Germinating the seeds
Plant them when you receive them for best results
The seeds sprout best by placing them in the refrigerator for 8 weeks after being kept at room temperature for 6 weeks. The tips below explain the process.
Fill a small, plastic sandwich container with pre-moistened coir fiber or peat moss. Don't oversaturate the material. Place the seeds inside and cover them with more material.
Place the container at room temperature (60-77°F / 15-25°C), with the lid slightly open for ventilation. A dim location will help minimize the formation of algae, but this isn't necessary. Keep the container there for 6 weeks, watering whenever necessary to keep the most moist. Don't let water collect on the bottom of the container.
After 6 weeks, close the container, label it, and put it in the refrigerator. Ensure that the seeds don't freeze (inside the door is usually the warmest place).
After 8 weeks (mark your calendar), remove the seeds from the container and plant them 3/8 inch deep (1 cm) in individual pots (or cups with drainage holes) that are at least 3 inches tall (7 cm). Use a well-draining soil mix. I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite. An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand. Don't add lime to your mix.
Water the soil until evenly moist, and place in a bright spot that is about 65-77 degrees F (18-25°C), with good air circulation. A little cooler at night is ok. Avoid letting them get warmer than 80 degrees F (27°C). I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.
The seeds will sprout at different times. A few might sprout immediately after removing them from the refrigerator, while some may take 2 or 3 months, and few might take longer. Usually by 3 months, at least 75% will sprout. If any don't sprout after 5 months, try repeating the refrigerator treatment for 10 weeks, checking up on them every 2-3 weeks to see if any have sprouted.
Once they sprout, give them bright, filtered light. Shade them from strong sun. Give them good air circulation to prevent stem rot.
Fertilizing -- Once they are 7 days old, feed every 2 weeks with a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer. Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients. After 3 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package. Or continue feeding with some liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength every 2 weeks.
When your seedlings are as tall as their pot, gently replant them gently into larger pots. Avoid disturbing the roots when repotting (watering the soil first helps keep it together). A tall pot is best to allow a deep root system.
Avoid sudden, large changes in temperature or sun while they are young. Protect them from freezing temperatures the first 2-3 years.
Tips on growing older plants are here.
Have fun growing them!
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