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i hold the seed in a pair of needle nose pliers this is great for the small type of canna seeds i then run the seed back and forth across a file i can do ten small seeds in less then 5 mins . the biger canna seeds you can hold by hand . i soak my seeds for 72 hours i change the water 2 times a day use like warm water. i fill small foam coffee cups with vermiculite and plant a seed in each one. i have a better germnation rate useing the verm. i start my brugmansias in verm also . i got this about the Verm. from Alice Harris . my germnation rate is about 95 pecent sents i started doing it this way. when you do the canna seeds stop when you see some white on the seed from useing the file hope this may help . regards paul
I grab my seeds with multi-gauge wire cutters to make a dent then take my dremel tool and drill a hole in it until I see white. I then soak in hand hot water for 24 hours and plant in ProMix BX, a peat based potting mix, in a window box to the depth of the seeds. Once they are about an inch tall I'll plant into a larger pot where they stay until I see roots coming out the bottom then plant outside or in a much larger pot.
If your dealing with thousands of seeds place them in a tray with no holes and fill it half way with dirt then wet the dirt till moist and set a few hundred seeds on the soil. Place the humidity dome on top and place it in a extremely hot place full sun. Check them daily and remove and pot up as they sprout. Works the same in 2 liter bottles but not as easy to pull them out.
No acid baths or any of that. If I want them to pop up faster I put them in the microwave for about 3 seconds. This heats up the inside of the seed and causes them to react faster but in most cases I can bairly keep up with what germinates on their own in the humidity domes. Once they reach about 90 to 100 in the dome they really start popping. I think watching them each day is a must. If they germinate and sit in the heat for a few days they may cook.. I believe the seed weakens as they stay moist and as the they feel the heat the plant forces its way out. If I am dealing with smaller amounts of seeds I use the nick method but when doing thousands this is the only way to do it. At the end of the year I usually have some left over but usually a few thousand sprout more than what I can handle planting usually. My method of breeding uses a lot of numbers to produce new odd hybrids. I have to produce around 2000 to 10,000 cannas a year to get what I am after it seems.
Brian, I've enjoyed reading about your aroid projects and your dark leaved cannas here or maybe it was on the Tropicals forum. I identify with your interest in developing plants that others may consider odd or out of the ordinary. I have just started gathering a few cannas to play with this year. Certainly not on the scale of your projects, but I want to be as efficient as possible with starting the seedlings. Interesting concept that higher heat is more effective than longer periods of moisture at lower temperatures...
I have primarily been involved with Japanese Morning Glories, with interests in the unusual mutations that affect plant growth habits, leaf shape, flower form, and leaf color and variegation.
Wow - 8 days exactly and both of my seeds have sprouted (about 1/2 inch).
Now, I guess I should remove the plastic bag "domes". Should I leave them under the lights or take them outside? They're in individual 3" pots.
thanks - this is really cool. My first cannas from seed!