Hello, Adenium Forum!

Andrew(5 Flint MI)May 7, 2014

Hi everyone! I've referred to gardenweb many times over the years for advice, but only just joined.

I've been addicted to plants ever since working in a greenhouse during college. I've mostly grown orchids in the past, but I've scaled back a lot in that department since moving last fall, from 50+ plants to 3.

I don't remember when I first saw a picture of an Adenium - I've never seen one in real life - but I was fascinated and always wanted to give them a try. Now that I've got the space, I figured it was time, so I picked up 100 mixed seeds from eBay - and actually received about 150.

I read all about germinating the seeds, and then in my impatience, I ignored the one thing everyone said to do: soak the seeds before sowing. I'm very nervous about how this will affect the germination rate, but I figure with this many seeds planted I'm bound to get at least a few.

Has anyone else made this mistake? What were your results?

These guys are planted in straight coir with constant moisture from a capillary mat. The temperature ranges from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They were planted Monday evening, so they've had two days in the dirt so far. I used Physan so I haven't seen much mold.

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I do usually soak the seed. I would think that it may just take a bit longer to see them heave the soil. Not quite sure about using straight coir, some type of inert material to help with air and drainage is the norm. You have them seeded now and it sounds as that you are relatively accustomed to starting from seed.
You will have quite a display of seedling when they are up.
I would just watch that when 60% or better have germinated that you do not keep then too moist and that the dome comes off or you will lose some to collar rot.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 8:47AM
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Andrew(5 Flint MI)

Thanks Rick! Yeah, my intuition tells me that not soaking could make them take longer to germinate, but shouldn't affect the overall germination rate. Of course, I have zero actual evidence to back this up.

I think If I do this again I would probably cut the coir with perlite to make absolutely sure to avoid soggy medium. Although the coir seems nice and light right now, I neglected to consider that it won't stay that way over time. If they can get through this stage, I'm hoping to make some Gritty Mix to pot them in, if I can hunt down the turface.

I would definitely soak the seeds next time, and probably add a mild fungicide because despite the Physan-ification of the coir I still see a few pesky gray tendrils spreading out from some of the seeds.

And yes, that done is coming off the moment they're ready - it's 100% humidity in there, or at least I assume it is, because the hygrometer I put inside stopped registering.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:19PM
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hi Rick
hello APB
has any of you used gibberellic acid, on any seeds or bulbs or plants to break dormancy

impressive set up there you have APB
thanks for sharing


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 3:34PM
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Hi APB! Welcome to this bunch of enablers lol

I, for one, am very curious to know what the germination rate is if the seeds were not pre-soaked and how long it will take. I hope you will keep us posted.

I think your seedlings will do fine until they are about three months, provided they are in a well-ventilated spot. At that point, you can move them to a more airy mix. From experience, however, I suggest you wait a few more months before moving your seedlings to the gritty mix.

Adult plants do very well in gritty mix but seedlings are more like coleus and need more moisture. Looking back, I would have waited a year before moving my seedlings to the soil-free gritty mix.

If the coir still proves too wet, you can always move the seedlings. They start out with a big (maggot-sized) taproot that readily survives transplantation even after just a week from germination. Just be careful not to injure the root when you move it.

Oh! Before I forget---Amazon retails turface MVP, you can check it out. If you can not find it, crushed pumice is a good substitute.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 3:38PM
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Andrew(5 Flint MI)


Thanks! I have never used gibberelic acid, but since it's a lot cheaper than I expected I may have to try it in the future.


Thanks for the tips! That bit about transplanting the seedlings is especially handy since I double-seeded the cells in the smaller tray. I got half again as many seeds as I expected and I couldn't bring myself to waste any! Good to know I can divide up any two-plant cells with no Ill-effects.

I will have to check out amazon for the turface. I also read that Espoma Soil Perfector is the same thing, does anyone know?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:15PM
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I actually bought my turface from Amazon (cant be bothered to drive around in circles looking for it) and at the time they only sold it in humongous bags. It is made of calcined clay, fired, then crushed and sifted according to various sizes. What you want is called MVP.

That Esporma thing is slate. I have never seen it in person so I do not know if it will work as a substitute. If it is as porous as turface and pumice then it will probably work provided the particles are of similar size. Oh! you can use perlite too--I just didn't suggest it because I hate perlite (they float!) and the kind sold at big box stores are mostly powder anyway.

Disturbing adenium seedlings will, of course, disrupt their Qi but the best way to mitigate the effect is to just keep them on the heat mat (if you have it) and under lights until it is warm and sunny outdoors.

I should mention that the optimum time to do this is when they have developed at least one pair of true leaves. But in an emergency (i.e. in case the coir is too moist and is killing them), they can be transplanted and will show only momentary discombobulation.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:01PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Not presoaked 4 days. Tray did have a heat mat and unit was pre heated with the hood on before seeds were put in starting medium. ( I was so slow it preheated 4 weeks but I do not think it is necessary for that long). This is my forest today.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:35PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Oh I forgot Welcome APB. We Enable, beware lol.

Close up.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Andrew(5 Flint MI)

Wow, thanks! That makes me feel a lot better :-) hopefully I'll see some signs of life soon!

And thanks Pagan, I will keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 8:55PM
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Hi Anurag,
I have no experience with using Gibberellic Acid, but heard of others using.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Looks great!!!

You can always google Turface and there is a Turface locator to find the nearest store. John Deere dealers also carry this. You do want Turface all sport or MVP .

Dry stall is crushed pumice and I found some at my local southern states store . It's available with the horse industry.

Granigrit can be located at seed and feed stores. ( growers size ) southern states stores. Tractor supply stores. Agway. Manna pro ( poultry) no crushed oyster shell. The plain granite Cherrystone size number 2 is also wonderful...( quartzite)

Thought I would just say hi and welcome to the forum.

Love your new babies!!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 3:29AM
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Andrew(5 Flint MI)

Hi Laura! I'll check out the tractor supply store down the road.

I saw some signs of life last night!!! Several of them are starting to grow. That was with a little over 72 hours in the dirt and no pre-soaking. Very exciting!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:23AM
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Those are good looking seedlings.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 2:22PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

I think I heard not soaking seeds works usually for fresh seeds, but older seeds benefit more from the soaking. Sounds legit?

Welcome to this wonderful forum and good luck!


    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:13PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

I do not always soak my seeds and they grow on very well for me. It will take longer as the seeds need to swell up with water from the soil. No big deal as I still get a very high percentage of seeds to germinate. The key is bottom heat, humidity and well watered seeds.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:46PM
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Andrew(5 Flint MI)

Well, I am now just over 1 week in, and I am at about a 26% germination rate (38/144 seeds). I have seen many more pop up in the last couple days - with the mini heat wave we've been having, it's gotten to the high nineties under the hood.

Heather, that makes sense. Maybe my seeds are not the freshest? Anyway, I hope I get a few more to come up.

Ladylotus, that's good to know! I'll keep watching.

At what point do you all think I should consider the un-germinated seeds a lost cause? I think I've read 2 weeks?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:50PM
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Oh I don't think so, APB. I've had seedlings come up two months after i had switched off the heat and the seedling tray was already outside in the sun!

I'd remove the dome now, definitely, though.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:05PM
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