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Thread: Germination Questions

  1. #1

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    Germination Questions

    I have a few questions about Nepenthes seed germination that I want to ask those who have already successfully done it. Here they are:

    1. In what medium have you had the most number of successful germination?
    2. If using natural light, should you give the seeds direct sunlight or not? If yes, what time of the day are they exposed to direct sunlight?
    3. Are your containers sitting on a tray of water?
    4. Has anyone tried germinating Nep seeds only in distilled water?

    Assumptions:
    1. The seeds are freshly collected.
    2. The temperature is at the 80-90 F range.

    Thanks to those who'll reply.

  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    Howdy, I've been very successful with germinating Nepenthes seed with the following method:

    Using a blender grind up dried long fiber sphagnum moss til it's fine powder then saturate it fully and squeeze out most of the water so it's just damp and fill a small container or seedling pots with it try to aim for 2" deep soil depth if not using actual pots. Very lightweight, holds lots of moisture and falls away easily when you want to separate seedlings. Some people use peat but I haven't ever had germination on peat.

    I then just sprinkle the seed out evenly over the soil surface

    Then using a solution of Superthrive (1 drop per gallon of water) I mist the seed when first planted and then mist them with this solution again every few days until germination.

    I cover the seed pots so they stay very humid and moist but have the lid cracked just a tad so there is some air exchange, helps keep molds and fungus at bay.

    After sowing I place the seed containers/trays on a shelf above some lights, it gets bottom heat and only ambient room lighting. I used to try and germinate them directly under lights and never got them to germinate there. In ambient light there's no light shining directly on them but the light isn't blocked. Once the germination starts en masse then I move them into the outer areas of light to slowly get them accustomed to it before putting them directly under T5HOs.

    I've noticed if Nep seeds are viable and gonna germinate they generally do so in 4-8 weeks. I've kept ungerminated pots for 1 year and still got nothing, so now I toss em after 90 days if they don't germinate by 3 months then I make use of that space for something else.

    Good luck!

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    Where are you located and what are the usual room temperatures at that time when you put them above some sort of a heating plate?

    And when you say ambient room lighting, did you mean really just ceiling lights? I can't imagine how much light would that emit (fairly low than even indirect sunlight, I guess).

    Oh and isn't superthrive supposed to be a rooting hormone?

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    cp junkie, nep seeds actually don't need much light at all to germinate, i actually start mine out on top of m light fixtures for warmth, and then move them to light once a lot of them have germinated.
    I have good success with seeds having them on a matt that elevates the temperature locally from around 75 to 85F

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    Our temperatures here rarely goes down 80 F, do I still have to put them on top of light fixtures?

    And is algae a problem to you?

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    swords's Avatar
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    My house is warm average of 75-80*F year round but I still put them on a wire shelf over a pair of light fixtures to get bottom heat. They don't sit ON the lights themselves but over them raising their germination trays to 85-90*F and 90-100% humidity. The shelf I use has a big Highland Nepenthes chamber & lighting fixtures on the bottom, then there's the empty shelf with no lights where I start the seeds, then ontop of that is another shelf of warm growing LL Nepenthes tanks & their lights.

    Yeah the seeds are not blasted by light. I did put them directly under lights when I first tried working with Nep seeds and I got no germination. I had tried several different species that way but I did grow lots of molds and algae on the substrate when the seed trays were under the light. When I germinate them out of direct light they don't develop this mold / algae problem and I get germination rather quickly (1-2 months).

    Some people theorize that Nep seeds do not germinate until they "sense" they have been overgrown with mosses so some growers put their seeds under light to germinate and then after a couple weeks they cover the seed trays with paper to make them dark and germination happens. I've done it that way (light then cover) and it worked but I find it's easier just to put them in a non-brightly lit area until they germinate then move them to the light only when they do because it keeps the algae and pest plants in the moss at bay.

    Superthrive has rooting hormone in it, along with B vitamins and other stuff (the package doesn't list the actual ingredients) but anecdotal evidence suggests to me and others that you can use it on your already rooted and growing plants to initiate basal shoots and side node activation when misted on the dormant nodes. It also seems to aid in Nepenthes seed germination over not using it (which I did not do at first) so I use it.
    Last edited by swords; 12-26-2011 at 07:36 AM.

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I first microwave a 50/50 sand and peat mix to kill off any moss spores and then fill seed starter cells with the mix. Spread the seeds out evenly over the top of the media and spray them lightly into the surface of the media with Dyna Gro (1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water). I then pace the seeded cells in shallow water in a covered seed tray and keep at 80 - 85 degrees regardless of whether the seeds are highland or lowland. Light does not seem to be important for germination. Germination should take place between 3 and 8 weeks although I've had some seeds take as long as 6 months. I, personally have had 0% success germinating Nepenthes seeds on sphagnum moss, milled or whole.
    I've grown the following Nepenthes using this Method:
    jamban
    macfarlanei
    villosa
    fusca
    inermis
    talangensis
    reinwardtiana
    albomarginata - 3 forms
    ampularia - 3 forms
    beccariana
    sumatrana
    mirabilis var. echinostoma
    lowii
    bicalcarata

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    Thanks for your replies, guys!

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