Recipe for fast growth?

DronttiJanuary 30, 2014


The seeds I sowed week ago have germinated. :) Seems like I'll be getting at least 12 babys out of 15 seeds.. I only really want 3 so that's plenty.

I'd like to try ways to speed up the growth of my seedlings. I remember seeing pictures of some people's seedlings that had grown at enormous rate! I have a couple of 6 month - 1 year old seed grown adeniums but I know their growth rate has been far from what it could be.

So what's the secret to fast growth? A lot of light and remembering to water and fertilize I guess but are there any other factors like air humidity or temperature that make a big difference?

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yes temperature makes a really big difference, i know someone in thailand, and there it grows twice as fast as in the netherlands.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:01AM
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I think from what I see from 'Maark's' set up with ultimate light and bottom heat, that he is getting superb results and there was a thread from someone with huge plant also under lights.
I do believe that 12 hours under lights is sufficient as most of the growers in countries where they are raising these plants do not receive any longer daylight hours than this. The temperatures remain higher than most.
My thoughts,

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:19AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

1) light
2) heat

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 3:13PM
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That's some interesting advice :) thanks everyone!

I managed to raise the temperature of my growing space by adding some mylar to the walls. Mylar reflects light as well as heat very well. Seems like I'll actually have to remove some as temperatures started nearing 40ðC (104 fahrenheit).

I think about 30ðC (86 fahrenheit) could be a good temperature to go for? I know that respiration and photorespiration increase with temperature so I'm afraid that temperatures higher than that could actually start to hinder growth.

Rick's comment about light cycle is very interesting. About 12 hours of light is what adeniums experience in nature. On the other hand 12 hours of darkness is rather long and the plants can only use their stored energy to grow during this time. I think I'll go for 16/8 light cycle.. It could be that I won't get much benefit of it but I doubt it will do any harm either.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:00PM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

My lights are on a 16/8 cycle plus I have my plants sitting on a germination mat that's on all the time--the one I have is 48" x 20", I got a heads up about a great deal on Ebay back in Sept. and only paid about $31 for it plus shipping. Frequent repotting also helps when they're in their first couple of in every few months. Most of my seedlings (less than a year old right now) were repotted during Dec. and Nov. and I'll be repotting them again in Feb. and March.....most of them anyway. I just today got my first bottle of Spray-N-Grow, a micronutrient foliar concentrate ( that's supposed to be used once a week in addition to your normal fertilization. It gets rave reviews from many plumeria growers from what I've been told so we'll see how it works on my adenium seedlings.

Mike in MN

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 10:43PM
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hi drontti,good looking seedling by the mention mylar here is a video about light and reflectors. i hope it help. the best

Here is a link that might be useful: get more lux from any light bulb

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 1:27AM
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Thanks for the tips Mike! You seem to be taking very good care of your little ones! :) Many good tips there.

I'm going to try some foliar feeding as well but I guess I'll just use my normal seaweed extract as long as that lasts. I might try something else after that runs out so let us know if you feel that Spray-N-Grow makes a difference!

I bought some tricontanol to add in fertilizer (both foliar and normal) Curious to see if that will make any difference in my plants. It's supposed to boost growth but I'm not sure if it is something that affects all plants or only some species... I added very little of it to make sure not to give too much.. perhaps too little to notice anything but better safe than having dead plants.

That repotting tip was great to know - for some reason I thought that it'd be better to avoid repotting adeniums often. It does make perfect sense though - I've noticed some of my other plants making a great growth spurt after repotting.

Also thanks for the video Ahmed! Very educational. The pot growers really do turn their hobby into science, hehe :) I had to take all the mylar off to get temperatures down a bit. Luckily the area has white walls so the reflection is allright anyway. The temperature is now about 30ðC or a bit above.. my new growth light generates much more heat than I had expected.

This post was edited by Drontti on Sat, Feb 1, 14 at 17:41

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 5:40PM
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Hey! I thought I'd update now that it has been 3 weeks.
It sure is fun to watch the seedlings grow as their appearance changes so fast compared to older plants.

I think the growth is faster than what it was with my previous adenium seedlings so at the moment my attempt to speed up the growth seems successful.. Thanks everyone for your tips! :)

I think the seedlings could be repotted soon.. what do you think?

I was also thinking of cutting their taproots when I repot like I recently did with my older plants. However I'm not sure about this as the growth would of course suffer and I don't yet know if it actually makes a difference.
Do you think cutting the taproot is actually beneficial in creating a nice looking root system?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:09PM
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When I first researched this, I found people cut the taproot to encourage other roots to get fatter instead of just one giant thing and several smaller ones. I have done this myself, very early on when my seedlings were about 5 months old. They're still too small to see how it turned out but the growth of the plant itself seems unaffected after a little bit of recovery.

Then later, out of curiosity, I dug them up to check and they were fine. So I repotted them again, this time knotting up roots or having them go around lava rocks and even tangling two to three seedlings together. I have only one seedling with the root undisturbed and I think the lack of trauma is making it grow slower lol

Anyway, there usually is about 2 weeks when they look annoyed by the disturbance (i.e. some yellowing of leaves or just general lack of lustre) but after that, provided you have heat and lots of light, they are fine. I haven't meddled with their roots since September and probably wont until they've outgrown their pots hopefully in a year.

That's a load of crap. Of course I'll dig them up to see lol I can't help myself.

Have fun with them roots!


