Experiment #1 (prepare to wait a loong time)

froeschliMay 26, 2014

Well, my first dead seed pod didn't yield much in terms of seeds (I threw them in the fishbowl-terrarium just in case).

But, the second one may actually have one or two viable seeds in it, heck, it didn't cost me anything, so I "planted" them... (This is the self cross of my purple & white fantasy sport, hence I've just got to try it)

And the third seed pod looks like it will be ready for sowing next week...

Now it's wait and see for these babies :-)

Karin

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froeschli

That's the parent plant below.

Growing medium I used was 60% perlite, 40% av mix, topped with a fine layer of av mix (so the seeds won't get lost).
Pre-moistened. Scattered the seeds on top (with some ground perlite, so I could see the spread).

Put the lid in and placed under the lights (past the end of the tube).

Now I am looking for some patience... (I already know they won't grow until after I forget about them :-p )

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:51PM
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fortyseven_gw

Wonderful! Do you have Memorial Day in Canada?
Joanne

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 10:32PM
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froeschli

No Memorial Day here - we have Victoria Day :-)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 11:07PM
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fortyseven_gw

Just thinking of a holiday marker for the seeds. Interesting to know about Victoria Day long weekend ....

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:13AM
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froeschli

Half the reason I posted it here is the date stamp ;-)
This way I have a record of the date :-) (I am terrible at keepin notes...)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:54AM
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fortyseven_gw

Clever!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Linda

Karin,

About how long did it take your seed pods to mature?

Linda

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 11:43PM
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froeschli

The one I am waiting to plant, I pollinated around the end of December and took it off the plant (ripe) yesterday - the one i used here was pollinated a couple weeks after that - it wasn't 100% ripe when I had to chop the crown off to save the plant from root rot.
So 5 1/2 -6 months or thereabouts.

There are still a couple seed pods from the same time period that are plump and green and growing.

Next round of blossoms I'll keep better records :-)

Karin

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 8:29AM
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froeschli

Ok, second one coming up...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 4:14PM
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froeschli

Cut open...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 4:16PM
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froeschli

and planted...

nothing happening on the first container yet. and the third seed pod is still growing...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 4:19PM
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fortyseven_gw

Hi Karin
Great photos.
I read to let the seed pods dry out in a paper envelope for a few days before slicing open and planting.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:00AM
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froeschli

Joanne,
I left it to air dry for a week (and what a long week it was). I just took the next seed pod off this afternoon. They all seem to be coming round now. I think there is one more left of this initial trial run.
Then I have to wait for some of my new (named) varieties to bloom. Shir'ls red sky will be the first :-)
I just found an amazing blog by a hobby/aspiring hybridizer - she (?) shows a lot of the process, parents and results.... I have to go back and read it when I am more awake.

Karin

Here is a link that might be useful: African violet stop

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:12AM
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fortyseven_gw

Thank you, I knew you had done everything right, you are so careful and scientific and do your research, I just had to ask and appreciate your sending the link for my further research.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 20:47

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:18PM
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froeschli

Meh, I don't think there's a right or wrong way. Well, if you avoid the obvious mistakes. (Like planting an entire seed pods worth in a single sour cream container!)
I am still not expecting much to 'hatch' from this, so anything will be a positive outcome :-)
Planter #1 is growing some nice algae. So next time, no fertilizer! Not even 1/8th of the usual....

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:46PM
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fortyseven_gw

Yes, I've read no fert is needed.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 8:49PM
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froeschli

I should not have done this. I read on the aforementioned blog that their seeds started sprouting as of 3 days. Now I am checking and re-checking both containers every time I walk past the shelf. Yes, there are tiny little green specks visible in the first container, but it is impossible to tell whether it is algae on tiny bits of perlite, or actual sprouts.

Nothing I can do to hurry the process. This is worse than waiting for the seed pods. Did I mention I 'misplaced' one? I was so sure there was another one, now I can't find it. Hrmmpf.
Probably a good thing, I wouldn't have the sense to wait and plant it later.... As it is I am eyeing the third one already....

Anyhow, just a quick update...

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 3:57PM
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fortyseven_gw

I have also read that someone thought what was algae was actually sprouts!

This post was edited by fortyseven on Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 2:14

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 9:30PM
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froeschli

We have a sprout (or two)!!!

Sadly, this is from the second batch, not the first, but i am holding on to hope on that one.

I am trying to remember what the pollen parent of this cross could have been. Likely candidates are Little Hopi II, or Natalie (Probable ID). Seed parent was North Carolina II (Probable ID). So i am hoping for either purple fantasy on red, or red with geneva edge. but that's a far cry off, and would be such an unlikely coincidence if i got it at first try.
When I finally have named blooms, I'll promise to label the cross at the time of pollination!

So, sowing to first sprouts: 8 days.

That wooden log pointing at the green speck is a toothpick btw.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:31AM
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fortyseven_gw

Yes!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:06AM
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merkity

that is one teeny tiny spout!!! way to go!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:16AM
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quimoi

Ccongratulations, hybridizer!

