Germinating the seeds
Getting started -- You may plant each seed in individual, small containers, or you can plant them all in a single container and transplant them a few months later. Either way, use pots with drainage holes
For soil, use a well draining mix high. A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part
(use small- or medium-size perlite, not large chunks) or
coarse sand. An alternate mix is 1 part
to 1 part
perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer
Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil always stays moist. If you enclose the pots in a plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly to allow some fresh air in. You may need to drip a few drops of water over the seeds every day or 2 to keep the seeds moist.
They germinate well between 68 and 84 degrees F (20-29°C). A little cooler at night is ok. I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.
They should start germinating within 2 months, but may take up to 4 months to start. Increase air ventilation slightly after sprouting to prevent rot, but continue keeping the soil surface moist for 2-3 weeks after sprouting.
Fertilizing -- The first 6 weeks, feed weekly with a small amount of dilute
(1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.
is ideal for young seedlings, since it is easily absorbed and contains all
After 6 weeks, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains
micronutrients, feeding at half the dosage on the package. Or continue
feeding weekly with dilute liquid fertilizer. Once the plants are 6 months
old, reduce the feeding to bright out the best color. Using too much
fertilizer may encourage more green in the leaves.
Over about 50% humidity is best.
If it seems to suffer in low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier,
home improvement stores and some thrift shops.
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