Tropaeolum pentaphyllum

Alberto Castillo
Mon, 29 Dec 2008 07:09:32 PST
Hi Leo: 
         As an alternative, why not follow USEFUL instructions??' 
         As a rule, I make a point of adding as mcuh habitat info as possible on any plant I donate for the BX.  Yet, I read all sorts of opinions about what one or another would do to a given plant, in this case, Tropaeolum pentaphyllum. This is a huge climber of sutropical origin that grows in moist soils among trees or shrubs over which it climbs to flower in fantastic profusion. Truly spectacular. 
         These instructions of potting, refrigerating, whatever, are new to me. Just sow upon receipt by pressing the seeds in individual pots in agood commerical compost and leave themn alone in a preferably frost free place with no much direct sun. By the summer the tuber will be dormant. If you have room you can plant in the ground your next autumn before it sprouts and there it will stay for the next 40 or more years, provided you can give it "Cape bulb" conditions. But, it is a large plant, it comes from a frost free region, it can take slight frosts with no harm but in an exposed chilly spot the plant will grow slowly and will not flower in the second/third season as would be normal. 
         Finally, they come from a year round rainfall region and the dormant tubers receive some rain in summer. This also implies that it is best to sow the seed without delay although they will of course germinate with the onset of cool weather in autumn. The tubers, so much Dahlia like are extremely fragile hence at first it is safer to sow the seed individually. 
Best regards and a Happy 2009 for all
> Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2008 22:06:48 -0800> From:> To:> Subject: [pbs] Tropaeolum pentaphyllum> > Hello All,> > I obtained the above this spring in the BX. (Thanks, Alberto.) I followed> the instructions to plant, refrigerate, pay attention, remove from the> fridge, and wait. Nothing sprouted.> > I put the pot in the shade outside and watered it regularly. I forgot> about it but since it was near other things I watered it never dried out.> > I was moving things two nights ago in preparation for our first frost of> the winter and noticed a lot of stringy weeds growing in a pot. The leaf> shape looked vaguely familiar... something like the canary creeper. Then I> knew what it had to be. Yes, T. pentaphyllum had sprouted.> > So, if you follow directions and nothing happens, try not following> directions. I suspect the seeds were waiting for the proper ambient> temperature rather than looking at the calendar.> > _______________________________________________> pbs mailing list>>>
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