not germination, the complicated way
I've been on-and-off messing with weird plants and seed germination since the previous post. The results are mostly disappointing. My prized Yareta seeds never did anything; no combination of cold stratification and gibberellic acid made it work. I kinda think the seeds were poor quality to start with. A moderate percentage of my jars did grow mold, but exclusively from not cleaning the seeds enough, so my agar protocol worked out pretty well. I've also experimented with a variety of other plants, as well. I'm a little too salty about this whole series of experiments to be formal about my results. Maybe someday I'll get some Yareta seeds again, in which case... I'll plant them in some dirt.
ways to kill seeds and small plants
- too much sunlight
- not enough light
- too hot
- too much moisture
- chemical burns
- Maihuenia patagonica: died of unknown causes, possibly asphyxiation (needed heat to germinate)
- Lithops: death via hyperhydrosis-induced explosion
- Blossfeldia: cessation of growth (unknown causes)
- Ariocarpus: weird burns on some seedlings, cessation of growth (unknown causes)
- Faucaria tigrina: not enough light, then too much light
- seedlings benefit from immediate light; I got a full spectrum grow light with a timer
- most contamination comes from dirty seeds; they're actually quite tolerant of bleach, so don't underdo it (one guy actually sprays a little bleach in the container with the seeds!)
- Tillandsia seedlings do very well on agar. They probably don't need sucrose or fancy growth media. Water, agar, and a little fertilizer works well. You can just use plastic baggies instead of nice containers.
You would think that sealed containers would minimize complications, but it's actually not a good way to grow most plants! For basically any type of plant other than Tillandsia, go with the easy and well-documented "baggy method". This entails:
- sterilize some ordinary soil in an oven (around 180F/80C)
- clean the seeds with some dilute bleach
- put the sterile soil in a pot and get it pretty moist
- add the seeds
- put it all in a sealed plastic bag
- give it light, otherwise just watch for a year or so
Very popular with cactus enthusiasts. Not difficult. No tricky tools or techniques.