Germinating the seeds
» These seeds sprout best if placed in the refrigerator for 4 weeks, after an initial 3 weeks at room temperature. The tips below explain the process.
Plant your seeds when you receive them for best germination.
First, soak the seeds in a cup of water for 24 hours.
Use small pots or cups that have drainage holes. Fill with a well-draining soil mix. I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use small- or medium-size perlite, not large chunks). An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite.
Plant 1-2 seeds in each pot, about 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep. Add water until the soil is evenly moist (but not saturated).
For the next 3 weeks, ensure that the soil stays moist. Keep the pots between about 68 and 84 degrees F (20-29°C). I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.
After 3 weeks, enclose the pots in an airtight plastic container or bag and place in the refrigerator. Ensure that the temperature stays above 35°F (2°C).
After 4 weeks (mark your calendar) remove the pots from their container/bag, and keep them in an area that stays between about 65 and 85°F (18-29°C). If you enclose the pots in a plastic dome, leave it open a bit to allow fresh air to circulate, to prevent stem rot later.
Germination can occur over a long period, beginning any time after 4 weeks and continuing for up to 6 months. Occasionally, some may take over 6 months, but most should sprout within 1 to 4 months.
Once they sprout, give them bright light, with protection from strong afternoon sun. Keep the soil evenly moist (but not constantly saturated).
Fertilizing -- The first 3 months, feed weekly with a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer. Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients. After 3 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients. Or continue feeding weekly with liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength.
You may transplant them to larger containers when the plants are 3 months old. Repot gently to avoid breaking apart the soil. Water before transplanting, to keep the soil together.
It generally isn't bothered by insects, but watch for any pests that can affect your other plants. Try using insecticidal soap before using stronger remedies, since some may harm the plant.
Tips on growing adult plants are here.
Have fun growing them!
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