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Thread: Nepenthes Seeds... What Do I Do?

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Nepenthes Seeds... What Do I Do?

    My Nepenthes ventrata flowered back in the fall and the pods started swelling before any of my male flowers had opened so I just assumed they were long like that. I checked the greenhouse and saw some of the pods were turning black but a couple were split open and there were seeds inside.

    I'm not ready to sow the seeds, unless of course I sprinkle them into my Nepenthes pots... Just curious how long they can be stored and if viability rates will significantly decrease. If I need to sow them now I can... But it is the middle of winter. Would they have a chance of surviving with 60-70F days and nights in the low 50s?

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Also, what should they be collected in/with? Does a ziplock bag work?

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Sow them now. The conditions you describe are fine for seed germination - they may just take a few weeks more is all - and if you try to store them for weeks/months, the germination rates will decline significantly. Best to sow them now. Get whatever supplies you need and get on with it. :-)

    Have you inspected the seeds with a strong magnifying device of some sort (modest microscope is ideal, but a decent hand glass will suffice) Why do I ask? Because of your opening sentence:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pineapple View Post
    My Nepenthes ventrata flowered back in the fall and the pods started swelling before any of my male flowers had opened so I just assumed they were long like that.
    There may have been "seeds" inside, but if you literally had NOT ONE male open at the time of bloom, then the odds are that there are no actual embryos in the seeds. I have seen several of my plants flower and appear to make seed pods, but without pollination, there were no viable embryos in any of them. So, before you go to a lot of trouble to sow these seeds, check to verify that there are embryos in at least some of the seeds. They will have the appearance of a conspicuous round bulge in the center of the seed. Many won't have anything inside, and that will be obvious: slender seeds with no bulge in the center are sterile.

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whimgrinder View Post
    Sow them now. The conditions you describe are fine for seed germination - they may just take a few weeks more is all - and if you try to store them for weeks/months, the germination rates will decline significantly. Best to sow them now. Get whatever supplies you need and get on with it. :-)

    Have you inspected the seeds with a strong magnifying device of some sort (modest microscope is ideal, but a decent hand glass will suffice) Why do I ask? Because of your opening sentence:


    There may have been "seeds" inside, but if you literally had NOT ONE male open at the time of bloom, then the odds are that there are no actual embryos in the seeds. I have seen several of my plants flower and appear to make seed pods, but without pollination, there were no viable embryos in any of them. So, before you go to a lot of trouble to sow these seeds, check to verify that there are embryos in at least some of the seeds. They will have the appearance of a conspicuous round bulge in the center of the seed. Many won't have anything inside, and that will be obvious: slender seeds with no bulge in the center are sterile.
    The curious thing is that they started elongating while the male flower was growing, and when the male flower opened, I pollinated the flowers. I'm assuming that it is that hybrid (ventrata x melvino).

    I'll pull out the magnifying glass tomorrow and check, thanks! That may save me a lot of time/effort/money/hopes.

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Paul is spot-on about checking for viability. This is a good tactic for any plant as it can save you a lot of wasted time. You want seeds to be full of nice endosperm, which is usually white when it is healthy. Since Nep seed is so small it may be tough to discern that the seeds have that slight bulge of endosperm.

    John Brittnacher over at ICPS wrote a great grow guide for starting Neps from seed here: http://www.carnivorousplants.org/how.../Nepenthes.php. I just had some seeds pop up after 3 weeks, so it will take some patience.

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Harvested half the stalk and checked and they all have a bulge in the middle. Most of the pod produced small seeds (not the smallest I've seen, I've successfully sown smaller ventricosa) but there were 2-3 anomalies that had globs of larger seeds in them. If I had to guess, I'd say I got 1.5K seeds or so. In the process of collecting them from the stalk (before I was smart enough to cut the pods off) hundreds of seeds rained down into the Nepenthes pots and and Sphagnum cultures below. It would excite me if I found large nepenthes seedlings in there next year under the Sphagnum.

    Question time... I got as many seeds as I could from the pods, but there's likely tons stuck in there as it was a pain getting them to all come out. Are there any tips/tricks for getting them all out, perhaps soaking the pods in water to detach the seeds? If there's no method, I'll make it rain seedpods in the greenhouse and hope for some random Nepenthes lol...

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