direct sun. Humidity should be reduced in stages, slowly, after germination. If the pots are in baggies (which I recommend, seed needs high humidity to germinate), poke a hole or two after you are sure all the seed has germinated. Then in a week a couple of more. Ideally you will be able to do away with the cover in a month or so. Be attentive to what the seedlings tell you, but expect some to die off in the process. The survivors will be adapted to harsher conditions, and will be healthier than plants grown in too high a humidity. 70% is about ideal for these plants. It is fascinating to watch the growth process, and I consider growing from seed to be one of the finest aspects of this hobby. Enjoy!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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