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[aroid-l] Araceae seed sowing & germination

  • Subject: [aroid-l] Araceae seed sowing & germination
  • From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce@myjaring.net>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 17:05:15 +0800

Dea Folks

As promised here are some aroid seed sowing notes for Alocasia, Cyrtosperma,
Aglaonema and Colocasia. I'll put together some more for Schismatoglottis,
Homalomena, Rhaphidophora, etc. as time allows. If anyone would like a Word
or RTF version of these and any subsequent notes please email me at

peterboyce@myjaring.net

****************************

Araceae seed sowing & germination

General
Buying
If your import laws allow, all seed should be purchased inside the still
fleshy berry. Note that dried seed (in or out of the berry) will have a low
to non-existent viability rate.

Storage
Aroid seed stores poorly and dried seed will have a very low viability arte.
For best results seed must be sown as fresh as possible. Seed viability
falls extremely quickly once the seed is cleaned of the berry pulp and so
the seed should remain in the berry until ready to sow. if seed must be
removed from the berry then it is vital that it remains damp but not wet.
Placing the seed in a folded, moistened kitchen towel (not toilet paper,
which breaks down when wet) inside a plastic bag kept in a cool room is a
good temporary storage medium.

Alocasia
Cleaning
Alocasia seed is quite large (average black peppercorn size) and easy to
handle. Clean the seeds free of the berry pulp by gently squashing the
berries onto kitchen towel and separating the seeds of the pulp and any seed
membrane. The seed membrane tightly adheres to the seed. Its presence is
detectable by the seed feeling slippery. Gently working the seed between
thumb and index finger will remove the membrane, after which the seed will
feel very slightly rough. It is VITAL that this cleaning is done wearing
rubber or latex gloves - the fruit pulp is HIGHLY IRRITANT. Gently rinse the
seed in a nylon sieve and dry on kitchen towel for a minute or two to ease
handling.

Sowing
Sow onto either:
1:1 ground sphagnum: Perlite, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): washed river sand, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): Perlite, or
1:1 propriety soil-less compost: Perlite

Plastic pots or trays are better then clay (terracotta). The seed should be
just covered with the same mix and then well watered and thereafter keep
damp and moderately shaded.

Germination takes 2 - 3 weeks at a minimum of 21C (70F) and a max. of 29C
(84C).

Germination & aftercare
Ideal conditions for germination are a heated greenhouse or in warm climates
a shade house. If germinating indoors then choose a brightly lit BUT NOT
SUNNY windowsill and put the entire pot inside a polythene bag secured by an
elastic band. Once germination is seen to be underway loosen the bag but do
not remove. Allow the seedlings to develop the first leaf and then remove
the bag for a few hours a day to gradually acclimatize the seedlings; after
a few days remove the bag entirely. Allow the seedlings to continue growing
until a second leaf is seen emerging.

Transplantation
At the second leaf emergence stage transplant into individual pots or, in
the case of a very large sowing, line out in large trays and allow to grow
on. We transplant into:

1:1:1 screened coconut peat (coir): washed river sand: crushed charcoal (max
2 cm size)


Aglaonema
Cleaning
Aglaonema seed is large (average date stone size) and easy to handle. Clean
the seeds free of the berry pulp by gently squashing the berries onto
kitchen towel and separating the seeds of the pulp and any seed membrane.
The seed membrane tightly adheres to the seed. Its presence is detectable by
the seed feeling slippery. Gently working the seed between thumb and index
finger will remove the membrane, after which the seed will feel very
slightly rough. Gently rinse the seed in a nylon sieve and dry on kitchen
towel for a minute or two to ease handling.

Sowing
Sow onto either:
1:1 ground sphagnum: Perlite, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): washed river sand, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): Perlite, or
1:1 propriety soil-less compost: Perlite

Plastic pots or trays are better then clay (terracotta). The seed should be
covered to its own depth with the same mix and then well watered and
thereafter keep damp and moderately shaded.

Germination takes 4 - 6 or more weeks at a minimum of 21C (70F) and a max.
of 29C (84C).

Germination & aftercare
Ideal conditions for germination are a heated greenhouse or in warm climates
a shade house. If germinating indoors then choose a brightly lit BUT NOT
SUNNY windowsill and put the entire pot inside a polythene bag secured by an
elastic band. Once germination is seen to be underway loosen the bag but do
not remove. Allow the seedlings to develop the first leaf and then remove
the bag for a few hours a day to gradually acclimatize the seedlings; after
a few days remove the bag entirely. Allow the seedlings to continue growing
until a second leaf is seen emerging.

Transplantation
Once the first leaf has expanded transplant into individual pots. We
transplant into:

1:1:1 screened coconut peat (coir): washed river sand: crushed charcoal
(max. 2 cm size)


Amorphophallus
Cleaning
Amorphophallus seed is usually large (average black peppercorn to date stone
size) and easy to handle. Clean the seeds free of the berry pulp by gently
squashing the berries onto kitchen towel and separating the seeds of the
pulp and any seed membrane. The seed membrane tightly adheres to the seed.
Its presence is detectable by the seed feeling slippery. Gently working the
seed between thumb and index finger will remove the membrane, after which
the seed will feel very slightly rough. It is best that cleaning is done
wearing rubber or latex gloves - the fruit pulp can be quite irritating.
Gently rinse the seed in a nylon sieve and dry on kitchen towel for a minute
or two to ease handling.