This post was edited by fakechuchi on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 8:29

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:17AM
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I heard about root-prune, but never done it before....
Please show up pictures and process before and after...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:16PM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

OK, I've used the Spray-n-Grow three times now--it says to spray weekly for maximum results, so I've used it every Sunday since I got it. S-n-G is a micronutrient supplement, so you're supposed to use a normal N-P-K fertilizer as well...I do that on Saturdays. So far I would have to give S-n-G a big thumbs up! I have to admit I'm seeing very good results from most of my adeniums, though some arabicum seedlings are in dormancy and thus don't seem to be affected. With the arabicums that ARE in active growth I'm seeing the caudex bulking up quickly on many.....and with obesums I've noticed the younger ones (less than 3 months old to 4 months old) put on an impressive growth spurt.

This photo shows two of my smaller super-compact arabicums, both sown on a bit more than 5 months old. The one on the left is a Diamond Bracelet, and a runt compared to its sibling, which I'll show a photo of shortly. The one on the right is my only seedling of either Emerald Bracelet or Jade Bracelet--I lost the ID tag when I repotted it by itself. Neither of these were anywhere near this chunky a month ago, before using S-n-G.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:59PM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

This pic shows my three seedlings of obesum Mini red....they are the same age as the arabicums in the previous post. Very small and slower than any other obesum seedlings I've got, in the last couple of weeks they've suddenly grown these huge, shiny, dark green leaves though their stems are pretty much the same size.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:04PM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

This pic shows the larger of my two Diamond Bracelet arabicums--before I tried the S-n-G it wasn't anywhere near this fat. It's a little over 4" tall and the base of the caudex is a bit more than 1 and 1/4 inches.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:11PM
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Good to hear about your results with the Spray'N'Grow.
All I can say, is that if I lived in the US, I would definitely be checking with you about getting plants. You have very healthy and wonderful looking seedlings.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:23PM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

Thanks Rick! Part of it is just plain luck since I've only been growing adeniums for less than a year--plus I'm a quick learner and this forum and Facebook have a lot of people to learn from. Also the seeds for these super compacts have GOT to be something special--they're just too different from all other arabicums. You'll see when you get seeds.....

Mike in MN

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:24AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience Pagan! I think cutting the taproot is well worth trying when the harm caused seems to be only minor and short-lived .. :)
I got impatient and cut the taproots today. I'll let them sit over night before planting them to let the tiny wounds close up.
Here's a pic again:

I now think that the earlier you cut the taproot the less of a disturbance it may be to the plant. In my older seedlings the taproot made up about 90 % or more of the rootsystem. In these young seedlings the taproot was still relatively small so they only lost less than 50% of their roots.

Mike - those super compact arabicums are the cutest looking plants I've ever seen! :) All your seedlings look so very healthy with their flawless leaves. My older seedlings are full of burnt leave tips and insect damage.. sigh.. well at least they have finally started growing again. Thanks for reporting on your early results!

This post was edited by Drontti on Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 14:37

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:30PM
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sam401(Cairns, Australia.)

Hi Drontti.

I am very interested in this topic as i've wanted to fert. my seedlings but havent because I thought they had to be at least 1 year old. I have some seasol (seaweed solution) that I may try on half of my youngest seedlings and see how they go.

What is the N.P.K of spray and grow? do you just dilute it a lot? or is it specifically for seedlings?
Sorry for all the questions, I'm very new to this, my oldest seedlings are 3 months old.

All of your plants look awesome!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:16PM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

Thanks, Sam! The Spray-n-Grow is a micronutrient complex, sort of like a vitamin cocktail for plants, and not a fertilizer so it has no N-P-K ratio. You must use a fertilizer when you use S-n-G. It has rather specific instructions for use, i.e. 1 teaspoon S-n-G per pint, 2 tsp. per quart or litre, of warm water--(80 to 100F/27 to 38C). Stir, pour into your mist spray bottle, then wait 15 minutes before using as a foliar spray--evidently it has to "mix" or "blend" for 15 minutes in order to be effective. Not just for seedlings--it's for all plants.

I really hate sounding like a shill for some company, but I'm really liking the improved growth of my adeniums (and a few pachypodium seedlings) since I started using the S-n-G roughly 5 weeks ago--not only more lush leaf growth but also it seems to have helped with caudex expansion as well. I'll have to get some new photos taken this week. I'm sure there are any number of other similar micronutrient additives for plants that would work just as well.

Mike in MN

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 2:02PM
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sam401(Cairns, Australia.)

Thanks Mike!

I will have to see if I can get it here in Australia, some of my seedlings need a little extra help!
Would you use it from germination, or wait a few weeks?
I think if I do get some I will use it on half of my youngest seedlings to see how they respond compares to the rest.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:09AM
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sam401(Cairns, Australia.)

Sorry! Double post.

This post was edited by sam401 on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 1:15

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:05AM
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jv44(Zone 4 MN)

I start my seedlings with the S-n-G right after they germinate and have their first set of true leaves--about the same time I start leaving the lid off the seedlings so they can get more air.

Also, I've found a similar micronutrient product I'm planning on trying next, called Micro Total Bonsai Tonic--it's also a foliar spray formula that is concentrated. At they have an 8 oz. bottle on sale for $14.65 + shipping. They also have a package deal with the Micro Total, Pro-Tect from DynaGro, and a 0-10-10 fertilizer, all 8 oz. concentrates for $29.95 + shipping......since I also want the Pro-Tect, I'll most likely get this package deal!

Mike in MN

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:22AM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Look what you guys have done! My S-N-G is on the way lol. I don't expect a miracle but it may do my seedlings and some troubled orchids good. I hope I have the same luck as you Mike.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:44PM
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