What do streptocarpus seeds look like. I know they are tiny but are round or longish.
If I remember right, they are long and thin. And TINY, but you said that already. :-)
Thanks then maybe I didn't plant chaff?
lol. the only way to tell is to wait. Sometimes you can be sure you planted chaff, but something will sprout ;-)
The single most important part of growing from seed and hybridizing is having a positive attitude. If you think you don't have seed, then you might as well not plant it, and the result will be nothing. But, if you are wildly enthusiastic, then you plant what you have and then you learn that indeed there were seeds there and you have plants.
A case in point. My late friend Bartley made this important strep hybrid baaack in the late 70's, which he named 'Mighty Mouse'. It was the first mini strep hybrid, a cross of a seedling from a tiny strain called 'Cape Beauties' x johannis, a species. The 'Cape Beauties' were a hybrid strain created by Lyndon Lyon, from a cross of cyanandrus x erubescens. No one that I know of has ever seen erubescens--it must be long out of cultivation and never reintroduced. But, cyanandrus is around. The 'Cape Beauties' are tiny short lived plants for terrariums. I think someone still has it going but I haven't seen any in years. ( Note: for Larry--the last person I know of who was making seed of the Cape Beauties lives in the Denver Area and is a member of 3G's--Marlene Beam. If you get inspired you might contact her and see about getting some seed! (and some for me too!!!).
Anyway, the hybrid 'Mighty Mouse' is still around. It is a smaller grower than the compact streps like 'Joker', with smallish pale blue flowers. The jist of this story is that everyone thought that 'MM' was sterile, as the pods that formed when pollinated seemed to be empty. But Bartley knew differently and he told me--a pod will contain about 7 seeds. Since the seeds were so tiny it was hard to find any when the ripe pods were opened. I made a cross using MM and I got two seedlings from a seemingly empty pod. He used MM to make compact hybrids similar to 'Joker', which in fact is a Ford hybrid made from Bartley's hybrids resulting from MM. The next generation hybrids in fact turned out to be fully fertile, hence the hundreds of named compact hybrids.
To distinguish seed from chaff is not that hard. First of all, be careful in opening the pods, Try to clean them of any sticking seed without mashing up the pods. Let what falls land on a clean white sheet of paper. Then using you eyeballs or a magnifying glass, look carefully. The seeds will be uniform little things, tiny but of the same general shape, color and size. Chaff will look like little pieces of stuff--irregular, flat, inconsistant. I recently harvested seed from a kohleria pod that appeared to be empty. Now, kohleria seed is even tinier than strep seed. I kind of think that this time I got no seed, but I planted the dust anyway. It often takes about 3 weeks for fresh gesneriad seed to germinate. Old strep seed can take longer--up to several months. So, don't be impatient.
Jon, trying my best to be wildly enthusiastic.
When you have the seed and chaff, pour it on a white paper which has a crease down the middle. Jiggle the paper. Anything that rolls is seed.
One of my streps has a seed pod. What do I do now? Can I pick it green or do I have to wait? Will the plant stop blooming if I leave the seed pod on?
I really appreciate any and all advise on this.
No, the plant will not stop blooming if you leave the seed pod on. You can not pick it green. It will ripen in 2-3 months. You'll know it because it will turn all brown and dried out looking in a few days (after waiting 8-12 weeks, that is). It will look long and thin and brown and dry and twisted. The seed pod will start to crack along the twisted seams. Then you can put the seed pod over a sheet of paper or something and twist the pod open all the way and sort of shake the seed out.
Thanks for the information on seed pods. I will watch it and see what happens. Oh, another question: What is the best way to start seeds? I have propagated African Violet leaves in soil in a makeshift terrarrum by puttting a plastic bag over the pot. Will that work for seeds? Or is it too humid?
I'm real excited about this. Hate to have to wait 8-12 weeks.
I put the seeds in one of those clear plastic covered salad bowls from
Publix. I used Miracle Gro Sphagnum in the green and yellow bag. It
specifically mentions that it is appropriate for seed starting so I just put
them on the surface. Then I put them under my grow lights. They've sprouted
already and when they are big enough, I'm going take there pictures and post
it to the garden forum. Sprouting didn't take too long but I can see it's
going to be a long time before they'll be blooming. THis is my first
attempt at hybridizing so I'm pretty excited.
Barb, this is my first attempt, too. I sowed seeds from my first cross with Party Girl (pollen) and Heaven Scent (seed) about a month and a half ago. They sprouted slowly, a couple of new ones have come up recently, but I only have 11 seedlings so far from that cross. All of them are still super tiny. The biggest one is probably about 1/10 of an inch. I also sowed another cross of Heaven Scent (pollen) and Crimson Blaze (seed) about 3 weeks ago, and already more of those have come up and faster, even though I actually sowed fewer seeds because I only sowed 1/2 of them. The other 1/2 I took the dentist to be xray and just sowed them yesterday. The dose at the dentist's is quite low now (silly them, trying *not* to cause mutations (in humans)! what are they thinking?), so it may do nothing at all, even though I had them xray 8 times.
As medium, I just used the 1-1-1 mix. I never sterilize anything (shame on me) and so using the sphagnum moss usually brings lost of light fluffy mold in moist conditions for me.
A newby here...:-)
Where do I look on my strep (caulescens)for seed pods? How large are they? How long after the flowers do they form?
Try looking where the flowers were before they fell off. It will look like a green spike and gradually get longer as the seeds develop. It reminds me of the seed pod on a common yellow clover (oxalis, wood sorrel, whatever), except skinnier and longer, relatively.