Diana

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:58AM
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froeschli

I shall promise not to bore you with too many "baby photos". But dang if this isn't exciting! ;-)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:48PM
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cdnanon

personally, I'd like to see lots of progression photos of the sprouts.

I generally photograph my mother leaves daily to help keep track of issues and general health of leaves, plantlets, new additions etc.. I can be a bit obsessive about it.... (or at least the wife thinks so).

I've always loved plants and how they grow!

so I vote for more pics!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:49PM
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fortyseven_gw

Karin, they look great. I enjoyed the blog africanVioletStop you posted on June 3. I love looking at a carpet of AV sprouts. I saw on some Russian sites how they decorate with 100's of AVs in colors for each letter to spell out words. I posted a photo of a few mice ears on the Gallery. I've thought about shooting them every few days. But they "grow faster" with a little "benign neglect." I have a few trays of mouse teenagers ready for adoption. I just enjoy the process of growing. Then when they are ready to bloom, off they go to new homes. Joanne

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:20PM
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merkity

i love the progression photos :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:35AM
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lucky123

Karin
Has anything come up from the first sowing yet?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 5:49PM
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froeschli

I've been checking it daily, but there is nothing I'd call a sprout yet.
I am starting to think that either the plant was sterile, or (probably more likely) the seed pod was not ready when the rest of the plant died.
I have a few leaves rooting and the remainder of the crown, so possibly, I will get another try at it in a few months...
I sowed the last seed pod, but looking at how many seedlings I already have from the second batch, I think I've been overdoing it a little ;-p

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:31PM
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lucky123

Karin
Sorry to hear about the first batch. I really admire your patience and commitment. It takes such a long long time, much space and attention. Quite a project!
Glad the second batch is growing so well!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 4:14PM
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froeschli

Lucky,
I've read somewhere about seeds that took MONTHS to sprout. So as long as I only have to keep half an eye to make sure nothing dries out, I'll hang on to a thread of hope. Besides, imagine all three seed pods sprouted at the same time - I wouldn't know what to do with them all!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 8:28PM
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froeschli

Quick update, photos will be posted later, but I have just spotted a few sprouts in the third container. Nothing in the first yet.
So batch #3 took 9 days to germinate.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:37PM
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froeschli

I notice it's been over a week now. So here's an update, batch 2 and 3 are coming along nicely (24 days and 16 days respectively):

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:12AM
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froeschli

Oops, double post...
By the way, nothing on the first batch yet...

This post was edited by froeschli on Wed, Jun 25, 14 at 12:14

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:12PM
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cdnanon

Multi sprouts!

Eager to see second set of leaves and how they grow out from there. keep us posted!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:44PM
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fortyseven_gw

Exciting!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 1:57AM
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froeschli

Looks like I am going to have to separate them soon...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 10:50AM
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cdnanon

How are you going to decide what to keep?
Or are you just splitting them into smaller clumps for now?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:42PM
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froeschli

That's the exact question I am pondering right now. And also the reason I haven't done anything yet.
I think I will wait another week or so, and then move the sturdiest ones into 1oz cups or ice cube trays. Anything that gets damaged, I'll just call natural selection.
Seeing as this is my first test batch, it's supposed to teach me some things, like handling an letting go of seedlings ;-)
And my next batch (shirl's red sky X optimara modesty) will go into a bigger container to begin with - if any of the pods make it to maturity - that way I can le them grow bigger before separating them.

Karin

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:11PM
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quimoi

They certainly look nice and healthy. Like little purple violets . Wouldn't it be nice if they came with a clue, though?

Diana

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:26AM
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fortyseven_gw

Hi, After all that work, I hope you don't let any of them go!

joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 2:19

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:52AM
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froeschli

I am not so worried about the leaf size, but I was hoping to wait until the stems are at least spaghetti sized. Right now they may approach vermicelli (that's the finest pasta I can think of for comparison).

Correction, I just checked and they have grown a lot in just two days! Maybe they will be big enough to handle this weekend...

Yeah, none came labelled 'single dropper' shame that.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:41PM
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fortyseven_gw

Vermicelli? Thought leaves supposed to be dime size.
Suggest you wait as long as possible. Perhaps divide them into clumps and separate out just one clump at a time.
We all know how disappointing it is to have babies not survive separation and transplant.

Lately, I have not been separating babies on the usual schedule that most people follow. I wait until they are quite
substantial little plants. It does not seem to hurt them. At that point, they are quite tall so much easier to separate and they can go into little 1 oz pots rather than teensy condiment cups.

I have seen some videos or photographs on how to separate and when to separate. May have been on Rachel's Reflections. Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Wed, Aug 27, 14 at 0:05

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:13AM
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froeschli

I decided to go ahead and separate them, though not into individual containers, because I would have needed a lot of them.
Turns out an approximate count gives me about 150 seedlings. (I only counted half the tray and doubled the number).
None really stand out as 'different' just yet. So I have no idea how I'll be selecting the 'keepers' next repot...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:37PM
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cdnanon

Babies and a bunch of new plants! (I'm green with envy...)

glad you were able to post this, you seem quite busy atm

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:52AM
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quimoi

Gee they look healthy and you make neat rows too! I don't envy you in the future though! Nice job!

