INSTRUCTIONS: General sowing instructions (with cold stratification)
(Sarracenia, Darlingtonia, Temperate Drosera, Temperate Pinguicula)
- Prepare a substrate that is nutrient poor, without any additives, fertilizers, etc.
- Suitable ingredients are: pure, canadian peat moss, dried and chopped long fiber sphagnum moss (not live sphagnum, because it can overgrow the seedlings), shredded pine bark, perlite, washed silica sand or any other sand that does not contain lime, salt or chemicals, mixed in equal parts.
- As long as there is no fertilizer or nutrient rich materials in the mix and it is well drained, light and airy it is good
- Moisten the growing media thoroughly, long fiber sphagnum can be kept in standing water for a couple of hours or overnight to expand to its full capacity
- (Optional Step) Put the media in a microwave safe container and microwave on high power for a minute or two to kill spores in the media. Let it cool down.
- Open the seed packet carefully - some seeds are tiny!
- Level the growing media and spread the seeds on the surface without burying them, they'll eventually need light to germinate
- Use a spray bottle - distilled or reverse osmosis water preferred - and mist the surface to ensure the seeds make contact with the moist media
- Close the container with cling wrap or a clear lid and place in a ziplock bag. Put it in the refrigerator for 4-8weeks. Choose a spot where it won't tip over eg the salad drawer. A natural cold stratification can also be done outside in areas with cold winters. Ideally the seeds will need temperatures of 2-5 degrees Celcius for 1-2 months
- Remember to label your seeds. Record the sowing date and the beginning and estimated end of the cold stratification
- Try not to disturb the seeds, while keeping a watchful eye for mold during this period
- After the cold stratification period, place the container in a tray with 0.5-1cm water - use a fine water mist on the surface every 3-4 days if necessary - make sure the media does not dry out but not soggy - you don't want floating seeds. Punch holes in the lid or ziplock bag for ventilation
- For good germination the seeds need temperatures above 15°C and can be started indoors or outdoors (out of direct sun). A heating pad can be used to keep seeds warm
- If grown indoors / sunny windowsill, consider using a desk lamp (a daylight cfl bulb works great) to supplement light - a light cycle of 12-16 hours is recommended
- Be patient - observe for growth through the clear bag or glass. Try not to disturb the seedlings. Some species germinate in 4-8weeks, some sooner, some much later
- Once your seeds have sprouted, slowly acclimatise the seedlings by opening the ventilation holes completely over a period of a week
- Once the seedlings are around 1-2cm you can remove the cap
- At this stage you can either leave it in the container for bushy growth or gently separate and repot when they are 3-4cm - keep in mind seedlings have very fragile roots
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