Growing from seed PBS TOW

Alberto Castillo
Thu, 21 Nov 2002 03:32:03 PST
Dear all
        I think I must mention the method we have been using for many years with great success for black flat seed (Zephyranthes, Hippeastrum, Cyrtanthus, Rhodophiala, Cooperia, Haylockia, Phycella, Eustephia, Stenomesson, Phaedranassa, Habranthus, etc.).
        First, we sow thinly in a 10 cm pot (as usually seed is scarce, otherwise use bigger pots). Mix is gritty and with no fresh organic matter, old ventilated commercial mix is good plus drainage.
        Second, we add a thin layer of crushed rock to anchor the seed. As you can read from recent postings the experts mention they top with some material to anchor the seeds, not to cover them.
        Third, put the pots with seeds in a tray with water (say 1 inch of water) and replenish it as it evaporates. The tray is placed in a spot with good light and convenient temperatures (self explaining).
        Germination is rapid and the small plants can be kept growing with water from below for months with no harm. Very minute doses of a complete foliar fertilizer are added from time to time, the aim is to obtain natural growth.
        Fourth, the whole rootball with dormant bulbs is potted in a bigger pot, undisturbed, DEEPER, for the second season of growth. After this is over, the bulbs are big enough to be sorted and potted individually (if need be) with no damage.
        This is the alternative to the floatation method and subsequent potting (this a PUNISHMENT!)and works wonders. My good friend John Wagner has dubbed it "the absorption method".
As Dell says Enjoy!

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