Velthemia Seeds

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 31 May 2007 07:35:10 PDT
Hi Paul,

It's great to see you getting so many good responses to your request for 
growing Veltheimia from seed. Like Ken I did not have a lot of luck getting 
good germination from these seeds until  I tried what Don Journet 
suggested, the paper towel in a plastic container treatment. In fact when 
someone suggested it in the past I promptly went outside and checked my 
seeds planted in the fall as Lee suggested. After I can't remember, maybe 3 
or 4 months at least, there was no sign of  germination. I removed those I 
could still find and brought them inside and replanted them. As he said, 
within a week or two they were germinating. It was very satisfying.

Veltheimia bracteata is not a Mediterranean species, but a summer rainfall 
plant so I wouldn't think it would need to be planted in the fall. It's 
probably one of those that you could plant now and keep into growth for a 
year. In my climate it does go dormant in summer. V. capensis on the other 
hand is a winter rainfall species, but one from a more arid climate than 
mine. When Lauw suggested many years ago that it was the one for me, I 
searched for seeds. Doug Westfall finally sent me one and I got seeds from 
Silverhill too.  Last year I finally got one to bloom. It blooms much 
earlier than V. bracteata. I tried for years to grow it under cover to 
protect it from our wet winters, but it never looked very happy even then. 
The one that bloomed was planted in one of my raised beds outside exposed 
and I think I'm going to plant the rest of them that way and they will live 
or not. Certainly they aren't doing well being pampered. The leaves get 
diseased in our excessive humidity in winter even with what should be good 
air circulation and I'm not one to use chemicals to prevent this.

I wanted to have V. bracteata naturalize in my garden like they do in 
Southern California, but after a couple of years of blooming the plants 
have stopped blooming and are getting smaller so it didn't work for me like 
it has for Lauw or Don. But coastal Northern California is not like France, 
Southern California, the Eastern Cape or Australia in the summer. Yesterday 
it didn't get out of the 50ties F. most of the day (maybe about a high of 
15 C.)  and  where they are planted we don't water a lot in summer which 
could be a problem or maybe it is the terrible soil or the competition from 
the trees. On the other hand I have a lot of them growing on my porch in 
large pots where they get part sun year round and are somewhat sheltered 
from our rain and in this situation they are wonderful. I'd grow them for 
their leaves alone, especially when they first shoot out again in the fall, 
but their long blooming attractive flowers are a great bonus. I think they 
can be grown as house plants as well.

Mary Sue
mAt 05:56 PM 5/31/2007 +1000, you wrote:
>Hi Paul,
>              I grow Velthemia in Victoria Australia and have grown many
>from seed. I guess our climate must be virtually ideal if I keep them
>out of the frost which can kill the flowers. Every year I have an
>abundance of seeds and they even fall off and grow themselves, dare I
>say it, almost like weeds.
>      My technique for growing from seed is quite simple and has the
>advantage that I know exactly where I am at every stage. I place the
>seed on a paper towel in a take away plastic tray sealed and placed in
>the corner of the kitchen bench. The seed germinates within a week or
>two and can then be planted in a seed raising mix with the first leaf
>just showing above soil level. At this point they move outside.
>      I notice one comment about light and flowering. Some of my plants
>are in shade and do not get any sun and they flower just as well as
>those that have more light. In fact I find that our very hot sun can
>cause problems in itself.
>      So, as you can see they do not get any special treatment other than
>starting at what must be a fairly even temperature in the house. I have
>found little difference when the seed has been stored or if it is fresh.
>Certainly they have not been chilled or heated or given any smoke
>treatment and germination has been around 95% plus.
>      I hope this will help you in your endeavours. If you want to
>discuss any points do not hesitate to contact me.
>Don Journet
>OPCAA Lachenalia Collection holder
>plcrawley wrote:
> >       Hello all - I have just received some Velthemia seeds from Australia
> >that I bought through eBay.  Does anyone know specific procedures for
> >these seeds? I would appreciate any information if some of you have
> >raised these bulbs from seed.
> >
> >       Thank you.
> >
> >Paul L. Crawley
> >Greenwood, South Carolina 29646
> ><>
> >
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