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Thread: New drosera seeds

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    I'm relatively new to Drosera aside from the common 'weeds' capensis and binata varieties (love the 'Marston's Dragon") so I decided to venture into more uncommon types so you see my seed list here. Any advice on sowing them sucessfully would be much appreciated. I live in San Diego, California (near San Diego Harbor which greatly stabalizes my temperatures as compared to many other parts of Southern California, especially inland valleys and mountains) and my winters only seldom drop to around 45°F (and once in a blue moon down to the high 30's but this is VERY rare) so I was hoping to grow outdoors and I figured the cold stratification would do them good. Can someone please comment on each of the 4 listed above and if they would do ok in my conditions? (I had also planned to use the standard 50/50 mix of peat and sand). Thanks very much,
    Ludwig.

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    ...sorry, misspelled 'petiolaris'....Ludwig

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    Hi,
    D.indica is tropical & wouldnt need statification, I dont stratify d.burmanni seeds, and they have germinated but they can take cooler temps, and d.petiolaris will need LOTS of heat to germinate. I usually use a little perlite in with peat and sand, but they arent that pickey.

    good luck
    cole
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    Non of the species need a starification time, so it should be pretty easy. Just scatter the seeds on a mix of peat/sand and keep moist and humid. Place them in ziplock bags and place on a sunny windowsill or under growlights. Petiolaris will offer a bit of a trickiness to it. It requires some heat to germinate, so place the pot/zip lock bag ontop a heat mat, like a reptile heat mat. Good lcuk-Zach
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    The petiolaris do require heat for germination. Another problem might be the D. binata complex, plants of which tend to want to go dormant in cold conditions. You may wish to consider sowing these in the spring if they are going to be outside. Generally, the tropical seed germinates best around 70F and in conditions of high humidity (I use zip lock bags)

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    Thanks for all the advice and warm welcome. Per the instructions that came with the seeds I put the packets in the refrigerater, but now I'm confused as to which species I should plant now or wait. (Will they lose viability if not planted right away?) I will probably sow them in my greenhouse which only drops to 68°F each night, does this sound appropriate for all of them? Or should I plant some outdoors NOW to take advantage of the cool winter. I generally like to keep my plants on a natural growing cycle so dormancy will approach naturally with the changing seasons. I know, alot of questions now but hopefully I'll be giving advice some day to other new Drosera growers. Ludwig.

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    Seeds should stay viable as long as they are stored cold and dry. I would sow the nidiformis, burmannii and indica now. Germination may be a little slow this time of year, so be patient. If you can get the petiolaris hot, and maintain the heat at night, I see no reson not to try this as well. The only seeds I do not sow in colder months are the North American temperate species, since they are photoperiod oriented.

    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 and preferably the peat should be rinsed to remove micronutrients that wil favor algal growth. I put the sand in a bucket, and add rain water, swish it around until the water looks clear. (I generally do not rinse my peat, I have it in an outdoor bin where the rain leaches through it all summer, so I have no method) 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: seed can take awhile to germinate, usually in about 2 weeks to a month you should see some results. 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 encourage algal growth, the main enemy of seedlings. 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 most of 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!
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