Need Some Suggestions for Seed Set-up

aloefreak1(8 AZ)November 18, 2012

I have two Adenium Obesum x Swazicum, one is a Pink Blush and the other is Crimson Sky. The Pink Blush's seed pods finally exploded on me last month so I got everything ready to start the seeds. Right now my set-up consists of a Dish Network cable box (for some reason it stays warm when it's off), a container with napkins that are kept moist all the time, another container the incubate the seed once germinated, a fine reptile mister, a temp. probe, and a 50 watt red reptile basking lamp. Everything is maintained at a temp. of 85F (I use the lids of the containers to adjust the temps). I only got a total of six seeds from both seed pods and only four were fertile. Unfortunately I managed to cook two of them, one has germinated and is almost an inch tall, and the other has yet to germinate due to some technical difficulties (for some reason the cable box got really hot the other day and unexpectedly dried out the napkins). I know I've wasted a few seeds due to being unexperienced but my crimson sky has two more seed pods that should be drying out in a month or two and these are much bigger. Hopefully I'll have a better success rate than 1:4...lol Here is my set-up, I guess the main reason for this post is suggestions and hopefully a few of you would be kind enough to share yours. I also have a 4 year old bearded dragon, a recently rescued mali uromastyx, and my brother has a crested gecko so that explains all the reptile related supplies.

(The small black seeds were collected from a ferocactus wislizeni in Tucson

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rcharles_gw

Hi aloefreak1,
I will describe to you what I have done with mine. I am in Zone 7b.
Your a lot warmer.
I have never used paper towels to germinate my seeds so I cannot comment too much about this.
I fill pots (6") with a free draining mix similar to what I use for adult Adeniums, but I add some coconut coir for more moisture retention.
Once filled to about 1/2" from brim, I place seeds (I soak for 2-3hrs. If purchased. Would not if fresh) on top of mix and press in slightly. I then top dress with a 1/8" thin coat of grit (granite or forestry grit) and water in sparingly.
I place in a propagator with a lid and on a heat mat which keeps it at 80-85F. I have mine in a south facing sunroom. Have never used artificial light, but may be necessary if you have no place to give good light.
Watch to make sure that you open the lid occasionally to let in air.
I only mist the grit if it looks to be drying out, but usually do not have to with the humidity from inside.
When I see 50 - 60% heaving through the grit ( soil if not using ) I remove them from the propagator. Keep in a warm place with good light and I do not use the heat mat.
I have even started them before on top of a second fridge that we have with no heat mat.
The seedlings will need to be kept evenly moist. Good light, but not full
summer sun until they have 4 or 5 true leaves.
I may have missed something and this is what I do. I am sure that we all have different methods.
The SwazicumxObesum are nice plants.
Rick

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:25PM
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karyn1(7a)

You all go thru so much. I repurpose some sort of tray, either the styrofoam containers mushrooms come in or the clamshell containers from the salad bar. Make some drainage holes, fill with a well draining potting mix and stick the seeds about 1/4 into the soil. I soak the seeds for several hours before planting and just keep the soil lightly moistened. I use a seed mat for bottom heat and keep the trays covered until they germinate. Once they get a couple sets of true leaves I transplant into individual containers with a grittier potting mix. They are under T5 lights while inside with the rest of my succulents. If I'm starting seeds during the summer I just stick the seeds into a tray and put it someplace outside that's shaded.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:32PM
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ltran54(9)

Karyn, me too. I only sow them in April or May. Soak the seeds and put them in soil. Keep them moist and see them grow.
Very simple and it works.
Marie

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:10AM
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teyo(7b)

i too use a very simple setup, some sort of a container, more flat than tall, usually an ice cream box or some takeaway food container. make drainage holes if there are none, fill with a mixture of perlite fines and pine bark fines 1:1, basically what ever is left over from screening for gritty mix. it is a mix that discourages fungus growth and stays moist for a sufficiently long time. once assembled i wet it thoroughly before placing seeds.
i make small grooves with a ruler or something similar, about 5 mm deep, place seeds in sideways. take a sprayer of some sort, make a solution of filtered water, some fungicide and some superthrive, spray seeds generously, until you see them changing color a bit. cover with cling foil, place on router or something warm if it is cold in the house. they start sprouting usually in 2-3 days, most are up by day 5, i throw away those not up by day 7 (if there are any). they can stay in the same container for a couple of months, no need to transplant unless there were a million of them in there.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:59PM
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karyn1(7a)

If you don't have a built in fridge the top is nice and warm. I used to use it for trays if I ran out of seed mat space before we renovated the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:29PM
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rcharles_gw

I know for myself that starting in the early spring to have the seedlings at a good age before the winter is best for me. Started before in Oct. and they where fine, but the seedlings started the following Feb. by far surpassed the early sowing.
I used to seed most of mine in separate 2" pots, but I tried what Dr. Mark Dimmitt shows in his book. Did some both ways and when it came time to transplant into individual pots. The ones started as Dr. Dimmitt showed had an unbelievable amount of roots.
I liked it and it took up a lot less space.
Nice to hear what others do.
Rick

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:36PM
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aloefreak1(8 AZ)

Thanks for sharing all of your set-ups! I guess I'll just keep it simple from now on instead of constant monitoring and misting

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:02PM
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teyo(7b)

Rcharles, would you by any chance want to describe that method in short? I still haven't found a source which would ship that book to me for less than a gazillion dollars...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:33AM
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rcharles_gw

Hi teyo,
I am by no means an expert, but I will describe what is mentioned.
I used the same potting mix I use for all the seedlings (gritty, but bit more coconut coir).
The container should be 4"-5" deep min.. Fill to within 1/2" - 1" from top edge. Place seeds on top of mix, press in slightly and cover with a grit.
I use forestry sand, but chicken grit (crushed granite) is same.
Water in moderately.
As for Dr.M Dimmitt's book. It is excellent. I checked on a couple different sites and found it and it was fairly pricey, especially when you added on the shipping to Canada. It just so happened when I was looking for it, I was going on a holiday in the U.S. and asked the person on eBay what the cost of shipping and whether they could send to me there. They did and the shipping was dirt cheap and I got it in two days.
Wonder what the shipping would be for someone else other than eBay individual, to send one to you?
Rick

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Everyone!!

I am like Karyn and Marie.. I go for simple!!

My seeds are placed in seed starter in the small seed square trays. seed starter trays. I dont soak the fresh seeds either. I poke them down about 1/4 in into the soil and top them with Turface Fines ( the very small fines from when i make my Gritty Mix) this gives some weight to the top and i also like to transfer the new seedlings into the gritty mix as they get a little older. I also place on a heat mat. Water them in well, and keep them moist, not wet. Place in a sunny location and watch then grow. I did start some about a month ago, and they are all doing well. These seeds came from Mark D.

So, i go the easy route.. and they do fine!!

Good Luck!!

Laura

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:21AM
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