Sunday, April 06, 2014

Four O'Clock Seedlings. 4.6.14

Four O'Clock seeds, germinating

Four O'Clock germinating seed, planting in container.
Four O'Clock Seedling
I've had little success germinating Four O'Clock seeds.  Mirabilis jalapa.  Of the first batch, I planted about 4 per container, 5 containers, and one seedling resulted.  Of the second batch, I had the same result. 

I pre-soaked both batches of seeds in water, overnight.

This time, I presoaked in water overnight, on seed warming mat.  The I rinsed, and folded the soaked seeds into a moist paper towel, placed into zip-lock bag, and incubated a few days on seed starting warming mat.  Every day I check.  So far, of the 8 seeds, five have germinated. One is too small to transfer.  I transferred the two that looked most vigorous, into growth medium.

Now to see if they continue to grow.  Since Four O'Clocks have a deep tap root, I planted in tall containers.  Plastic juice cans I use for fig cuttings.

I fill the juice cans about 2/3 full with organic potting mix, and top with about 1 inch of sterile seed medium.  That way they can grow into the soil without a transplanting.

This one was firmly attached to paper towel, so I tore off most of the loose wet paper towel but did not try to completely remove it.

Once growing, the cotyledons continue to expand to quite a large size.  This was one of the first to germinate.  I dropped the plant.  The photo is after repotting.  Doesn't look too injured.

So far growing them under lights.  Some instructions state start 4 to 6 weeks before last expected frost.

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