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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#447977
I'm going to be planting five Drosophyllum lusitanicum/Dewy Pine seeds shortly. I have a vast assortment of ingredients....peat, perlite, and maybe some play sand (if I can pick out the Barbie accessories and possible tiny plastic rabbits ;) ). I've been trying to figure out a mix to use. From what I can tell, some of you use something like 25% peat moss to 75% perlite. Others use a 1:1:1 ratio of peat/perlite/sand. Still others, do a big mix of equal parts peat/perlite/pumice/sand/vermiculite. I'm leaning to the simple 25/75 peat/perlite mix...but that's negotiable. :)

I've read of the plants being *very* sensitive to root disturbance and in some places it is recommended to plant the seeds in a 10" or larger terracotta pot. Then, in other places, I've read that you can plant a seed in a small Jiffy (peat) pot, punch some holes in the pots, and then germinate the seeds in them. Once the seeds are up an inch or two(?) tall *then* transplant them seedling to its "forever home". I'm leaning towards the peat pot method (I have some 3" Jiffy pots on hand).

I'd love some input from you all on this....I'd love to get at least a couple of plants out of these five seeds! Thanks!!! :D
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By ChefDean
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#447978
I used about a 2 to 3:1 ratio of perlite to peat and scarified the seeds. Keep the media wet like a sundew until germination, then slowly back off the water as they grow until the media is damp all the time like a Nepenthes.
Mine did great, even went through dormancy with my temperates, but I think the polar vortex cold did them in.
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By Intheswamp
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#447979
Ok, so a little heavier with the peat than what I was considering.

Do you nip the seeds with nail clippers or sandpaper them? Which end of the seed? Or do you just kinda tumble them between sheets of sandpaper?

How cold did it get to take them out? The lowest we really ever get to is the upper teens, usually the mid-twenties. I think I've seen it once get down below 10F down here.
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By ChefDean
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#447980
You're about right on the peat, about 25ish%.
I scarified them with sandpaper in a few places until I saw a lighter color.
They were in my garage, which typically doesn't get below 40. But, for that week, it got down to single digits outside, and just barely above freezing in the garage. That was likely too cold. I have them outside in the hope that there's a spark left, but it's not looking good.
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By Intheswamp
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#447982
Wow, I hope they pull out of it! These were first year seedlings or older? I was thinking they could handle it a little bit down below freezing, but not for an extended period. I'll keep this in mind and make sure to keep them a bit warmer than I had figured on during the winter (provided I get some growing, of course! ;) ).
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By Intheswamp
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#448009
Doing a little pre-planting work here. Very intense stuff!!! :lol: Punched holes in peat pot and now soaking in distilled water to resulting TDS level in the water. After just a couple of minutes the TDS had risen from 0ppm to 8ppm. Ten minutes later the TDS is at 11ppm, still below the much more restrictive JPL limitations. Now, at the strictly mandated minimum fifteen minutes (or thereabouts) soaking time the TDS has risen to 14ppm. So, the pot will continue soaking for a while following the GDOT (Gonna Do Other Things) guidelines. I know everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting for the final TDS measurement, waiting with excitement and bated breath, but you will just have to wait. 8-)
Attachments:
NASA certified peat pots (test subject).
NASA certified peat pots (test subject).
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Peat pot in USDA certified soaking container.
Peat pot in USDA certified soaking container.
IMG_2500 (Custom).JPG (329.19 KiB) Viewed 937 times
Interior view of holes punched per NASA specifications.
Interior view of holes punched per NASA specifications.
IMG_2499 (Custom).JPG (222.03 KiB) Viewed 937 times
Exterior view of holes punched per NASA specifications.
Exterior view of holes punched per NASA specifications.
IMG_2497 (Custom).JPG (233.54 KiB) Viewed 937 times
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By Intheswamp
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#448027
Final TDS for the peat pot

After poking holes in four more peat pots and cutting my finger on my Lilliputian Swiss Army knife that *somebody* sharpened way too sharp, I’ve decided it would have been simpler to toss the cups in the air and shoot them with #4 shot. Just sayin’…

Grow mix question: Any need in sterilizing the peat moss?
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By Intheswamp
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#448034
Oops...the final TDS for the peat pot is 16ppm. Ok, got that outta the way! ;)

Forget the sterilization question...we skipped it. :mrgreen: I rinse the ingredients and made a mix of four cups of perlite and 1.2845738 cups of moist peat moss. Does this look about right?

I'm headed to scarify the seeds and soak them overnight.
Attachments:
IMG_2506 (Custom).JPG
IMG_2506 (Custom).JPG (649.56 KiB) Viewed 909 times
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By Intheswamp
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#448053
I made it through scarifying them and I'm letting them soak for a day. I think the scarifying worked out pretty good. :? I'm hoping that I got three grow points showing, kinda like I knocked off the whole tip of the husk and left the meat. The other two looked like I cut the tip of the seed, but hopefully that won't be a problem. We'll see. Got the seeds soaking in distilled water and the peat cups filled. Tomorrow evening I'll be ready to plant the seeds.

