Seed starting chronicles 2013

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Oh my gosh, Ron, there's a Fritillaria army there!  :o

You planted these last fall?  I remember (I think) in one of Ian's Bulb Logs from years ago, he mentioned that some were having success with the American species planting in the spring, and he was planning on testing this out.  Don't know whatever happened, though...

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

Longma
Longma's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

I always sow in early December Rick. This is the same time that I start watering the bulbs, (the exception being F.striata, which I sow / water early November, as it like to be up and running here by December ). Seems to be good for all species, (under my conditions of course ).

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

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

What size pots are you sowing in Ron? They look pretty big ???

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Longma
Longma's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

Depends upon the species David. For my own use I split the Liliorhiza into three growing 'styles'. The surface dwellers ( e.g. F. camschatcensis, F. dagana, F. maximowiczii ), those just below the surface ( F. pudica, F, affinis, F. recurva, F. ojaiensis, F. atropurpurea etc. ) and the deep species, ( F. pluriflora, F. agrestis, F. biflora, F. liliacea etc ). These categories are based on my observations of them growing from seed, here in UK, in my own media and conditions. I am sure that variations on these categories can be found in the 'wild' depending upon local conditions. The bulbs are formed at different depths and left there. These categories dictate pot size, as I have learned that ( again , for me) the best way to reach flowering size consistently is to sow the seed and never re-pot. I believe these plants resent disturbance ( even when 'dormant' ). It seems that most people who fail with bought bulbs of this group do so in the first year. If they can be established beyond the first year then they are really not to difficult to grow. I use the ' so called' deep rose pots style for all species. For the surface dwellers and just below 1 ltr. pots ( as shown here ) are adequate. For the 'deep dwellers' I use 3 ltr. Watering all 'categories' well when in growth ( and keeping the surface dwellers constantly moist all year) and then insulated without water ( for the other two categories,  definitely not baked or any such nonsense, try to maintain a constant 'cool' soil temp. ) until following December when they get their first watering.
This has worked well for me here. I do have many hundreds of plants coming to flowering size and hope that by flowering many individuals some experience of the variation within each species can be documented.

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

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

Well though out Ron, I thought they looked like rose pots.

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Longma
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

They're the 'civilised' pots and 'specials' David. Some clones of F.affinis, F. atropurpurea and F.pudica produce such copious amounts of seed that they are sown in 3 foot long x 2 foot wide x 18 inches deep thick plastic 'fish storage' type boxes. ;D ;D .
This year I was able to plant out many hundreds of four year old F. affinis seedlings into a 1/4 acre grassy area of the garden. If they survive their first year I'm hoping I can liberate their brethren from their pots and let them do their thing 'au natural'! I supplemented this with a good number of bought in bulbs also for genetic variability.
Eccentric or just obsessed?? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ;D

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

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

I always use oversized pots for bulbous plants.  The soil mix has more stable temperature and moisture.  The roots grow bigger, and so the bulbs get bigger faster.  When the plants go dormant and I stop watering, there is still some moisture down deep in the pot, which simulates natural conditions.

Actually, I've gone a step further and am now plunging the entire undivided clump of seedlings into the garden beds in late April or early May.  This gives me the best results of all.  But this won't work if you let slugs, rodents and birds run rampant.  I use inverted 17 inch flats to protect against rodents and birds.  I use Metaldehyde slug bait.  I'll post a photo when I get a chance.

Edit:  Here I am using inverted 17" flats to protect seedlings:

[attachthumb = 1]

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

Longma
Longma's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

I'm certainly going to give your 'clump and all' technique a go next year Gene,  8). Certainly the stoloniferous ones ( F. camschatcensis, F.dagana and F.maximowiczii ) would benefit greatly from this approach I think. They start to produce stolons in their second year and soon are just running round and round in the pots. Letting them loose like you do seems the right thing to do.

If I only have a couple of seed or have 'begged' a few grains of rice from a particular form, I use these deep plastic plug modules. It means many plants can be grown together ( making handling easier ) without an overload volume of potting mix per plant. As each plug is 6 inches deep, the plants still get some depth, and the benefits of this depth that Gene has pointed out. Again, they can stay in these modules, if required, until flowering size is achieved.

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Ron - fantastic pictures of Fritillarias germinating. Will be great to see the results of planting out so many F. affinis. I have three or four different types of this in the garden and they all do well. It's a big encouragement to try more species outside.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

chris.wyse
Title: Member
Joined: 2012-04-05

Hi,

If anyone is interested, I created a blog with my seed starting techniques for various species, siting successes and failures.  It's ongoing, but several species have germinated.  Here is the link and my list of species.  I put an asterisk by the ones that germinated.

http://chris-wyse.tumblr.com

Also, I'll probably have extra plants later this spring.  If anyone wants some and I have them to spare, I'll give them free if you provide postage.

Chris

Chris Wyse

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