is it worth it to grow from seed?
My thinking on the merits of growing from seeds evolved over some months. I started with zero interest because of:
(1) the much longer time you had to wait for seeds to develop into blooming size plants, compared to cuttings,
(2) the variations of plant features, vs. predictability of what you get with cuttings,
(2a) sort of related to the previous one, is a difficulty of trading cuttings from seedlings, vs. clearer-identified cuttings-grown plants, because most people will probably prefer something they can google pics of to something they can't,
(3) unpredictable germination rates and generally much lower success rates with seeds vs. cuttings. This one is especially tough when space is limited. One germinated seed is too few, and three or more are too many because growing them to flowering requires space that other (more diverse!) plants can occupy instead. I am exaggerating here, but barely.
Then a couple of "just pay postage" opportunities came, and I tried it. The satisfaction and excitement at seeing those tiny seedlings pop up, grow and change are actually a significant advantage for me, it turns out.
The latest mental pro and con calculation was prompted by Aleya's advertising seeds on facebook. It went, as it often does, like this:
Hoya seeds collected by ALEYAGARDEN on 12 August : 10 $ per pack, more than 12 seeds per pack ( sometimes much more ) ; the minimum of sale is 20 $ including air letter. Please add 3$ for an optional registration. Contact [email address], first mail in at this address is first served:
12 August Hoya rosita
12 August Hoya padangensis
12 August Hoya acuta
12 August Hoya sulawesi
12 August Hoya parasitica x pachyclada
12 August Hoya bilobata
12 August Hoya callistophyllla long leaves
12 August Hoya Waterfall Bangpla, Phang Nga
(I removed the email address, so that it's not a blatant advertising).
Padangensis and callystophylla are on my wish list, so I was considering getting them. But then I see one is readily available as cutting for the same $10 (well, plus shipping), and either can probably be found even cheaper if I massage my list of hoya friends. $20 might not make or break anybody, but I wonder how you guys think about this. I guess just like with cuttings, Thai vendors are good for species/cultivars that cannot be obtained closer to home? What else is on your mind when you think of growing from seed?