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Haemanthus coccineus

Haemanthus coccineus

Germinating the seeds

 

Your seeds should be planted the day you receive them

 Getting started -- Rinse the seeds in plain water.  Be careful not to drop them down the drain!

  You may plant them individual pots about 3 inches (8 cm) wide with drainage holes.  The pot will hold the plant the first year. 

 Fill with a very well-draining mix, such as 1 part potting soil to 1 part perlite.  An alternate mix is 2 parts perlite to 1 part coco fiber, with some granular fertilizer mixed in.  Don't compress the soil.

 Press the seeds into the dry soil so that just the tip is visible.  Add water so the soil is lightly moist throughout, but not fully saturated. 

 The optimal germination temperature is about 66-79 F (19-26C) during the day.  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get above 80 F (27C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 If you enclose the pot in a plastic container or bag to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for fresh air to enter.  You may need to drip some water around the seeds periodically to keep them moist.

 Keep them in bright light out of direct sun.  An LED lamp placed 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").

 The seeds will first grow a root, followed by a leaf about 2-4 weeks later.  They tend to sprout at different times, with most of them sprouting between 1 and 3 months.  Occasionally they can take longer, so as long as the seeds are firm, don't give up on them! 

 Once they sprout, continue giving bright light, with no direct sun the first few months, unless it's weak sun.

 If the seed happens to pop up out of the soil, add a little soil around it so it's mostly buried.

 Fertilizing -- Once the first leaf appears, give a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, since it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients.  Repeat this once a month until early spring.

 Watering -- Aim to keep the soil evenly moist, but not saturated.

 Light -- Once they're a few months old, you can give them some direct sun.  Increase the sun a little each week, watching for possible burning.  The don't need lots of sun, but a few hours helps.  Shade them from afternoon sun the first 2 years, unless it's weak sun.

 Dormancy -- The bulbs normally go dormant for the summer, but young seedlings might continue to grow through summer if grown indoors.  If the foliage turns yellow in late spring, reduce the watering since the bulb is preparing for dormancy.  Once dormant, keep the soil slightly damp throughout summer, but not wetter than this.  You may repot during this time to a pot about 4 inches (10 cm) wide, which will hold it for 2 years. 

 Soil -- You can repot using the same soil mix described above.  Leave the top part of the bulb exposed.  As the bulb grows bigger each year, more of it can remain exposed.

 Growing onward..

Climate -- They should be kept below about 85F (29C) during the growing season of early autumn through mid-spring (October to May in the northern hemisphere).  While they are young, keep them from freezing.  Older plants are said to tolerate a light frost, but it's best to protect them from frost.

  General info on the plant is here.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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