Sowing
Sow onto either:
1:1 ground sphagnum: Perlite, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): washed river sand, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): Perlite, or
1:1 propriety soil-less compost: Perlite

Plastic pots or trays are better then clay (terracotta). The seed should be
covered to its own depth with the same mix and then well watered and
thereafter keep damp and moderately shaded.

Germination takes 3 - 5 weeks at a minimum of 21C (70F) and a max. of 29C
(84C).

Germination & aftercare
Ideal conditions for germination are a heated greenhouse or in warm climates
a shade house. If germinating indoors then choose a brightly lit BUT NOT
SUNNY windowsill and put the entire pot inside a polythene bag secured by an
elastic band. Once germination is seen to be underway loosen the bag but do
not remove. Allow the seedlings to develop the first leaf and then remove
the bag for a few hours a day to gradually acclimatize the seedlings; after
a few days remove the bag entirely. Allow the seedlings to continue growing
until a second leaf is seen emerging.

Transplantation
Once the leaf has expanded transplant into individual pots. We transplant
into:

1:1:1 screened coconut peat (coir): washed river sand: crushed charcoal
(max. 2 cm size)


Colocasia
Cleaning
Colocasia seed is small (average 1 mm x 1.5 mm) and tricky to handle. The
main problem with cleaning is that inside each berry there are numerous
seeds embedded in very viscous gel which is difficult to remove. The easiest
method is to put the berries into a plastic beaker full of water, macerate
them with the fingers and then leave the beaker and its contents in a warm,
shaded place for a week to ferment (it will smell pretty bad at the end of
the time but the seed will come to no harm). After fermentation it will be
found that the gel is very easily washed off by placing the entire beaker
contents into a fine nylon sieve under gently running water and working the
seed/gel/pulp mass with the fingers. The gel will dissolve and the larger
pieces of berry, etc. may be removed by hand.

Sowing
The cleaned seed is most easily sown by filling the beaker of seed with
fresh water, vigorously stirring with a finger and then pouring the
suspended seed and water onto the surface of the compost in a pre-prepared
pot or tray; keep to beaker moving to ensure an even distribution of seed.

Sow onto either:
1:1 ground sphagnum: Perlite, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): Perlite, or
1:1 propriety soil-less compost: Perlite

Plastic pots or trays are better then clay (terracotta). The seed should not
be covered and must be kept damp and moderately shaded.

Germination takes 1 - 2 weeks at a minimum of 21C (70F) and a max. of 29C
(84C).

Germination & aftercare
Ideal conditions for germination are a heated greenhouse or in warm climates
a shade house. If germinating indoors then choose a brightly lit BUT NOT
SUNNY windowsill and put the entire pot inside a polythene bag secured by an
elastic band. Once germination is seen to be underway loosen the bag but do
not remove. The first leaf is kidney shaped and at this stage the plants are
very delicate and difficult to handle. The best transplantation method is to
allow the clumps of seedlings to grow until they become congested and then
to transplants small clumps of seedlings into individual pots. Colocasia
seedlings are very susceptible to fugal attack and it is recommended than
the transplanted seedlings are treated immediately with a suitable fungicide
as prevention against damping off. DO NOT USE METALLIC COPPER FUNGICIDES ON
ARACEAE - THEY ARE FATAL.

Transplantation
At the second leaf emergence stage transplant into individual pots or, in
the case of a very large sowing, line out in large trays and allow to grow
on. We transplant into:

1:1 Screened coconut peat (coir): Perlite and water only from below until
individuals are large enough (5 - 7 leaves) for separation and repotting
into 1:1:1 screened coconut peat (coir): washed river sand: crushed charcoal
(2 cm size) and thence treated as mature plants.



Cyrtosperma
Cleaning
Cyrtosperma seed is large (average half peanut sized) and easy to handle.
However, cleaning seed is a problem since each berry contains several
numerous seeds embedded in very viscous gel which is difficult to remove.
Further, since the seeds are curved and variously ridges and warty the gel
adheres strongly. The easiest method is to put the berries into a plastic
beaker full of water, macerate them with the fingers and then leave the
beaker and its contents in a warm, shaded place for a week to ferment (it
will smell pretty bad at the end of the time but the seed will come to no
harm). After fermentation it will be found that the gel is very easily
washed off by placing the entire beaker contents into a fine nylon sieve
under gently running water and working the seed/gel/pulp mass with the
fingers. The gel will dissolve and the larger pieces of berry, etc. may be
removed by hand.

Sowing
Sow onto either:
1:1 ground sphagnum: Perlite, or
1:1 sieved coconut peat (coir): Perlite, or
1:1 propriety soil-less compost: Perlite

Plastic pots or trays are better then clay (terracotta). The seed should be
covered to its own depth with the same mix and then well watered and
thereafter keep damp and moderately shaded.

Germination takes 3 - 5 weeks at a minimum of 21C (70F) and a max. of 29C
(84C).

Germination & aftercare
Ideal conditions for germination are a heated greenhouse or in warm climates
a shade house. If germinating indoors then choose a brightly lit BUT NOT
SUNNY windowsill and put the entire pot inside a polythene bag secured by an
elastic band. Once germination is seen to be underway loosen the bag but do
not remove. Allow the seedlings to develop the first leaf and then remove
the bag for a few hours a day to gradually acclimatize the seedlings; after
a few days remove the bag entirely. Allow the seedlings to continue growing
until a second leaf is seen emerging.

Transplantation
Once the leaf has expanded transplant into individual pots. We transplant
into:

1:1:1 screened coconut peat (coir): washed river sand: crushed charcoal
(max. 2 cm size) and immediately stand the pots in shallow trays (c. 2 cm
deep) of water.





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