Those were some tiny seeds to scarify! :shock: Holding them in place is the trick. :o The nail clippers were not used. I found the nail file to be a great tool for holding the seed still while you chip away at the husk with your blade. Use the magnifier to position the edge of the nail file over half the seed, leaving the pointed end uncovered. Press down on the file hard enough to hold the seed in place and chip away. This file was the "cushiony" type, not a hard, stiff one so it seemed to "give" where it pressed against the seed, grippig it. The mini Swiss Army did pretty good since the seed was so tiny. I slowly chipped away on all sides of the pointed end, eventually it was like the knife just flipped a cap off the tip. Slow and easy. I think the two that I nicked were because I got in a hurry.

I think I've got everything set up...maybe. Now to work on finding out how to give them the environment they need to get started in.
Attachments:
Seeds soaking.
Seeds soaking.
IMG_2517pp.jpg (473.03 KiB) Viewed 888 times
Pots filled and seeds soaking.
Pots filled and seeds soaking.
IMG_2516 (Custom).JPG (456.23 KiB) Viewed 888 times
The scarification setup.
The scarification setup.
IMG_2513 (Custom).JPG (364.82 KiB) Viewed 888 times
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By steve booth
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Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#448059
Hi I.T.S.
When I have grown these in the past (I have now given up on them now as the winters tend to kill them in my greenhouse), I have soaked the seeds in water for 24 hours, not scarified the seeds, planted them in peat jiffy pots, in a 40/60 peat perlite mix and grown very, very wet. When germinated I drop the whole (by now collapsing due to the wet) jiffy pot, into the same mix, in a 10" terracotta pot, that being their final growing container.
I get about 75% germination using this method, so looking at what you have done, you should be good.
Cheers
Steve
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By Intheswamp
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#448071
Thanks for the feedback, Steve. What temperatures do you get in your greenhouse in the winter? I'm worried about this as well, and wondering if this really should be grown by people in more tropical climates. :? In my readings it seems I stumbled upon Mike Wang talking about them withstanding 20F temperatures and frosts. I've got the old trailer I can move them into in the winter, but not sure I have the lighting for them. I've got good eastern exposure at the old trailer and *some* grow lights. Ah well, we'll see. First thing is to get some seedlings up big enough to warrant a big pot. ;)

My mix is going to be a lot drier(?), less peaty, than yours. I figure the highest peat ratio it could be would be around 25% peat and 75% perlite. I've got the pots filled but could empty them and add more peat, but...I think I'll go with what I have and see how they do. Looking at photos of others dewy pines shows a heavy percentage of perlite...of course a lot of that could have floated up. :| I'm going to see how it goes and if I get some decent plants going I may gradually top dress with some sand. First thing, though...get some seeds germinated! ;)

Not scarifying and soaking the seeds for 24 hours, do you recall how long it was before you got germination? I'd love to have 100% germination, but I'd be tickled with 60%. :D But, that's just part of the battle...gotta get'em grown then. :D
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By steve booth
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Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#448341
Hi I.T.S.
The greenhouse is unheated, so it is very much in the lap of the winter Gods. Our winters are getting milder, but we do still get the occasional cold spells like the 'Beast from the East' in 2018 and other years when the temperatures get down to below -10C, which effectively freezes the greenhouse fairly hard, and that has done for them. But I have had them make it through winters with -5C in the same greenhouse. A lot depends on whether you have any sun to warm the greenhouse during the day.

Yep, you are probably right about the drier mix, they are after all Mediterranean plants (Spain, Morocco Portugal, which get blinking hot) and when you look at them in habitat, they seem to grow in very well drained 'gravelly' dry areas.

Germination for me takes a while, 4-6 weeks plus, but that is germinating them in the greenhouse in May over here, which can still be cool with highly variable day and night temperatures, so that may retard germination.

Get that big pot on order!!!!!

Cheers
Steve
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#448358
Your winter temperatures sounds similar to ours. Once in a blue moon we get down into the -10C range, mostly our really cold periods in winter get around your -5C temperature or maybe a couple of degrees colder. Usually the days get well above freezing, only to re-freeze the following night. This may last for three or four days (rarely) and then everything moves back above freezing. Our summers are a "tad" different, though...the dirt melts here because it gets so hot. ;)

I'm treating the dewy pines like I would a sundew for now. The peat pots are sitting in a half-inch of water, plastic ventilated cover, and well saturated...sitting in the dim gap between two Yescom 225 whites for now. It was nice and toasty in the grow room...ranging from low-70Fs to close to 80F. Now we've got two nights of upper 30F's :roll: to cool them back off to dwell in the low-70s. I'm wanting to get some plants moved outside so I can reclaim a grow mat that is beneath a couple of large trays...that would help stabilize things a bit. ;)

I agree with your take on the native ground for the dewy pines. The mix sure did seem loaded with perlite but in looking online at different pots of the plants it looks much like those...and images of them "in the wild" are indeed sandy, gravely sites. I'm giving it a shot. :D

Yeah, I've gotta figure the pot situation out. I've actually got some large 12"+ resin pots and a few small terracotta pots but nothing 10" or bigger in the terracotta. Looks like Wallyworld has the best price over here on 10 and 12 inch terracotta.

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