Need help germinating seeds with reticulatum in them

dondelduxMay 3, 2014

Hopefully some one can help me.

I had about 1/2 dozen seedpods on Santos that produced small numbers of large jet black seeds with a large embryos inside and some of them have been soaking for over 3 weeks now with no signs what-so-ever of any germination. I am assuming due to the striped leaves and overly large seeds that somewhere in Santos' lineage there lurks reticulatum. Autumn Pink Lady also produced the same type of seeds, a few well formed black with the extra large embryos and none of them will germinate either.

My only hope now in getting any seeds with Santos' genes in them now lies (for the moment) in a large seedpod of Exotic Star x Santos. I suppose I should expect the same seeds with large embroyos that won't germinate?

Is there anything other than the usual soaking that I should have done? I have 3 more seedpods on Santos that are about to open, another self, another x Autumn Pink Lady and believe it or not x Party Pooper!

I know some of you have had Santos for years and am wonder what crosses that you have made that were successful? (and how in the world did you get them to germinate!!)

By the way, this has been the absolute worst year for me for getting seedpods to form let alone getting them to germinate. It's probably a blessing in disguise though as I have close to 2 dozen crosses from last year that are growing merrily along and will need to be repotted this summer and take up more room.

Thanks in advance,


This post was edited by dondeldux on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 8:08

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Hi Donna,

I had to go hunting to find these seedlings, which my records indicate were planted directly into soil in 2009. The first two crosses produced one or two seedlings with variegated leaves.

⢠Santos x Sumatra
⢠Santos x Rembrandt van Rijn
⢠Santos x H. papilio

I think that weâÂÂve discussed the fact that my original Santos bulbs have remained very small in comparison to the giants that were available in fall 2013. Presently, I am waiting for several seedpods to ripen on the new Santos bulbs. Only time will tell if the pods yield viable seed.

There is one more observation that I can provide. I also received some cybister Chico and cybister Lima bulbs that looked like bulbs on steroids. The scapes produced by these bulbs were very thick and about 30â tall. However, pollination attempts all failed. In contrast, my older bulbs of these varieties, which have remained relatively small, readily accepted pollen from several compatible donors. For the moment, it appears to me that the propagation methods used to produce these humongous bulbs may have adversely affected their fertility.



    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Hi Donna,

My Santos is just beginning to bloom so I don't have any experience with that one yet. However, I had 2 pods on Picotee that were crossed with Autumn Pink Lady. Just when they looked like they were going to ripen, the stalk began collapsing. I decided that I was going to lose them anyway so I waited as long as I dared and then pulled them off and opened them. I salvaged 8 seeds from one pod and 9 seeds from the other. There was very little of the papery part of the seed but as you said, it was black and the embryo was exceptionally large and full. Whether or not they will germinate is anyone's guess but I planted them anyway. I don't soak my seeds so they went directly in the soil. That was only a week or so ago so I am waiting. Then yesterday, I had a large pod from the Autumn Pink Lady. Again, they were large, black, shiny and with very large embryos. There were 33 seeds that I planted from that one. I have another huge pod on Autumn Pink Lady that is still a little green. Only time will tell if I get any germination from any of these.

I have to agree on the pollination this year. They swell and look like they are going to develop but after a week or so, they abort. I've been wondering what I have been doing wrong. Of course, it seems like all the crosses I really want to take are the ones that don't. I already have plenty started this year too but it is too much fun trying for something different. :)

Keep us posted on your results. They probably just need more time. It is my understanding that while it is unusual, it can sometimes take up to 6 weeks to germinate.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 3:25AM
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Hurray!! Look at this little guy, Santos x Chico!! Only 5 seeds in the pod and this one is jobbing out!! There is another trying to germinate but it is weak. Look at the stripe!!


I have a few other Santos crosses attempting to germinate too but it's too soon for a picture, I'm encouraged!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 8:17AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Great news!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 9:14AM
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WOW! What a sweet and robust stripe-leafed seedling. Grow, grow, grow!


    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 5:33PM
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I am thrilled to report that I've got some great news on the Santos germinating seeds saga! It took about 6 weeks or more for these seeds to finally get the message to start to germinate, just like Nancy said, and I had all but given up hope until a few weeks ago when all of a sudden many of them decided it was time!!

I still only have the one Santos x Chico which has been planted but the selfs are germinating like crazy ( I had several pods) as well as the Santos x Autumn Rose Ladies!!! I have several of these as well as 2 other pods that I harvested a few weeks later than the first and those are now just starting to germinate also!! I am really excited about this cross!! Also, I have a couple of Party Poopers x Autumn Pink Lady germinating as well. (seeds, not pods) and, I also have a few seeds of Santos x Party Pooper and Exotic Star x Party Pooper too!! If I had only known that the Santos x Autumn Pink Ladies and the selfs would germinate so well, I would have shared some as it now looks like I may have way over 20 of each!!

