Tropaeolum pentaphyllum

Leo A. Martin
Tue, 30 Dec 2008 14:20:51 PST
Alberto Castillo wrote

> Hi Leo:
> As an alternative, why not follow USEFUL instructions??'
> 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 not 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.

Thank you for the seeds. I can attest your suggestions above work! I can't
recall right now where I read to wet-stratify the seeds in the
refrigerator. That didn't work.

I have room for a large vine. How much cold can it take? In our winters we
have occasional night frosts to -3C most years, and rarely to -8C. Days
are always well above freezing. The soil never freezes so the tubers would
survive. I would plant it under trees so the base and lower stems would be
much more protected than the vines.

I did put all the seeds into one pot but the soil is very loose. Next
summer I will unpot carefully and plant into individual pots for planting
out next fall.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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