Germinating the seeds
Your seeds should be planted immediately when received
Getting started -- You may either plant them in individual pots, or all together in a communal pot. Either way, the pots should be about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) tall and have drainage holes. Fill it with a loose soil mix that is high in organic matter. A good mix is 1 part potting soil, 1 part fine-grade orchid bark, and 1 part perlite or pumice.
Sterilize the seeds by soaking them for 10 minutes in a mix of 1 part household bleach to 10 parts water, then rinse them well. Push them into the surface so that the top of the seed is even with the surface, and you can see just the tip of the seed. Plant them at least 1.5 inches (4 cm) from each other. Water the soil until evenly moist (but not soggy).
The optimal germination temperature is about 65-75° F (18-24°C) during the day. A little cooler at night is ok. Avoid letting them get above 80° F (27°C). I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pot, since the temperature can vary in different parts of a room. Keep the pot in bright light out of direct sun. A fluorescent bulb placed 4-5 inches (11 cm) away provides the right amount of light.
Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil always stays moist. If you enclose the pot in a bag or clear plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for fresh air to enter. You may need to drip water a few drops of water on the seeds daily to keep them moist.
They should begin sprouting within 3 to 5 weeks. Occasionally they can take up to 2 months, so as long as the seeds look healthy, don't give up on them! Once they sprout, continue giving bright light, with no direct sun for the first 6 weeks.
Fertilizing -- If your potting soil contains nutrients (check the label) your seedlings should need no feeding the first 3 weeks. Thereafter, feed about 2 months with a slow-release (organic or pelleted) fertilizer.
Re-potting -- You may repot to a bigger pot any time after they are 4 months old. Plants under 2 years old may be kept in a 1 gallon (4 liter) pot. Older plants may be kept in a 3-5 gallon (12-20 liter) pot, depending on whether you remove the offsets that will develop.
Climate -- The plant comes from 1000-2000 meter elevation, where temperatures are mild all year. It is reported to grow well in temperatures in the 90s (36°C). Its roots probably can handle down to the mid-20s (-4°C) but it's best to protect it from frost. Indoors, the plant can stay evergreen unless exposed to very cool temperatures, which may cause dormancy.
Lighting -- This forest plant prefers filtered sunlight or bright shade. Protect it from strong afternoon sun.
Watering -- The roots like to be kept moist, but not soggy. So aim to keep the soil evenly moistened. Don't let it dry out completely.
If your tap water is very "hard", meaning high in minerals, use bottled water or rain water.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
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