Germinating the seeds
When to plant -- Plant your seeds when you receive them for best results.
Getting started -- Use small containers or cups that have drainage holes. For soil, use a standard, well draining soil mix, such as 3 parts potting soil to 2 parts perlite or coarse sand. An alternate mix is equal parts of coir fiber and perlite. Don't add lime to the mix.
Fill each container, but don't pack it down. Place a seed or 2 on top. Next sprinkle some long-fiber sphagnum moss over the surface. The purpose is not to bury the seeds but to help maintain moisture. If you don't have sphagnum moss, sprinkle some perlite instead.
Add water until the soil is evenly moist, but not soggy. Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface never dries out. An easy way to maintain high humidity by enclosing the pots in a plastic container or bag - just leave it open a crack to let in fresh air. Once or twice a day, drip a few drops of water on the surface to keep it moist.
Keep the pots at about 65-75 degrees F (18-24°C). A little cooler at night is ok. Avoid letting them get above 77°F (25°C) for prolonged periods. I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots, especially if using a heating mat.
Keep them in a bright spot, but not in direct sun. A fluorescent bulb kept 5 inches (12 cm) above the soil provides the right amount of light.
The seeds should begin sprouting within 6 weeks, but allow up to 10 weeks for any slow ones to sprout, especially at cooler temperatures.
Give your seedlings bright light, but avoid direct sunlight the first 4-6 weeks. I recommend growing them indoors the first few months.
Watering - Continue keeping the surface soil moist the first 2 months.. then you may allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings (keep the lower soil evenly moist, but not soggy).
If your tap water is very high in minerals ("hard water") i recommend using bottled water or rain water.
Fertilizing -- For the first 3 months, feed weekly with a very dilute (1/8th strength) liquid fertilizer. Hydroponic fertilizer works the best for this, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients. After 2 months, you may switch to a slow-release, granular fertilizer and feed every 2-3 months.
Repotting - When the plants are 6+ months old, you may transplant them to a larger container. Transplant carefully to avoid letting the soil ball break apart, which can damage the roots. Watering the soil before repotting can help avoid this. For the first week after repotting, give no direct sun or liquid fertilizer.
Feeding - Feed about every 3 months during the growing season with a slow-release fertilizer, or feed weekly with a dilute liquid fertilizer.
Light -- Tree-filtered sun or morning sun is preferred by this cloudforest plant. Protect it from strong sun.
Climate - Macleania is found in areas with mild daytime temperatures, and nights that are cool. I'm unsure if it will thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 degrees F (29°C), especially if nights are warm. It can probably tolerate a light frost, but i recommend keeping it from freezing. Over about 40% humidity is best.
Pests to watch for - Look for any insects that have affected your other plants.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Have fun growing them!
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