2010 was my first year growing Daturas. My dad purchased and collected several different varieties and split them with me. We began starting our seeds in February 2010. I started my seeds in my basement constructing a small grow room in an unused closet. He started his in his sun room. With neither of us having prior seed starting experience, we made it a point to compare notes daily and trade pictures( my dad lives in SC and I reside in IL). We were both thrilled with the results not to mention the added excitement of seeing and talking about each others progress. Much of my seed starting knowledge was gained from this forum so I thought other members might enjoy seeing my pics as much as I have enjoyed seeing yours.
Half way through August we had a major storm come through that uprooted and laid over almost every single Datura plant in the yard. I carefully re-planted them and staked them with Bamboo. It seemed to spur their growth rather than stunt them.
Most of the seeds I germinated in the basement took over a month to sprout. I still had seeds sprouting in starter cups at the end of May. Not wanting to waste seeds, I dumped the seeds that hadn't germinated into flower beds. Some of those seeds which didn't sprout till early June outgrew the plants that had started in February. As with most of my plants, I found the key to success was finding the right spot with the conditions most favorable to the specific plant. I don't plan on starting nearly as many Daturas indoors this year. I will sow them directly to the ground instead.
The purple seed pods were also fascinating to watch develop. I had a very nice surprise at the end of the season when I was cutting down the plants and removing the seed pods. I had one branch on a purple Datura that had spikes on the seed pods. Of course I have keep those seeds separate and can't wait to see the results of the cross pollination.
Beautiful! I wish I had more room : } I only have room for a few. Thanks for showing your lovely blooms! love the seedpod too! I have to find my seeds and send some to you..for your new bed : )
One is named Mr Purple.
Gorgeous!! How many did you start last year? Any idea what your germination rate was? Any particular ones better than any others? And how did the ones do that your Dad started? Did any particular variety out perform the rest? Any under perform? Curious, so hope you don't mind all the questions, :-)
Running out of room will not be a problem for me anytime soon. Just last month my neighbors put a ten acre hay field on the market that borders the side and back of our current lot and I was lucky enough to be able to purchase it. I can picture lots of new flower beds in my future. I would gladly send you some of my fragrant Inoxia seeds in return.
Wow, can only imagine 10 acres of flower beds! How awesome! And just think of the size of the greenhouse you can fit in, lol! Your plants are gorgeous! If you have any extra purple seeds, I would love some sometime. Just curious, did you start your seeds in a soiless mix, or what kind of soil?
Thank you skellog, I don't mind answering your questions one bit. I would guess my germination rate to be around 85% Probably better than that, because late in the season I gave up on some of the seeds that would have likely germinated.
At one point I probably had fifty seedlings. I lost a dozen or so early on making the mistake of using expanding peat pots creating mold/fungus issues. I quickly found that sterile seed starting soil was a better method.
I used a heated seed mat to germinate my seeds, my dad didn't, my seeds germinated twice as fast. I had florescent grow lights my dad had afternoon sun. Once sprouted my plants grew faster. Germination time varied a great deal in both situations. Somewhere between 30 - 120+ days. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as far as varieties went. Some seeds popped quickly while others took months.
My dad had all but given up when his seeds finally started to germinate. We both used Jiffy organic seed starter soil the only difference was I microwave mine before using it. Mine averaged three weeks from sprouting till they had their second true set of leaves, then I transplanted to miracle grow soil. I used a combination of fish emulsion and sea magic to fertilize periodically.
Most of mine were transplanted twice during their stay in my grow room. Judging from the roots when I transplanted them, most should have been transplanted a third time. Mine spent a week outdoors during the hardening off phase, my dad had his outside for several weeks. His temps were considerably higher so he thought it would take longer for the plants to adjust. We both had a noticeable shock phase for several weeks after transplanting to the yard.We both lost several during that time.
My dad had one of the hottest summers on record in South Carolina. He had almost no measurable rain for two months. He had bug issues far worse then mine with some of his plants having all the leaves completely eaten off the plants. In spite of all of this his plants survived and by the end of the summer had rebounded and were blooming profusely. The frost didn't do his in until November.
I had plants that out preformed others, but nothing variety specific. It seemed more specific to location. The one plant that my dad and I both agreed on not growing again was the Tatula. It produces lots of small blooms that are quickly replace with thorny spiked seed pods. It also grows out as quickly as it grows in height. For the space it consumes it just doesn't have the appeal that the other Datura varieties have.
Thanks Garry! That's fascinating to me, so really appreciate the info. Sounds like you are doing fabulous with them, and now I obviously am going to have to start some seeds. Probably won't search for any Tatula seeds tho :-) I think I have some black currant swirl seeds, and it sounds like even in my cold frozen north, I could start some now.
Your best bet is to put them in the largest pots you have available and still have room to keep inside. I transplanted into 3" cups for my first transplant and was repotting them again just a few short weeks later.
Fest- love all your Dat's...I've had really good success using a heat mat too - much quicker to germinate...have a whole tray of Black Currant Swirl up now and just a few Golden Queens have germ'd...still waiting on lilac lefleur and two other variety's to germinate...
I'm glad you like my pics rednyr. It sounds like your off to a great start this year with your Daturas as well. I have about a dozen seedlings transplanted now and more coming up every day. I sure enjoy the process of nurturing them and watching them grow. I too only have had a few Golden Queens sprout, but my Triple White Purity's and Unforgettable's have all sprouted.
Well, spring is a way off for me here, but I'm still starting some Dat seeds anyway. I'll just move them to bigger pots if I have to come spring. Have any of you grown them out in pots? How big a pots did you use? Planning on growing at least 4 or 6 in pots until after the middle of Sept., as I need them for wedding decorations for a family member, so would love to know what to expect, especially since this is my first year for dats anyway. ;-) And I was hoping that I could get some pretty pots for them this weekend as there is an auction this weekend for a flower shop that went out of business and they are selling all their inventory and fixtures.