"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 -- You may start each seed in a small pot or cup with drainage holes, or all together in a single container. If planted together, plant them 1 inch (3 cm) from each other.
For soil, use a well draining mix. Personally i use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use small- or medium-grade perlite, not large chunks). An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite.
The seeds are shaped sort of like a half circle. Press the flat end into the soil until the other end is at soil level, so you can see the tip of it. Add water until the soil is evenly moist (but not fully saturated). After adding water, if any seeds become exposed too much, bury them more or add soil around them.
Keep them 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 out of direct sun. An LED or fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of lighting (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").
Until they sprout, keep the surface moist. If you enclose the pots in a plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for fresh air to circulate. You may need to drip a few drops of water on the surface daily to keep it moist.
They tend to start sprouting in 1 to 2 months and continue for a another 1-2 months. The seed may remain attached to the first leaf, which is normal. Don't try to remove it.
Continue keeping them in a bright spot at the temperature range mentioned earlier. Once they send up their second leaf, you may give them some direct sun if you wish, but protect them from strong sun the first 3-4 months.
Fertilizing -- When they are 7 days old, feed weekly with a small amount of liquid fertilizer using a very dilute dose (1/8 strength). Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and complete. After 2 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer if you prefer. Choose one with micronutrients, and follow the dosage on the package.
After they are 3 months old, you may repot to a larger pot. Avoid disturbing the fine roots when repotting.
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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