germinating south african seeds

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

So, I went wild this January and ordered many types of seeds from Silverhill. The watsonias germinated well, and many of the babianas did, too, but the gladioli, the lapeirousia, romuleas, and the hesperantha are just sitting there - fat, sassy, but not a sprout in sight. Any ideas?

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Being from Africa maybe a heat mat would help? I have glad.orchidflorus seeds on the way and plan on (I hope) starting them on the heat mat under grow lights.

Silverhill? Got a link you'd share with us?

P

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

here ya go! http://www.silverhillseeds.co.za/

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks

Cobb County, GA(Zone 7b)

Hi Colchie,

I can't give you any advice personally but you may want to check out these websites if you haven't already (both are part of sanbi):
http://www.plantzafrica.com/index.html
http://www.sanbi.org/

Tuckahoe, NY

Definitely no heat mat for South African winter growing bulb/corm seeds. South Africa has a diverse climate, most of it subtropical or temperate rather than really tropical. Most plants from the winter rainfall part (western and southern parts of the old Cape Province) need cool temperatures to germinate well. Some will germinate in a refrigerator, though having variation between night and day temps also helps, eg cold at night cool in day. Start the seeds in fall since they naturally grow thru the winter and die back in mid to late spring. I germinate most in a room which gets cool at night, but sometimes I will start seeds on a terrace in the fall and bring them in once they sprout or before frost threatens. Protea seeds can also be germinated this way-but not in standard commercial seed starting mixes since they all seem to have added fertilizer--added phosphorus is deadly to proteas.
If you are germinating summer growing plants from eastern SA, they often germinate easily at normal room temperatures or nearly so. A few kinds, like adeniums, like it quite warm, for those a heat mat could be quite helpful.
Babiana seeds tend to come up within a few weeks of sowing, so do most glads, the others vary according to the species. It is not uncommon for some Romuleas and Lapeirousias to wait till the following year to come up. If you get no germination in a couple of months, dry the pots out for summer, and start watering again in Sept/Oct. Some kinds from higher altitudes need cooler temps to germinate, Lapeirousia oregana seems to be one of these.
Some seeds may germinate better when treated with "smoke water" solution, though I have not tried it myself. Silverhill would have more info on this.
If your winter growers just began to sprout now, keep them as cool as possible (probably not a problem in the northwest) to maximize their growing period so they can make good baby corms or bulbs before the leaves die back. Once the leaves die back, cease watering or the corms will likely rot.
Good luck.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Boy,I'm glad you popped in here. I was about to sow my gladiolus orchidiflorus under light on a heat mat. I assumed being from African.......and you know what assuming does*S*

I wonder if I could sow them in pot,slip them into a ziplock baggie and refrigerated them if that'd work????

Tuckahoe, NY

Refrigeration will work, its just that it would be better to start the seeds in the fall, their natural cycle is to grow from fall to spring,and they don't take well to being forced to grow in summer (hot weather makes them go dormant, as do long days). This is one reason why sparaxis and ixia hybrid bulbs sold in the big box stores in spring don't do that great in gardens, especially in hot areas. Even if they manage to come up for spring, they quickly go dormant, then try to come up in fall if the summer wetness and heat doesn't rot the dormant corms.
G. orchidiflorus does have some really cool looking flowers of a weird greenish color. In the right climate (or in a cool greenhouse) it is one of the easier SA bulbs to grow.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

OK,so I'll curb my impatience and store them as is in the frig until fall then sow them in my greenhouse.

Thanks for the info.

P

Tempe, AZ(Zone 9b)

All the sites say to plant in August or September.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Alrighty

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

congminglaoshi - thanks for the insider's scoop. That's just the kind of information I was looking for!

Karlovac, Croatia

I just sowed Watsonia marginata seeds in a well drained soil (mix of compost and sand), in the end just covered seeds with pure sand.
I plan to keep it inside as it is autumn here, close to winter.
At what temperatures should I keep pots in?
I also sowed sparaxis grandiflora ssp. acutiloba seeds so I wonder the same for that too!
If anyone has any experience with it I would really appreciate it because this is the first time I am trying it.

Karlovac, Croatia

I can hapilly report that all of 20 sparaxis seeds have sprouted 14 days after sowing!
It's in a very small pot though so I will surely need to take them out when they become a bit bigger.
If anyone has some advice to give me what I should do with it, it would be very appreciated! :)
Here are the pics:
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n371/tennismaster8820/DSC06739.jpg
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n371/tennismaster8820/DSC06737.jpg

Tuckahoe, NY

They will be fine in a smallish pot for their first year, if they seem to be outgrowing it, you can transplant the whole pot into a slightly bigger pot--don't try and separate the seedlings while they are growing. Keep in a sunny cool place, or under lights in a cool area--small corms form the first year. When the leaves die down, probably around late spring or so, you can separate the young corms and keep them dry until fall, then replant into bigger pots and start watering again. Corms can also be kept in the pot for the summer, but keep the pot dry until at least late September. Good luck, and congrads on getting them started.

Karlovac, Croatia

Quote from congminglaoshi :
They will be fine in a smallish pot for their first year, if they seem to be outgrowing it, you can transplant the whole pot into a slightly bigger pot--don't try and separate the seedlings while they are growing. Keep in a sunny cool place, or under lights in a cool area--small corms form the first year. When the leaves die down, probably around late spring or so, you can separate the young corms and keep them dry until fall, then replant into bigger pots and start watering again. Corms can also be kept in the pot for the summer, but keep the pot dry until at least late September. Good luck, and congrads on getting them started.


Thanks for the advice! :D

Good that you told me not to transplant seedlings while they are growing as that what I was thinking to do since all 20 seeds sprouted in such small pot. I've read somewhere online that sparaxis seeds sprout erraticly so when I sowed I didn't expect them all to sprout.
Of course I will transplant whole pot later as it really should be necessary.
I will continue to keep the pot at the window because temperature seems perfect, it is cooler place and with lots of light during day which doesn't last long.
Hopefully some of my watsonia seeds will also germinate, but they need a bit more time surely.
I will keep giving information here about progress of seedlings, hopefully all goes well!

Karlovac, Croatia

Today I also noticed first watsonia marginata seedling! :D
Hopefully many more will sprout too.
I've read that both watsonia and sparaxis seeds need 30-90 days to germinate but here it's happening all much quicker.
I don't mind that at all.
Pots are in room which gets colder at night, just like congminglaoshi explained would suit them the best.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I forgot about the glad seeds until a couple weeks ago so I sowed them out late. Just got back from a trip to San Antonio and I haven't checked on them yet.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I got so busy during the months recommend for sowing the glad seeds that I didn't get them sown until early Nov but happy to report they germinated pretty fast.

P

Karlovac, Croatia

Time for new update! :p
Today I transplanted sparaxis seedlings in bigger 8" pot. I've noticed some already formed very small corns.
I couldn't move the entire pot with soil into bigger one because soil made of sand wasn't yet connected with roots and it desintegrated as soon as I tried to put it out. Hopefully seedlings won't mind it and continue to grow nicely.
Here are the pics of new pot:
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n371/tennismaster8820/DSC06756.jpg
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n371/tennismaster8820/DSC06758.jpg

Watsonia marginata seedlings are doing well. So far I let them grow in small pot untill they get stronger for transplant into bigger one, same as with sparaxis.
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n371/tennismaster8820/DSC06760.jpg

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