Germinating the seeds
Getting started - Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination. The seeds are small, so work in a well-lit area.
Use a well-draining soil mix. I use a mix of 1 part coco fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not coarse-grade). An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite. Don't add lime to your mix.
Fill pots that have drainage holes. If you plant multiple seeds per pot, plant them at least 1 inch (3 cm) from each other. If you have long-fibered sphagnum moss, sprinkle a small amount over the surface. This helps retain moisture around the seeds while allowing light to reach them, which aids germination. The amount of moss to use is shown in this photo. If you don't have the moss, sprinkle a small amount of your soil mix around the seeds. Then add water until everything is evenly moist (but not soggy).
Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the top layer always stays moist (but not soggy). An easy way to maintain high moisture levels is to enclose the pots in a plastic container. Leave it open slightly to allow some fresh air to circulate, to prevent stem rot later.
Keep the pots between 66-77 degrees F (19-25°C). A little cooler at night is ok. Avoid letting them get above 80°F (27°C) for prolonged periods. I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.
Give the pots bright light out of direct sun. An LED or fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").
The seeds tend to begin sprouting within about 3-4 weeks and continue for another 6 weeks. Continue keeping the soil surface moist for 4 weeks after they sprout.
Fertilizing -- The first 2 months, feed weekly with a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer. Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for small seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients. After 2 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package. Or continue feeding weekly with liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength.
Wait until the plants are about 2 inches tall (5 cm) before transplanting to a larger pot. Repot very gently to avoid disturbing the roots.
Once they have several leaves, you may give them some morning sun. Transition them to more sun very gradually. Remember that this is a cloudforest plant and does not like prolonged, strong sun. Over about 40-50% humidity is best. If your plant seem to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.
Tips on growing established plants are here.
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