Alberto Castillo
Thu, 20 Oct 2005 10:44:15 PDT
Hi  Linda:
            More than one reason for leaving the seeds uncovered at first: 
they need plenty of water to wash out the inhibitors and it is better than 
there is no soil covering them at this stage. Second, germination requires 
lots of oxygen, more abundantly provided if the seeds are exposed. Third, no 
one covers them in Nature. I use this for all types of seed, from A to Z. In 
a couple of weeks time inhibitors are washed away and I can anchor the seed 
by using grit, or perlite. Vermiculite is not so good unless watering is 
provided through a fine misting. Vermiculite although having a great 
porosity at first rapidly crumbles to dust due to the force of watering. 
This method is good for both types of seed (light or darkness).

Albuca is a great genus and with a number of fascinating variants. PBS is a 
great source for fresh Albuca seed. Also Silverhill Seeds. Both Albuca and 
African Ornithogalums have seed that has extremely short viability, become 
old and die.
Albuca spiralis is a species from a desertic area and must be grown in pure 
coarse sand. Seed from my plants fall around the parent plants and come up 
in the sand. Other species have different requirements.

Best regards

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