(Sarracenia, Darlingtonia, Temperate Drosera, Temperate Pinguicula)
- This method is good for germinating seed of all types of trumpet pitchers, parrot pitchers, purple pitcher plants, albany pitcher plants, temperate butterworts and temperate sundews like drosera linearis, binata, rotundifolia to name but a few
- 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
- Mix 2 parts water retention ingredients to 1 part drainage material
- Wash the growing media thoroughly by rinsing with distilled water a couple of times and buffer the pH to 3.8-4.0 if needed
- 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 - highly recommended) Put the media in a microwave safe container and microwave on high power for a few minutes until it starts to boil 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°C for 1-2 months
- Remember to label your seeds. Record the sowing date and the estimated end of the cold stratification so you don't forget about them
- Try not to disturb the seeds, while keeping a watchful eye for mold during this period
- The key factors to successful germination is warmth, humidity and very bright light
- 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 20°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, consider using a desk lamp (our 12w PAR38 LED grow light 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...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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