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Thread: Nepenthes seed longevity

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Nepenthes seed longevity

    I thought the Nep nuts would find this interesting.

    N. eymae x (thorelii x aristolochioides) seed germinating.

    Ok now for the interesting part.
    These seed were sitting in a kitchen utility drawer in a ziplock along with a bunch of others. The cross was made in May 2007 and harvested sometime in the Fall. They were sown back in January 2009. So they were in the drawer sitting there for about 16 months roughly.
    Note: I don't recommend you do this with your Nepenthes seed as the fresher the seed the better the chance for germination. I have not seen much documented information on how long Nepenthes seed can remain viable under less than ideal storage conditions. IE lost in the mail, sitting in a drawer, tossed in the fridge or whatever.

    Also Note: I have about 10 different crosses I am trying to germinate and so far this one and one other have shown signs of life. I will give the others until this Summer to see if they do something also. I really wasn't expecting anything to germinate, but figured this would make an interesting experiment if nothing else. You can see in the photo there was not alot of seed and so far 6 seed have germinated which shows there is still quite a bit of vitality left in the seed.

    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    fantastic to see that you got some survivors there Tony. Can u please give a guide on how you germinate them? Any special needs? Humidity? temps? media? I have had dreaded luck with nep seed that I tried so far.

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    Illinois droseraguy's Avatar
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    That's interesting to say the least. I'm guessing there is an optimal temp. and moisture %. Probably more important is moisture content for retaining viability.

    On a slightly off subject note what would be a pretty safe time frame to assume germination after sewing was not going to occur ? 2 months 6 months ??
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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Vraev - I have seen the best overall results with plain ol Sphagnum with the seed sprinkled on the moss and then watered in. I don't worry about humidity since the greenhouse is pretty high in humidity. The pots are watered every couple days so the moss and seeds stay pretty wet. The problem if you use LFS is removing and repotting the seedlings which can grow quite long roots even as tiny plants. I have heard of people seeing the seeds get fuzzy with fungi. I rarely see this. I think it's important to keep air flow high and humidity moderate and just make sure the seeds stay moist by watering when needed. Sphagnum has natural antimicrobial properties but I also have sown Nepenthes seed on sand/peat without problems and had equally good germination. Nepenthes seed should not be buried or covered and a little bottom heat seems to help.

    Droseraguy - I always try and sow within a few days but have seen good germination from seed collected 2-3 months prior as well as having gone through international shipping.

    I think the bigger issue is having viable seed in the first place. I have seen plenty of instances where a number of crosses made on the same female plant all produced alot of what "appeared" to be good seed but even with identical care in quickly sowing and environmental conditions, clearly some crosses had much better germination while others would produce few seedlings. After many instances of this sort of thing happening I have a hard time attributing it to grower error and the only explanation I can come up with is the seed looked viable but wasn't.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    rattler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Paroubek View Post

    I think the bigger issue is having viable seed in the first place. I have seen plenty of instances where a number of crosses made on the same female plant all produced alot of what "appeared" to be good seed but even with identical care in quickly sowing and environmental conditions, clearly some crosses had much better germination while others would produce few seedlings. After many instances of this sort of thing happening I have a hard time attributing it to grower error and the only explanation I can come up with is the seed looked viable but wasn't.
    interesting observation Tony, and a tad encouraging to me.....i have yet to fail with pure species seed that i have received but have had a heck of a time with most of the hybrid seed thats come my way even when i knew it was fresh.....
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