Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hosta Seedlings – A Winter Retrieval


Seed Experiment - Hosta 



Soon after the Holidays, I noticed a few stalks still on the Hosta near my front door.  The seed heads were dried and intact, and I was bored! 
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I collected lots of seeds.  Was I excited! 
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After disinfecting the tray with bleach, I dampened the seed starting mix and filled each cell.
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Seeds were soaked for about an hour in warm water then gently placed on top of the seed mix.  I barely covered seeds with more potting mix. 
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I placed the cell tray, covered with a plastic lid, on a heat pad. The heat pad provided about an eighty degree base - about ten degrees warmer than the room temperature.   The seeds germinated about ten days later.  WhoooHooo!. 
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Here I soaked the peat pots in preparation for transplanting the seedlings once they had sprouted their second leaf. 
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I managed to get eight seedlings from this mid-winter harvest -  about 10% of the 80 seeds I planted.  I have recycled a muffin container from the market to hold the peat pots, and used the plastic lid to continue to keep the pots moist. 


I have had these seedlings about six weeks.  I water  from the base with fish fertilizer, about 1/2 strength. I will be moving them into a little larger cup soon.  Some fellow gardeners suggested the seedlings should be under florescent lights 24 hours a day.  I have not been able to do that, but I have them in a south window where they get bright light for about 12 hours a day. They might have grown faster, if I had the longer light available. 
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This is the Mother Plant of my seedlings, Krousa Regal.  The parentage of the seedlings is of little value, however.  The pollination of the flowers that produced the seeds can not be documented.  Who knows where the pollinators were prior to visiting my hosta!  I have seen offspring of hosta through seed to vary greatly even to another seedling.  Much like siblings in any family who do not look alike, so can the seedlings be different from each other.  One can be blue,  one green, another can be variegated green with white,  or yellow with green, or any of many other combinations. A solid green parent will most likely produce a solid green hosta.  I’m looking forward to seeing what I get! 
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Glad you stopped by today.
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