"Red Bells Agave"
Germinating the seeds
These seeds are fragile, so handle them carefully
When to plant -- Plant your seeds immediately for the best germination.
Getting started -- These seeds sprout well using the "soaking method". To begin, place them in a cup of water, and place it in a spot that will stay between 65 and 77 degrees F (18-25° C). A bit cooler at night is ok. Avoid letting them get above 80 degrees F (27°C) for prolonged periods. I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the cup.
Light helps them germinate, so keep them in a bright spot. A fluorescent or LED bulb kept a few inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of lighting.
Replace the water every day or 2. They should start sprouting within 2-4 weeks, and continue for another month. Carefully remove any seeds with a little white root.
Plant them in small pots or cups with drainage holes. For soil, use a well draining mix. Personally i use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not large chunks). An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite. Gently press the seed into the soil until the root is covered, then add water until the soil is evenly moist (but not fully saturated). If the seed is showing, sprinkle a small amount of soil around it.
Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface doesn't dry out. If you enclose the pots in a plastic dome or bag to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for some fresh air to enter.
Continue keeping them in a bright spot at the temperature range mentioned earlier. Once they send up their first leaf, about a month later, you may give them some direct sun if you wish, but protect them from strong afternoon sun the first 1-2 months.
When they are 2 weeks old, give a very light dose of liquid fertilizer (about 1/8 strength), and repeat about every 10 days. Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for this, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients. I use General Hydroponics Flora fertilizer, using 1 teaspoon/gallon (5 mL per 4 liters). After 3-4 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients (I use this). Or continue feeding weekly with liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength.
After they are 3 months old, you may repot to a larger pot. Transplant gently to keep the soil ball from breaking apart (watering first helps keep it together). When repotting, bury them a 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) deeper, and repeat this the next time you repot.
At 4 months old, you can expose them to a wider temperature range, but protect them from freezing temperatures the first year or 2.
Tips on growing older plants are here.
Have fun growing them!
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