Diana

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:11AM
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froeschli

I like to post progress pictures :-) i was trying very hard to find some whilst i was still waiting for the seed pods to mature, and wasn't very successful.
there are a lot of people growing from seed, even just as an experiment, but somehow there are very few places where this information is shared.
i kind of like knowing what i am getting myself into, so progress photos would have been nice :-)

they are growing, faster than i expected, but started out much smaller than i could have imagined. and there are so many more of them than i envisioned (how do people handle seed pods that yield 300 or more i wonder...).

anyhow, the "neat rows" got muddied up as i was finding spaces for the last dozen or so.
oh, and for size reference - i planted them in a cupcake tray, about 10" square.

karin

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:58AM
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fortyseven_gw

Karin, Your work is really impressive and inspiring. Thank you for documenting for us. You organized them so well. Maybe the woman you are helping with the violet shop might be an outlet for your plants. She might have the space. It's summer, maybe that is why they are growing so rapidly. When we read about the process, how small they are to start, and how many you get, it is hard to imagine until actually experiencing it.
Maybe your violet club will be happy for some of them when they are bigger!
You just can't know what you will get until they bloom, so that is another reason for hanging onto as many as you
possibly can! Continued good luck, Joanne

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:07PM
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cdnanon

how's the "brood" holding up?
hope things are well with you and your endeavors!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:06PM
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froeschli

Some of them are growing really "big"!!!
I'll post some pictures tomorrow. I lost three of them transplanting, but there are plenty more!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:29PM
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froeschli

Here are the seedlings as they were this morning...
I Separated the biggest ones into ice cube trays and 1oz cups about a week ago, there were so many, i had to put some back into the cupcake tray, and some extra community containers as well...

Don't go getting excited about the variegated leaf in the back there, i just plopped it in after it broke off another plant. what can i say - i didn't have any small containers left after potting up all these seedlings....

And here is half of the second batch, which i finally decided to separate:

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:08PM
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froeschli

And, before I forget, here are the parent pictures:

Seed parent batch 1:

the pollen parent is either itself, little hopi, or natalie. who knows...

Seed & Pollen Parent batch 2:

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:14PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Karin, this is so cool! Now I see what you meant about keeping too many seed! :-)

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:54PM
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BittyBats(8)

This just made my day! The pics are amazing!

Are they all red reverse leafed?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 6:10PM
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fortyseven_gw

Thank you, Karin.
I feel like a lazy slug next to you!
Joanne

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 6:37PM
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cdnanon

Thanks for the photos!

Goes without saying, but I really appreciate you documenting any of this project.
It truly shows the time effort & space it takes to tackle this kind of project and puts in perspective the scope of the undertaking.

If any of us try our hand at this, we at least have a guide to get started!(and hopefully an outcome/products of labour)

Cheers,

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 9:17PM
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froeschli

At some point I will have to write up a condensed version of this thread. So people don't have to weed through 10001 comments...

As for the question on the red reverse - all but two seedlings from the first batch have pink-reddish petioles, developed as they matured. The seed parent doesn't have red reverse, but veining.
More experienced hybridizers can probably tell where a plant is headed, for me it's still just "wait and see".
I am starting to wonder how long it will be for the first blossoms, though that is probably months away yet.

Karin

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:48AM
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fortyseven_gw

Hi Karin
You could start a new thread with the latest photo updates.
We all wait with bated breath, as the saying goes.
Joanne

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 7:51PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

You must have tremendous inner strength, Karin! Just from having leaves and suckers planted, I can hardly restrain myself from checking on them constantly! Finally I made myself wait....two long days... and voila!...four new babies and two new leaves on the suckers! Now I have to go through it again for the rest of the leaves! :-)) Now *you* get to wait for the flowers to show up!:-)))

I'm all for either keeping this thread or starting a new one! Too bad we can't bookmark a thread versus a post!

This is an entire chronicle, it's just great!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 7:26PM
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froeschli

Judy, I am sure i checked the seeds every half hour until they finally sprouted. or close to that often....
if i get it into my head that flower buds will be imminent, i'll probably go back to checking a dozen times a day ;-)
so for now i just keep telling myself that they have to be *much* bigger before i will see blossoms.

as for my advice on not keeping too many seed pods - take that with a grain of salt - i am just watching two wilt away on the same peduncle. two months old, so probably not viable. and there is only one more of the same cross left. now that is frustrating....

Karin

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 8:29PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

I'm hanging with you Karin! :-) Sending calming thoughts and vibes your way... Mantra: Think about something else, thing about something else, thing about something else...
:-)))

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:15PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

The one seed pod on the NOID I had-it's died off, no big deal!

Though I cut off several fading flowers on the Russian Mavka, I kept five hopefuls-including the one that has a large seed pod and I hope it keeps true.

However, after looking today, found most of the leaves I planted in mid-July are now bearing forth so I'm not sure I need a whole bunch of seeds to plant! :-))

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 7:29PM
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