Has anyone started this from seed? I have found them to be easy and prolific germinators, even after 4 weeks of drying. With such tiny, fine seed, I would have thought this to be death for a species whose seed is not suppose to not dry out to germinate.
I discovered this after deciding to test germination (thinking nothing would grow anyway) by placing the seed between two paper towels, and then promptly forgetting about. (That part wasn't part of the plan.) After about a month at room temperature, it seemed every seed had germinated. I found some growing through the paper towel, while most were trapped within, and the two layers of paper toweling puffed like a pastry.
I peeled the two paper towels apart, and divided the mass of entangled seedlings in two. Each piece of towel was laid on a light potting mix surface in two identical pots. The were so tiny and delicate, plus so densely arranged, that I was very wary of damping off diseases, and was afraid that any soil sprinkled over would encourage the scourge. One pot got a covering of milled sphagnum, the other #1 granite grit. Both trials were successful sealed in a clear plastic bag, until my attempts to acclimate them to open conditions in the house.
The surface of the sphagnum covered pot dried exceedingly quickly, and eventually suck the life out of every seedling. In the granite grit pot (not having the anti fungal properties of sphagnum), there was still no disease.
So I have seedlings . . . tiny, tiny seedlings that are growing for nearly two months. Only in a south window, they still seem to be very delicate. I have never claimed to be a careful grower, and admittedly, there have been a few times when I though I lost the whole batch due to unexpected intense sun while I was away at work. Numbers have dwindled because of my carelessness, but I still have some. I have only fertilized lightly once, and am still afraid of sprinkling soil them, as it seems likely that they would still be vulnerable to damping off(?) Looking closely at the remaining seedlings, it's evident that some have been badly stressed by my irregular watering. Experience with other seeds seems to sugest that is not the limiting factor for growth. I would expect the to have grown out of it by now. And, some seedlings don't show any visible stress.
Minnesota is one of the sunniest places in the country in winter, and seedlings of Corydalis wilsonii, Impatiens namchabarwensis and Dicentra macrocapnos are doing fine without supplmental light. All of these have been seedlings not even a fraction as fussy as Deinanthe. While more light would beneficial, it doesn't seem to be the limitting factor for Deinanthe.
I just gave them another dose of fertilizer. They have been out of the sealed plastic bag for a month to month and a half. Any care suggestions would be appreciated.