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Re: Clivia seeds and germination

not ceres, but thanks, jim. i've saved it, and if mine has set seeds and the seeds mature, i shall appreciate your advice.

At 11:03 AM 3/30/03 -0500, you wrote:
  Back I am and on to what I know about Clivia seed
germination. Seeds are quite large, about the size of
a moonflower seed (Calonictyon esculentum for the
botanically correct...). They don't need any special
treatment like stratification or oscillation.
   I plant mine slightly embedded in a coarse potting
mix (Pro-Mix because it's available, likely Fafard
would do as well). Most South African growers do it
this way, sometimes not even embedding; Deno says they will
germinate in the dark (subsurface) at 70 degrees quite
quickly, so I gather light or dark germination do equally
well. Best to use a light and airy mix, rather than a wet,
dense one.
   The first thing to happen is the emergence of a radicle
which becomes a root. I have seen photos of seeds with the
radicle/root growing along the surface. If it wants to do this,
best to drill a little hole in the mix with a pencil and
reposition the seed to persuade the radlicle/root to grow
down the hole, and re-embed the seed. I'm growing mine
in a small polystyrene cup covered with a baggie. Bottom heat
will likely help; because I have none and the house is still
cold, things are slow for me. The South Africans grow seed
pots in the open in lath-houses, as I'd do if I lived where
IJ does.
   If conditions are sub-optimal, the seed _could_ get a
bit of mold, so you want to keep an eye out for that and
treat with fungicide and ventilation. I give my seeds a
10 minute bath in 3% hydrogen peroxide before planting in
hopes of preventing mold.
   After the radicle/root, the first leaf emerges, and the
resulting leaf/root pair treated like any other plant seedling.
A very weak fertilizer solution administered every now and then
will help things along; 'weakly, weekly', as the orchid growers
do for adult plants. Seedlings don't want to be in strong sun,
but the brightest shade should make for stocky vs. long floppy
Jim Fisher
Vienna, Virginia USA
38.9 N 77.2 W
USDA Zone 7
Max. 105 F [40 C], Min. 5 F [-15 C]

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