I know many of you also bought a Santos from Royal Colors and I'm wondering how many of you fared in the seedpod department.


This post was edited by dondeldux on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 8:16

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 4:39PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

That's great Donna! Cool that it passes on the striped foliage!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 8:25AM
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Nice! I was going to suggest a little bottom heat if you transferred the seeds to a medium, but it looks like you have it under control! Way to go! :-)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:11AM
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Hi Everyone,

I just thought I'd share some of my success with my Santos seeds, the same seeds that I was lamenting about that they wouldn't germinate!

The most vigorous cross was Santos x Autumn Pink Lady, of which I have two small trays of seedlings. They are growing under lights in our furnace room and appear to be loving every minute of it!

I only have two seedlings of Santo x Chico and only one has a stripe. I am really excited about this one and will try to do this cross again if I get the opportunity.

I also have a few Santos x Party Pooper but not all of them are striped, but most are.

I also have one small tray of Santos selfed.

Recently, I was able to do a cross of Limona x Autumn Pink Lady and the seedlings are not all striped and those that are are very pale. But, these new seedlings are still sitting on the cable box which keeps the seedlings warm constantly. I am hoping that in a few weeks when I put these under the grow light with my others that the stripes may become more prominent.

So, how are the rest of you doing with your Santos seedlings? I would love to see some pictures of your seedlings and would like to know what crosses any of you made that were successful.

I remember that I also tried Exotic Star and probably papilio on Santos and those failed but if I have the chance, I will attempt the reverse cross as I still have some frozen pollen.

Thanks for looking, Donnaâºâºâº

    Bookmark   November 1, 2014 at 10:52AM
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Those are some impressive seedlings Donna! I love the stripes and can't wait to see the blooms!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2014 at 3:22AM
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Hi All,

So, tell me again...why do we give up Daylight Saving Time??? I just can't seem to get anything done now. With my daughter being sick, I just finally got a chance to check my seedlings since mine are all outside. Here are my results.

Santos x Tosca 7 seedlings, 1 striped
Santos x Terra Cotta 10 seedlings, 1 pale striped
Autumn Pink Lady x Apollo 29 seedlings, 13 striped
Autumn Pink Lady x Exotica 32 seedlings, 5 pale striped

None have the vivid stripes like yours Donna. That's probably my fault as I really haven't been able to take care of them like I should have. I also had a snail problem that got some of them.

Sorry I don't have any pictures though. The battery in my camera died. :(


    Bookmark   November 9, 2014 at 4:16AM
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Hi Nancy,

It looks like you've got some great crosses there!!

Of course, you have to remember that my very prominent stripes on Santos x Autumn Rose Lady have the reticulatum genes from both parents and even at that there is one vigorous seedling with no stripe!

I'm wondering if the light or amount of sun plays a part in the prominence of the stripes. I have to admit that my Santos bulb has spent its whole life (since I've had it) in my sunny bay window (a lot of hot sun) and I must admit that the stripes have become extremely pale, when they were quite prominent when the leaves first emerged! I should think it would just the opposite!!

Perhaps they like the light from the shop lights they are growing under?? I recently moved my paler Limona x Autumn Pink Ladies down stairs under the same light as my others, will be interesting to see if in a few weeks the stripes become more apparent.

I only have the one striped seedling of Santos x Chico and I will absolutely die if something happens to that one!!

I can't wait to get some suitable parterners to bloom so I can try again with what's left of my frozen Santos pollen! I doubt that my Santos will bloom again this season as it put out 3 scapes the first time it bloomed with so many flowers that I'm quite sure it needs a bit of time to recharge! Maybe I'll get lucky.

It will be exciting to compare leaves and flowers in the future with these Santos crosses from all of you and thank you for posting your list! Hopefully, when you recharge your battery you can get some shots of your leaves and add it to this thread.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2014 at 10:02AM
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Hi Donna,

I will see what I can do. My problem is pine needles. It's going to take a bit to clean them all out.

You may have hit on the differences on leaf color. My trays were pretty much shaded all summer. I just moved them to the back yard about a month ago. They do get a little more sun but not much. It is much brighter though. Most of the area I can use is highly shaded. And...I just got two more trees that I have to get planted and I can't figure out where. I am very excited about the one in particular. I have wanted it for years and finally did it. It's a Eucalyptus deglupta, the Rainbow Eucalyptus. Of course, I will probably be long gone before it gets big enough to see that beautiful bark. :(


    Bookmark   November 10, 2014 at 6:27AM
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