So what does a person who is obsessed with Sarracenia do in the winter months! Make more!!!
Spring is just around the corner here in Zone 6b. So its time to get the new Sarracenia growing. In the past I had a very successful method for starting Sarracenia from seed. In a nutshell, it looked like this.
I would get long fibre Chilean sphagnum, puree it in the blender, squeeze out the excess water, put it in a 2 inch pot, sew my seeds, spray it with fungicide, stick in a tag, put the pot and tag in a zip lock type bag, throw it in the fridge for a few weeks, then put the whole works under some lights. However, this year, I’m trying something new! I was at a local dollar store and found these little guys!
It is a six pack of peat pellets in a mini greenhouse. No bags not pots, no blender and sphagnum puree! All you do is add water, and the peat pellets puff up and are ready to take seed. In my bogs, my plants grow in mainly peat… so why not? I figure I could sew three species per greenhouse, two pellets of each. The only thing is that they need to be labeled. I can’t stick tags in the pellets, so I’m going to have to come up with some sort of alternative method. I think what I’m going get some pot tags and lay them down inside… or mark a corner somehow, and draw a diagram relative to that corner, not sure yet. When I get that far I’ll post some pics to illustrate what I end up doing.
So here is what they look like inflated! and with the snazzy lid!
OK… so the next step is to sew the seeds, get the tags figured out and pop these guys in the fridge for a few weeks for stratification.
Stratification? what’s that? For all the seasoned growers reading this you can skip to the next paragraph, everyone else … keep reading. Stratification is important to get maximum germination. Basically, stratification is subjecting the seeds to a period of cool dampness. In the wild, Sarracenia dehusk their seed in the fall. The seed remains on the ground, subjected to moisture and cool temps over the winter months. During this time, the seeds absorb some moisture. Then when the warm weather comes in the late spring, pop! and off they grow! There is some question as to the length of stratification required. If seed if fresh, I’ve found from experience that you don’t even need to stratify it… however as seed ages, stratification becomes more necessary as germination rates decrease as seed gets older. Maybe this is because the seed gets dryer? Don’t know. As a general rule, I keep my seed in the fridge for a couple of weeks if its from the previous season, a month or so if its more is a year old, and two to three months for older seed. My friend John Hummer has some seed that he’s stored for over 20 years that he’s trying to germinate. We’ll see how that goes. Anyway, before I put my seeds into the fridge, I spray them with a systemic fungicide.
Right now these peat pellets are very wet… I’m going to let them dry out over night I think before I sew the seed. You don’t want the media sopping, but you don’t want it dry either!
I will get back with some photo of the finished product before they go in the fridge.