It must be 30 years since I grew this plant. Then I treated it like an annual, starting afresh with the previous season's seed each year. I never attempted to overwinter and I only used small pots. Now I think it's time to attempt to grow this plant as it deserves as a perennial shrub.
The seed was scarified and soaked for approximately 36 hours. I then surface sowed, six to a pot , in 3" pots and then pressed them lightly in. Don't worry I can't see them in the photo's either. The medium is approximately 50/50 peat/ granite grit. The pots were filled with the courser material then topped off with sieved. The pots are standing in an inch of water.
It's not important how many seeds germinate in each pot as they will be removed immediately they germinate and transferred to their next living quarters.
The ones destined for the large pots will be in peat pots initially. Extras will be grown as annuals and seed generators.
Good luck with them , I hear they can be quite hardy and withstand freezing temperatures,do you plan on planting the peat pots directly into larger pots so that the roots grow through the peat ones, or so they can be cut off easily without root disturbance.
I'll make holes in the peat pots to allow the roots to eventually grow through more easily. They will be planted complete in the large pots ( 12" & upward). I'm only going to do 3 large pots so there should be a few spares.
The answer is that I have only the one that's germinated (so far) corky. I transferred it immediately on germination to its own fibre pot. It's doing quite well but I'd still like to have a/some spare/s.
This is a lot more complicated than I thought it was going to be. On previous experience, which admittedly was some time ago, I would scarify the seed, soak them and they'd all spring up in a couple of weeks or so. This, however, is not the case at the present time. The first seedling was doing well then completely disappeared overnight with not even a seed casing surviving. Seed 2 sent out its root then went on an excursion to Valhalla. I now have two seedlings left from which I can hopefully grow one on to maturity.
I am happy with the state of the original two seedlings, they are growing well and the pots, in their elevated position, are surrounded by a minefield of slug pellets. I acquired a further two seedlings in a single pot at Stephen Morley's open day on July the 16th. I did wonder about splitting them into separate pots, a debate which became pointless on the way back when the prat three cars in front decided to do a last minute unsignalled right turn. We all braked, my car slowed down, the Drosophyllum didn't. On reaching home and awarding the seedlings their pilot's licences it was time to replant the two now bare root Drosophyllum. This I did in separate peat pots and the medium as the originals. They are now recovered and feeding on mashed aphid. There appears to be a shortage of small flies this year to feed these hungry little plants. MrsG did comment this week that we don't seem to get a fly splattered windscreen like we used to. Also at Stephen's there was fresh 2016 seed to be had, this was free to anyone. I availed myself of the offer and on the 17th I scarified the seed and soaked them overnight, planting them on the 18th. Today I noticed one had germinated, then I noticed two had and then a third. These are now in separate peat pots with a medium 1/1/1 of peat/sand/granite grit. I also noticed that a couple of them had roots that were longer than an overnight germination so I would suspect they have at least a full day's growth on them which would give them a 12 day germination time. There is quite an amount of seed in that pot so I may be struggling a little for space as they germinate ( I hope).
The top two are the ones I germinated. The bottom two are the ones that were bare-rooted a couple of weeks ago. I think a big "Phew!" is in order there.
Germination on the new seed is now at seven
I have prepared the large pots these will all go into eventually. I've used a roll of copper tape I had sitting around, not that I have much faith in this apparent slug/snail barrier but more of a "I have it and may as well use it, at worst it will do no harm to the plants". When I first used it on orchid pots I was finding snails on the medium that had crossed it.
Way back in the dark ages when I last grew this species, I germinated the seed early in the season and the smal plants would send up flower buds very early too. This time, perhaps because of the later germination times I've not had a single bud. The oldest plants have achieved a decent size too. I just hope that this winter isn't going to be as bad as some are predicting and I can get these plants through to spring.