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Growing Darlingtonia from seed- What works best?


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#1 paradisaea

 
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Posted 15 March 2012 - 16:02 PM

Hello all.

I recently bought a seed kit from one of the UK based carnivorous plan nurseries online containing a handful of Darlingtonia seeds plus a small pot with cover, carnivorous plant friendly compost and instructions. There were quite a lot of seeds so I saved some and have them in the fridge at the moment. They are labelled Aug '11 so I am assuming that, as it was a 'ready to plant' kit, the seeds have already been stratified.

I was wondering if you guys could perhaps offer me some tips or alternate/more effective methods for sowing the remaining seeds and hopefully having them germinate successfully! I'm a complete beginner when it comes to growing these plants from seed so any/all info would be a great help! The ones I have already sown are in the small pot sown on the surface of rainwater soaked CP compost (with a very small amount sprinkled over them) , standing in 1cm of rainwater, with a pot cover over them to keep humidity, as instructed. Come to think of it, that's them in my user pic.

It's only after reading a lot of the propagation posts and searching through the forum for seed info that I'm beginning to wonder if there's something better I could do for the seeds I have left!

Also, my pots are on my windowsill which is SW facing and gets direct sunlight until about 11am and then gets shadier as the day progresses. I'm guessing this isn't idea in the long run?

Thanks in advance :)

Edited by paradisaea, 15 March 2012 - 16:02 PM.


#2 Alexis

 
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Posted 15 March 2012 - 16:38 PM

Double check they've been stratified. It's rare for sellers to do it for you.

Your setup sounds fine, but lose the domes - it'll just encourage fungus. Low humidity won't affect germination when the seeds are sitting on top of wet soil.

You might need more sun next year, but for year one it's not vital to have maximum sun.

#3 paradisaea

 
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Posted 15 March 2012 - 18:19 PM

Hi Alexis.

Thank you very much for your response. I shall take the domes off now then. I'll see if the seeds have been stratified as well, thanks. Do you reckon I should just pot the rest of the seeds I have up the same way then or perhaps try something else to see what works best? If so, any suggestions? Might it even be worth sprinkling them into the same pot or will that be too much? I think there must have been around 30-40 seeds in total, half of which are in the one pot.

Cheers :)

#4 gardenofeden

 
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Posted 15 March 2012 - 19:01 PM

Darlingtonia do not seem to require stratification in my experience. Fresh seeds sown last autumn have been germinating in the greenhouse, most around Sept/Oct and a few more now. 30-40 seeds in a pot is fine, you can always prick them out next year, they grpw REALLY slowly for the first few years.

#5 paradisaea

 
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Posted 15 March 2012 - 21:24 PM

Thanks very much Stephen. I'll sprinkle the other seeds in as well then! Cheers for your help guys!

#6 linuxman

 
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Posted 17 March 2012 - 14:34 PM

Like Stephen said Darlingtonia grows pretty slowly. Here's an image of the only 4 seedlings I got from seeds planted last year to give you an idea of what to expect. As you can see they've recently been transplanted into sphagnum moss and this year's new growth is just visible.

Posted Image

Good luck!

#7 jimscott

 
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Posted 17 March 2012 - 20:22 PM

Darlingtonia do not seem to require stratification in my experience. Fresh seeds sown last autumn have been germinating in the greenhouse, most around Sept/Oct and a few more now. 30-40 seeds in a pot is fine, you can always prick them out next year, they grpw REALLY slowly for the first few years.



Not to stir up controversy... I've been specifically instructed to do a cold stratification for them. I have seedlings from this past year that were stratified. Is stratifiction a perpetuated and parrotted superstition?

#8 linuxman

 
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Posted 18 March 2012 - 00:12 AM

Well I don't know for sure. I left this last lot in the greenhouse over the winter of 2010/11 and this is what I got. Admittedly the seeds were from the CPS seedbank so may have been past their best. I'm trying a new lot of seeds treated the same way this year, so let's wait and see.

#9 billynomates666

 
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Posted 19 March 2012 - 13:52 PM

Hi all

Whilst I'm by no means certain of whether or not you get better germination by stratification, I do know from experience that I always get good results from stratified seed.
However balanced against that is the fact that in Siuslaw Oregon national park, where they do so well, the winter temperature average is 30 -40F so the chances of getting prolonged statification is small unless the seep water temperature is colder?, but the mountain varieties will get prolonged temperatures at or below freezing and I have in fact seen a recommendation to place seed in an ice tray with rainwater and freeze for four to six weeks. I haven't tried it so can't comment.
Whilst this doesnt really answer your question, I would always stratify the seed as it has never seemed to do any harm and may do some good, as there are those who say that stratification is good for old seed and increases their germination rates.

Cheers
steve

#10 Michael*R

 
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Posted 19 March 2012 - 21:33 PM

I purchased some seeds from ebay last year and as soon as got them I put them on to normal DC compost mix in a seed tray, misted them until they and compost were wet (for me it has to start to run out of the bottom of the tray) then I placed them in a freezer bag with cardboard over the top (to protect the seeds) and put them in the fridge for 2 weeks and then in the freezer for about 24 hours.

After all that I take them out of the freezer bag and place a propagation lid (with a few extra air holes put into it) on top and leave in a south facing conservatory and just keep an eye on the water level. When they get their first 2 leaves out (before the carnivorous leaves) I prick them out into a seedling tray with a mix of finely chopped sphagnum moss (super sphag from Little Shop of Horrors), perlite and fine grade orchid back (about 3/1/ ½ mix ) and then water them in and let them do the rest.

With my lot I find I get about 95% germination rate and I have not lost any of the seedlings so far but this can still change knowing my luck!! :(
Hope you find this helpful!!

From Michael

http://www.flickr.co...N02/6997892603/

http://www.flickr.co...N02/6851749890/

#11 paradisaea

 
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 15:11 PM

Thank you so much for all you input everyone! I have still got those seeds sitting in the fridge. I'm about to put them in some moistened compost as they're just in their bag at the moment. I've been advised to put them outside to get the benefit of the last of any cold weather we may have and, as I am considering a mini greenhouse for my balcony, I think this will be the way forward for the seeds I've already planted. I'm not expecting results any time soon, but I don't want to be doing it completely wrong and sitting about waiting for a bunch of seeds that have actually failed ;)

Thanks again!