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Author Topic: Growing Vriesea from seed  (Read 1435 times)
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jaga
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« on: October 18, 2015, 23:23:30 »

Hi all,
I don't confess at all to be a expert at this but what follows is the easiest way I have found to grow Vriesea after experimenting with all sorts of options.

To begin with you do need to find a suitable containing system that becomes reasonably air tight. I use plastic plant pots with a inverted clear plastic pot that fits very tightly inside. the clear plastic pot is what we buy olives in from the supermarket. The two just work well together but you can use a seedling tray with plastic lid the important thing is that the bottom half is not transparent and the top half is. The advantage of what i show is the top half is removable for inspections and allows a reasonable amount of enclosed air.

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Once your container is sorted I fill it to half height with bark fines that I have saved when sieving off my potting mix to grow neo seedlings. This is to allow the soil to breath and give drainage.

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I then add the pre microwaved sieved seed raising mix to the remainder of the pot so it sits 5mm below the pot internal rim. This allows to get the clear plastic top in and out with out disturbing the seedlings.

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Now to prepare the seed, I remove as mush as poss of the parachute end as this causes fungus issues later. I place the seed to soak in water for a day, this helps start of the swelling process , I then wash the seed with by spraying in in short spray of 'exit mould' for 1/2 hour. any cleaner will do even the 'milton' tablet as mentioned in another post just now.

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I then use tweezers to place the seed directly into the pot prepared above

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I then spray it with Bravo and using a black felt pen write the cross and date on the pot

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I put on the clear plastic top and place it in my corner window that gets morning sun only. The trick here is to place them so they do not get direct sunlight but high light. Also note there is no artifical heat or lights involved at this time of the year(anytime but winter) the seed should germinate in 2-3 weeks. You will need to keep a eye on this to make sure the soil does not dry out but it should also not be very wet.

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Germination
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Seedling after a month, growth rate varies dependent on the parent plants

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Seedlings after 9 months, going through 1 winter. The plastic cover was removed a month ago , Sprayed with Confidor insecticide + add a few slug pallets and left harden up and will now be placed inside my small plastic house to join the many others

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My mini overloaded plastic house

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A pot after 2 years ready to pot up.

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Happy growing all, Jaga
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splinter1804
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 22:29:50 »

Hi everyone.

Jaga - What a great post; your "easy to understand step-by step explanation" accompanied by lots of photographs is really a great document for any "would be brom seed growers".

This is the sort of post we used to see so often in the days of the "old" Garden Web Forums and from which I learned so much about brom's in general and seed growing in particular.

The thing that many gardeners tend to overlook when contemplating trying to grow some brom seed is that it can be achieved quite simply without any expensive equipment.

I think because brom's are associated with orchids and are often grown in the same collections, people tend to think that brom seed is as complicated and expensive to grow as are seeds from orchids, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Your very informative article has shown just how easy it really is; congratulations Jaga, a job well done.

All the best, Nev.
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jaga
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2015, 08:47:39 »

Hi all, Thanks Nev for your comments, its good to pass on knowledge and experiences and it would be great if this lets you grow some great Vriesea's. Your right, when I first started thinking about growing bromelaid from seed every body I spoke to said it was a difficult long process and not to bother!. Well that only set me a challenge and really there is nothing to loose from trying. I got a few tips but in the main it has been through my own experience that I have simplified it to what you see above. I  have killed many thousand seedlings trying all sorts of methods. Here's a slight variation on above that I have been testing with a type of yogurt we eat. Used to just throw these containers in the bin then just a while back realised that they could work, The only thing I did here was drill holes in the bottom of the pot for drainage.

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Seems to work just fine, seed just germinating here.

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Cheers Jaga
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 08:56:54 by jaga » Logged
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 19:19:08 »

Yeah, Great Job Jaga!

Very informative and just posted at the right time too!

Any other secret methods that you are hiding away? Please post!

Conrad
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splinter1804
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2015, 21:30:54 »

Hi everyone.

Jaga - It seems we both are into re-cycling where ever possible as I grow my brom seed in re-cycled Chinese Food take-away containers. I did this as a trial some years ago and found it works pretty well for me and I haven't had any need to try anything else.

The main differences between my method and yours (above) are firstly, my containers are completely clear as opposed to yours which have a label around the side.

Secondly, you drill drainage holes in yours and I don't, as once my seed is sown, I don't need to water as there is sufficient moisture within the container and without drainage holes, once the lid is on it's contained within.

The water is drawn up during warmer periods and forms as droplets on the underside of the lid and as the temperature cools it trickles down the sides and wets the growing medium again, so I guess you could say the water is continually re-cycled also.

The lids aren't 100% air tight and obviously allow enough air to enter to support growth but only allow a minute amount of water to escape by evaporation and I'm able to leave the little seedlings undisturbed until it's time to thin them out.

I know of other growers who sow their seed in open seed trays which are only covered with a sheet of glass during the early stages of development; once the glass is removed the seedlings are treated like any other seedling and watered overhead and have access to normal circulating air. Although this method produces a "tougher" seedling, the only problem is that steps have to be taken to protect these seedlings from slugs, snails and other insects which isn't a problem with the enclosed method I use.

My idea was initially to develop the simplest and most economical method I could and this seems to be it as it works and I get results. I don't claim to be the first to grow brom seed this way but when I started using it I hadn't read of others growing seed in the same way at that time.

I think we all have our own methods and if they work, well that's what we stick to until something better comes along. No doubt other growers can produce bigger and better seedlings at a faster rate than me, but this method suits me as I'm having enough trouble keeping up with things at their present rate of growth and if they grew any faster things would be much more difficult.

All the best, Nev.
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