Instructions: Growing exotic plants from seed

(Sensitive plants / Dancing plants)

  • Prepare a growing substrate that is fine and rich in nutrients. As long as it is well drained, light and airy, it is perfect
  • The most widely used ingredients to create a germination substrate, suitable for mimosa pudica and dancing plants, are: cotton, sphagnum peat moss, coco peat, sifted compost mixed with potting soil, rockwool, long fiber sphagnum moss, any of our carnivorous plant promixes, horticultural perlite and washed silica sand or any other course sand 
  • Mix the ingredients in equal parts and moisten it thoroughly
  • Long fiber sphagnum moss (we use shredded LFS in some of our seed starter packs) can be soaked in clean water overnight, to expand to its full capacity
  • Add a good amount of water to the substrate mix and place it in a microwave safe container.  Microwave on full power for a couple of minutes to kill any spores in the growing media and let it cool down completely
  • Choose a plastic container and punch some holes into the top and bottom for drainage and ventilation, or sterilise and use a plant pot with drainage holes 
  • Add the substrate to the container and level it to just below the rim
  • Next, open the seed envelope carefully - some seeds are small! Soak the seeds in lukewarm water overnight (until swollen)
  • Remove the seeds from the water and place them carefully on the surface of the moist substrate - bury them slightly, just below the soil level so they are covered by a very thin layer of media and make good contact with the soil
  • Use a spray bottle and mist the surface lightly using clean water to ensure the seeds make good contact with the moist media
  • Place the container in a shallow tray with a little water.  Maintain a fluctuating water level up to 1 cm by letting the tray dry slightly in-between waterings
  • Cover the container with glass or a plastic ziplock bag with holes for ventilation to create a humid growing environment
  • Place the growing chamber in a warm place with as much STRONG, indirect light as possible
  • For good germination, most seeds need temperatures around 25°C and can be started indoors or outdoors (out of direct sun)
  • A heating pad can be used to keep seeds warm during winter and a day-night temperature difference of 10°C may also improve germinate rate
  • If grown on a sunny windowsill indoors, consider using a desk lamp (a daylight compact fluorescent bulb works great) to supplement light - a light cycle of 12 to 14 hours is recommended
  • When germinating seeds outdoors, a couple hours of early morning sun will suffice but take caution, as direct sun will cause heat to build up under the glass or inside the ziplock bag and can cook the seeds.  Also protect the growing chamber from rain as it may wash away all your progress 
  • Remember to label your seeds and record the sowing date
  • Remove the glass or open the ziplock bag every couple of days for a few minutes to provide ventilation and water the soil surface if necessary, ensuring the growing media never dries out (never soggy though - you do not want floating seeds)
  • Growing exotic plants plants from seed can be very rewarding but may (and will probably) in most cases, test your patience to the extreme.  BE PATIENT and observe for growth through the glass or ziplock bag
  • Most exotic plant seeds germinate within 2 to 4 weeks; however; some species are seasonal which means they may only germinate weeks, to even months later 
  • The main germination factors are fresh seeds, warmth, humidity, VERY bright light and lots of patience
  • Try not to disturb the seedlings. Change water when discolouration occurs, and improve airflow if you notice algae developing on the soil surface 
  • Once your seeds have germinated, acclimatise the seedlings to the outside world by opening the glass for longer periods each day (or snipping off corners from the ziplock bag) removing it completely over a period of a week
  • Once the seedlings are around 3 to 4 cm you can leave them be for bushy growth or gently separate them and repot each on their own into fresh soil
  • Be gentle and take the necessary time when repotting, keeping in mind that seedlings may have very fragile roots and are not fond of root disturbance
  • Both dancing plants and mimosa pudica (touch me not's) are frost tender and also heavy feeders.  Protect from frost and foliar feed plants with a high nitrogen fertiliser every 2 weeks during summertime
  • As with any plant seed, we can - due to a range of factors - of course never absolutely guarantee germination, however, we can provide you with this clear, concise sowing guideline, assert that the seeds we sell are carefully labeled, guarantee that they are authentic and procured from trusted suppliers, as well as one of the most important factors with regards to success - fresh seed!

Wishing you the best of luck

Happy Growing!!