Seed starting chronicles 2013

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

From a quick glance at Dr. Deno's studies (see the link here in Propagation), it looks like Dodecatheon responds to cold stratification, so I'd guess that potting up the seeds now and chucking them outside should do the trick.

GreenRoofer wrote:

I really hope I never get raided, but I've grown under LED for a year, and recently switched to 120 watt fluorescent.
You get leggy growth with Fluorescent, but turn the plants often when they lean, and maybe put a small fan in your room and the stems should thicken up.

I always assumed it was the metal halide setups... the ones that suck electricity big time... that the utilities might notice (in terms of unusual energy consumption) and hence report to the cops.  When we had one, DH did take the precaution of showing the neighbors what we were growing (tropical water lilies and other tropicals)... a bit paranoid that.  :rolleyes:  (Judging from what one reads in the news about grow-ops, illegal growers are likely to be stealing power anyway... )

Leggy growth is from not enough light, rather than from the source of the light... add another bank of fluorescents for stronger plants.  I haven't found fans to be necessary.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Gene Mirro
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-02-25

Here's a pot of Dodecatheon clevelandii v. insulare seedlings:

[attachthumb = 1]

Sown 12/23/12, germinated two weeks later at 60F (15C), and grown under lights at 60F.  D. pulchellum may also be a warm germinator, but the ones I've grown have needed cold.  Most other Dodecatheon species are cold germinators.  Dodecatheon will often not produce true leaves in the first growing season.  But they are making big roots.  I will be transplanting this group into a 6-inch deep pot in the next day or two, without separating the plants.  Keep them growing as long as possible.  Don't let the soil get too warm.  Plunge the pot if necessary to keep the roots cool.  Do not starve the plants.  When the leaves start turning yellow in midsummer, stop watering and let the soil get somewhat dry, but not completely dry.  When the plants are dormant, store the pot in a cool, dry place.  Provide a few months of chilling over the next Winter, but protect from temperatures below 25F.  As the plants begin growth the next Spring, plant the whole clump into prepared garden soil.  When they go dormant in the Summer, dig and separate and transplant the roots.

A mature plant of D. clevelandii v. insulare:

[attachthumb = 2]

There is nothing modest or understated about this bloom.  It's the Marilyn Monroe of shooting stars.

Also see http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=1056.0

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Many thanks Lori and Gene. Our cold spell (such as it was!) has gone, been around 12C daytime for the last couple of days with rain on and off (mostly on!) it seems like forever.

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Gene, did you plant the seeds rather deeply?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Gene Mirro
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-02-25

RickR wrote:

Gene, did you plant the seeds rather deeply?

No, I covered the seeds with just a dusting of potting mix.  I germinated them under a propagation dome, under lights at 60F.  Always the same old story, right?

They are native to southern California, but they are hardy down to 15F here.  If you don't abuse them, Dodecatheons will hang around for 10 - 20 years.

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Townsendia condensata germinated in 3 days at room temp.
Trifolium dasyphyllum germinated 3 days at room temp after scarifying.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

David, as we discussed somewhere else, Kristl says D pulchellum is a warm germinator, but as Gene notes, maybe not from all populations (which then suggests those populations may not really be one species! Others vary..
D pulchellum is not really summer dormant here- nothing native that I can think of offhand is- summer just isn't long enough to bother, plus midsummer is when the rain comes! After that, fall isn't far away, so the most anything could have time for is an early fall dormancy! Seriously, though, I think the Dodecatheon do die back in late summer sometime (I can't remember for sure now if any had leaves still when I was collecting seed)- but early frosts are only a few weeks away by then...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I grow Dodecatheon meadia and it goes dormant in summer...  though since it's not native to the west, the observation may not add much to your speculation, Cohan.

More germination notes...
Oxyria digyna germinated in 8 days at room temperature; a bit of locally wild-collected seed.
Salvia nutans germinated in 4 days at room temp.

Nepeta longibracteata also germinated in 4 days at room temp.
http://www.butbn.cas.cz/ladakh/fotky/flora/screes/Nepeta_longibracteata1...

I'm not holding out much hope for Townsendia condensata 'Cottonballs' from the SRGC seedex... no sign of germination (though the other pot of T. condensata germinated in 3 days).  The material in the seed packet looked like a few bits of chaff... oh, well.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

ClifflineGardens
ClifflineGardens's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2013-01-14

I absolutely agree that legginess is from low light, but movement stimulates stem thickening, I will also apically prune leggy plants to encourage basal growth. What it really comes down to, is that I'm trying to squeeze too many plants under a grow light. I figure 12 hours a day of 120 watts probably won't be cheap. What photoperiods do you guys prop under?

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

Gene Mirro
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-02-25

I run my lights for 12 to 14 hours a day, but it's not based on any scientific reason.  

If you figure out your kilowatt-hours of electrical usage per month, you will be able to figure out the cost.  For example, if you are running 120 watts total lamp power:
120 watts * 0.001 kw/watt = 0.12 kw.  
12 hours/day * 30 days/month = 360 hours/month.  
So your kilowatt-hours are 0.12 kw * 360 hours/month = 43.2 kw-hours/month.  
Now find out what your electric rate is, say 10 cents per kw-hr.  
So your cost is 43.2 kw-hours/month * $0.10/kw-hour = $4.32/month.

If your light setup is in a heated area of the house, almost all of that energy will help to heat the house.  So your additional energy cost to run the lights is almost nothing.

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

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