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Sundew seedling(from seed) help please!

Posted by plant_newbie_2010 6b (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 21:46

Hi, this is my first time starting any carnivorous plant from seed, plus I'm basically a newbie at carnivorous plants, as I've only had one capensis alba for a few weeks, before it succumbed to a really bad aphid problem...=(

So basically about a month ago, I started a tropical and subtropical mix of drosera seeds in small styrofoam cups, in 1:1 peat and perlite, and in sealed ziploc bags with ~1" of water. It had been real chilly, so I thought maybe I screwed up and killed all the seeds by starting them on my windowsill while it was still snowing outside(cause I myself had moments I felt I was freezing in my room). Plus nothing popped up in 2 weeks, and knew I had some capensis, which I had heard popped up relatively fast. But being lazy, and ever so hopeful, I just left my set-up there while I tended to my other seedlings. Now, almost a month later, I decided to check as it's gotten pretty warm lately, and voila, in my 4 cups, there are altogether 15 seedlings that have popped up!=D(only with their cotyledons out, and a couple even still have the seed coat on the tip of a leaf) Of course I`m grinning like an idiot, cause I`m happy as can be!=) But I do have a few issues...=/

1) Right now, they are completely sealed in the ziploc bag, and I've heard about hardening them off to lower humidity when they're old enough, but how many true/carnivorous leaves is considered old enough? And over how long a period of time should they be slowly hardened off? (1 week? 2 weeks? etc...)

2) I know sundews need lots of light, and since I can't get any indoor light set-up(I'm a student, and my parents will never let me), the only light I can provide is from my south-facing window sill... However, with my current sealed ziploc bag set-up, I know they'll get steamed to death in direct sunlight... Will they be able to last with indirect sunlight till they get hardened off? If not, does anyone have any good ideas or tips?=P

3) Will the seedlings with seedcoats stuck on the tip of a leaf be okay if I just leave them alone? I don't want to disturb them too much, but I just want to confirm if they'll shake it off themselves, or that it won't be too much of a hindrance if it's just stuck on the tip of the cotyledon.

Thank you! Any help would be greatly appreciated!=D

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sundew seedling(from seed) help please!

I dont have any advice to give because I've never had much luck with CP's but I do with normal plants but with normal plants we just leave the seed still on, it'll shake off eventually. My main resaon for this post though is that I was wodering if you had any more seeds taht you'd be willing to part with?

RE: Sundew seedling(from seed) help please!

Hi, thanks for the response anyways!=) I asked that question only cause I grow other plants too, but some never do shake off the seed coat themselves and require assistance. And about the seeds, sorry, but I didn't have much seed to begin with, and I'm saving the rest as backup(or hopefully maybe another round of sowing)!=P Anyways, if you need seeds or plants, you can buy seeds online quite easily!=) There are quite a few reputable online stores I've heard people talking about on CP forums!=D

RE: Sundew seedling(from seed) help please!

1.) I would harden them off slowly after they have at least a few true carnivorous leaves personally. I have always sprouted them without sealed in anything, but I think the same rules for acclimation apply here. Slowly, every few days, either raise the bag off them, open the seal a bit more, or pop holes in the bag, whichever is easiest for you is fine. I don't know how big the bag is or what, so I can't tell you how long it will be overall. Just give them a few days in between adjustments. If you're nervous, go slower, won't hurt them.

2.) yeah, better lower light than steamed to death!

3.) Leave em be, they'll grow leaves around it, or you can pull it off when it's loosened enough to not tear the leaf in the process.

RE: Sundew seedling(from seed) help please!

Thanks for the advice JungleMel! Really appreciate it!=)
Anyways, so after reading about more, I've decided to start hardening them off, but really slowly, cause I wanna get them into the sun as soon as possible. I don't think the light they're currently getting is enough to get them very far, but I need to get the bags off before they can go into full sun!=P lol!

RE: Sundew seedling(from seed) help please!

You can have best of both worlds.

If your bag isn't sealed (even if *just* starting to harden off with a few pinpricks or something - that will be enough to not let the seedlings "cook" in brighter light as long as there is a little distance between holes if very small. If the holes or opened part is really small and you worry it won't ventilate adequately if light gets really hot, you can put a translucent paper or single ply of tissue on the top part of the bag where the direct light hits most.

I have done this before (though not with drosera) and I have found that I didn't cook any of the seedlings in pretty strong direct sunlight too, as long as there was enough water in tray and the seal broken, so that it could evaporate out and keep things from getting too hot.

Also, when in doubt (*if* you notice any seedlings stressed), you can open the seal a bit more, since in direct light, the water from tray will evaporate faster, so humidity won't drop as rapidly. The ventilation prevents overheating. Another trick I found that worked was two holes - one on top and one closer to pot height on opposite sides help build a ventilation of sorts and takes out overheating as a factor completely (unless ambient temperature itself is too hot).

And I live near Mumbai, were 42C+ in the peak of summer is ... normal, though when I did this, I imagine temps were more like 36/38C.

I know this is an old post, but answered it anyway, in case it helps someone else.

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