Well, it’s been a crazy year so far, with house-buying, moving, repairing, new-carring, etc… and finally getting back into the swing of things.
For me, that means planting seeds, and repotting starts, rooting cuttings, etc.
Currently dazzling me are my amaryllis. Recently, one bloomed, but even more exciting are the results of last year’s blossoms… Sprouting seeds!
Last year, at the old house, the amaryllis were in a south facing with 5+ hours of full sun. They were also right next to a space heater. They loved this combination and bloomed out with enormous flowers. Since the room was funky and we used it mostly for storage and plants, there were a lot of bugs and spiders crawling about. They must have done a really good job pollinating the amaryllis, because by July, there were giant seed pods on two of the plants.
After the seed pods began to shrivel a little, I took them off of the plants and opened them up. Inside were giant black flake-like seeds. I hadn’t seen anything like them before! But with a little research on the net, I found some information about the seeds. (Let seeds dry, plant them within a year or so.)So I set them out to dry on a paper towel in my office, and as life would have it, chaos ensued again. I didn’t get back to planting the seeds until about a month ago.
February might not be the best time to plant seeds of any kind, especially seeds from somewhat tropical plants like amaryllis, but since my curiosity was re-inspired, I decided to go for it anyway.
I had saved some salad containers to use either as mini-greenhouses (redneck greenhouses, as sometimes I’ve heard them called) but thought they would work well for starting trays. I filled two of the approximately half full with a fluffy peat-rich potting soil mix, and misted the soil until damp. Then I scratched shallow trenches in the soil, approximately 1 inch apart, and planted the seeds half way in.
Amaryllis seeds may appear large (about 1/2 – 1 inch in diameter) but most of that is the tissue-paper-like covering. If you feel around on the seed, you will feel a small flat spot inside that’s a bit more substantial than the surrounding material. That is the seed. This part of the seed needs to be covered by soil for it to sprout. What you get when you firm the soil around the seed is a line of seeds sticking up out of the trench.
I set the two trays under the small florescent light where I keep my African Violets and waited… and waited… and waited. Finally, after about a month, the little sprouts began to peek out!
I’m sure most, if not all of these little things will not be as pretty as their parents in a couple of years when they bloom, but you just never know. For now I’m just excited that I got them to sprout!
Here’s a few more day’s growth on one of the li’l things. They’re about 1-1.5 inches long now and look like small blades of grass. I estimate they’re probably about two weeks old now, from the time the first sprouts appeared…