Germinating the seeds
Getting started -- Soak the seeds for 8 to 12 hours in a cup of water.
Use small pots or cups with drainage holes. For soil, use a well-draining mix, such as 2 parts sterilized potting soil to 1 part perlite. An alternate mix is equal parts of perlite and coir fiber, with some slow-release fertilizer added. Cover lightly with a 1/8 inch (3 mm) layer of vermiculite, or sphagnum moss that has been ground in a coffee-grinder. This will keep the seeds moist but allow light to enter, which improves germination. If you don't have vermiculite or sphagnum moss, use your soil mix.
Aim to keep them between 65-74 degrees F (18-23°C), although a little cooler at night is ok. Avoid letting them get above 76° F (24°C) for prolonged periods. I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.
Until the seeds sprout, do not allow the soil surface to dry out. If you enclose the pots in a plastic bag or dome to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly to allow fresh air to enter.
Place the pots 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) from a fluorescent bulb, or the equivalent amount of light.
They should begin sprouting in 2 weeks and continue for a month. Increase the ventilation once they sprout, to prevent rot. Some sunlight is ok after 1 week, but avoid strong sun exposure for 3 months.
Feed about every 2 months with a slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer. It's normal for an older leaf to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if seems excessive, check that the soil is moist down in the root zone. It can also be a sign of not enough nitrogen fertilizer.
Tips on growing older plants are here.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
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