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Thread: Growing Drosera from seed

  1. #1

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    Seed has been sent to many growers from the Dawnstar Collection :-) I want to present to you my thoughts on how to best succeed with the coming adventure many of you will have growing this seed into beautiful flowering plants.

    We begin with the consideration of the meduim onto which the seed will be lightly sown. This medium should be both clean and acidic.

    The best germination medium is finely milled New Zealand long fiber sphagnum spread in a layer on pure peat. The acidity and natural antifungal and antiseptic properties of this medium will discourage the growth of opportunistic fungi and algae, which is a very important step towards winning the game! Seed can germinate and damp off in hours if attacked by fungi. You will never even know it was there.

    When I say clean, I mean the peat used should be well rinsed prior to its use. The sphagnum as well should be rinsed with pure distilled water prior to its use to remove any trace micro nutrients that will allow the growth of fungi and algae. I leave my peat open to the rain for the season outside, so it is always ready for my needs. I sterilize it in the microwave before use. The moss I plunge in a bucket, squeeze out the water, repeat. The moss is then milled in a food processor until fine, and is ready for use.

    Pots should be new and clean, and any water used should be distilled. Not rain! Rain water usually carries algal spores with it from various sources of contamination. If tray watering is used, the trays should be squeaky clean, and the water distilled.

    The reason for all this care is that if your seed becomes involved with the life cycle of fungi, algae, mosses and liverworts, your seed will not germinate, or it will be so compromised seedlings will die shortly after germination, or languish without good development.

    Will it always happen if you don't take precautions? Maybe not. But if you get some rare seed that is a once in a lifetime try, do you want to chance it?

    The sterile peat is put in a pot or tray, and the milled moss spread 1 or 2 inches deep. The medium should be moist but not very wet. I find the disposable food storage containers to be ideal as the can be sealed and reopened easily.

    If you are awaiting seed, now is a great time to begin preparing the medium. It is best to have the medium "age" a little, and to observe it for any potential problems.

    There are reasons for such precautions. Many of these species have evolved in habitats that have been washed clean for millions of years. They have no natural defenses against many of the various fungi and other opportunistic byrophytes for they are not present in the plant's habitat.

    Later, when the plants have established and built up some strength, things can ease off a little. Rain water can be used, humidity decreased, etc. They establish quickly if there is no competition.

    Remember, little things make big differences in growing CP with success. The more you can do in little things, the more the plants will reward you. Don't be scared, it's really not a difficult thing :-) You can do it!

    Next Chapter: Sowing the Seed :-)
    "Grow More, Share More"

  2. #2

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    Thanks Tamlin, this will help a lot of us [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Thanks, I will take those precautions with all my seed.
    I am just like a Super Hero, but without the power or motivation.................and the funky suit.

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    Arrow

    Wow thats cool Tamlin! I didn't know other people microwaved their medium, lol. I thought I was being nerotic.
    ...When seedlings damp off, is the seed still visable on the medium because I've had these rotundifolia seeds sitting here for like 3 months and they still haven't done anything.
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
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    If you can see the seed it probably hasn't germinated. My D. rotundifolia have not germinated yet either.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    Lightbulb

    Quote (Tamlin Dawnstar @ April 02 2003,07:42)
    If you can see the seed it probably hasn't germinated. My D. rotundifolia have not germinated yet either.[/QUOTE]
    So what do I do about the other things that have tried to move in since I planted them?
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
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    Transplant them out of there. Read the post I just wrote on preparing the medium, and replant them in a clean growing medium.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    From AHS's Plant Propagation book, they suggest that you bake the moist planting mix in the oven for 30 mins, or you microwave on high for 10 mins. Moreover, they suggest that pouring boiling water over the mix.

    Which method do you use Tamlin?

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