This is a tale of why you should be patient with CP seed. I received and planted some B. liniflora seed in December 2006. Nothing germinated in 2007. Now I see 3 Byblis seedlings in the pot -- 17 months after planting.
That must be my problem trying to germinate them, I never wait long enough.
I even recently tried Joseph Clemens technique with no luck.
"I first put the seeds in a tea cup, pour water (hot, but not too hot to touch) enough to cover the seed about 1 inch deep. Let them soak for several hours (this is the first stage of germination -- called imbibition) to initiate the germination process. Then I put a paper towel in a plastic funnel, pour the seed out onto the paper in the funnel so the liquid drains off, then I used a plastic irrigation bottle with a 1::10 bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) to wash the seed until no more purple pigment leached from the seed. I then returned the seed to the cup and soaked them again in water to rinse off most of the bleach. Then I sowed them on the surface of moist peat moss and placed them into a ziploc® bag under fluorescent lights. They germinated in less than 24 hours.
I discovered this by accident, when I was preparing some seed to sow in vitro I noticed there was dark purple leaching into the paper towel from the seed, so I continued the bleach rinse until it had all leached out of the seed and into the paper towel. After preparing the seed to sow I then planted half in moist peat moss and the other half in petri dishes of sterile nutrient agar. Wow, was I surprised when they all germinated within 24 hours."
to be honest I've tried both methods. This year i just put some in a pot w/o the bleach treatment out on the porch a month or so ago and now they are popping up. I don't know of it is seed stock, or climate or what, but it seems this is a hit-or-miss plant to germinate.
Hmmm...I've also noticed the purple pigment when I tried floating some of my supposed Byblis filifolia seed. Strangely enough, the seed refused to germinate after soaking for 24 hrs. The seeds sank in about 5 hrs. Sowing fresh seed on the media surface and a quick blast of heat from a fast-burning grass fire seemed to do the trick for me, with germination in about 7 days. Maybe the hot water treatment mimics the same...
I'd like to hear some opinions on the "purple dye" concept. I theorize that it's definitely a dormancy chemical that can keep the seed viable for many years. What do you guys think? Happy Growing, Brian.
What I did was to air dry the seeds for a week or two before chucking them into the wine cooler for another week. Thereafter, the seeds were bleached using Joseph Clemens' concentration of 1:10. The seeds were bleached till they are almost clear but a slight tinge of purple (I did soaked a batch till they turned white and they did not germinate ).
The seeds were then rinsed and sowed on LFS or peat. I am not sure about germination rate because there are too many seeds to count but the fastest they germinated with the method I used was about 12 days. That isn't very fast but it surely beats having none of them germinate at all.
The period taken for germination after bleaching is shorter during the really hot days. I have seeds germinate about 6 months later. They fell into one of the Nepenthes pot when the fruit split open.
I believe that some CPs have evolved a survival strategy, where by all the seeds, even from the same seed capsule do not germinate at the same time. This approach provides insurance for the species survival in the event of a disaster such as fire; drought; or an even an overall poor quality growing season that fails to deliver a new healthy seed producing plant at the end of its growth cycle. By keeping a percentage of seed in deep dormancy in reserve throughout a poor growing season, insures this seed is available to perhaps enjoy a good growing season a few years later.
About 30 years ago I sowed Japanese Drosera indica seeds from the Ajiki-site near Mt. Tsukuba and Tsukuba University. The winter climate there is very cold for D. indica plants and their growing conditions are harsh. I had little knowledge at the time as to how to grow and care for this species but in the first year I got many seeds to germinate in cultivation. Over the next 3 years, I discovered that a small amount of seedlings were produced every year from the original seed sowing in the same pot.
To summarize, I believe Drosera indica seed dormancy time periods are variable even for the seeds from same capsule. Each seed appears to have its own time line measure of dormancy. Tropical Byblis too appear to follow a similar deep dormancy seed strategy.
Back to the subject,
For Tropical Byblis the most difficult period is the dry season. I guess that there are some years, which have shorter rainy seasons or even extended dry seasons.
Tropical Byblis survive only as dormant seeds during the dry season. If all seeds were to germinate at the same time and the rainy season was cut short, there would be a good chance that many, if not all plants, would fail to reach seed producing maturity. In this event, seed would not have been produced for its dormancy period in the dry season. The species could not carry over to the next growing season in its dormant seed phase and the species would very quickly become extinct.
In cultivation, with my current knowledge, I find it difficult to perfectly control Byblis species germination.
The following method that I describe is not perfect. I have had a few experiences where this method has not produced overall germination at the same time. Many seeds from the same sowing and pretreatment were still germinating after several months.
I believe the method that I use improves the overall germination rate. The method that I use is as follows.
Beforehand, I soak the seed in 1000ppm GA3 (gibberellic acid) solution for 24hrs.
I sow Tropical Byblis seeds into a plug tray such as: 200-hole type (depth: 45mm); 288-hole type (depth: 38mm) and 406-hole type (depth: 24mm).
I place the plug trays into the watering trays that are 29mm in depth. When I put the 406-hole type plug tray into the watering tray (which has a water holding depth of 29mm), I need to elevate the plug tray to avoid flooding the soil surface of 406-hole type plug tray. The first photo in the thread 1634, shows two clothes pegs in the water. The 406-hole plug tray is on supported on five clothes pegs.
The water in the 29mm depth water tray overflows every day. I think this exchange of the water is useful in removing the chemical dormancy inhibiters surrounding the seeds that suppress seed germination.
The lowest temperature is 15 degrees C (I recommend more than 20 degrees C); the maximum temperature is 35 degrees C (40 C too is no problem, as Tropical Byblis like these high temperatures).
The light I give my plants is FULL SUNLIGHT.
From sowing to end of cultivation, I never use any shade. Tropical Byblis become much more beautiful in full sunlight. The strength of sunlight that Tropical Byblis can take is so strong that it will cause skin damage in a very short time.
In recent years, I have started to spray warm water over the surface of the seed sown soil every evening during the first two weeks. I spray gently so I do not move the seeds. The water temperature that I put into my spray tank is 42 degrees C.
In summary the key points of the methods I use are:
GA3 seed pre-treatment; very wet tray watering methods; replacement of stagnant water; high temperatures; and strong sunlight. Not one of these key points is any more special than the other. Success is achieved only when all of these key points are used together as one.
Photo 1: Byblis liniflora seedlings 10 days after sowing to 406-hole type plug tray. Some plants have already been transplanted. I transplant the seedlings into their final pot size the moment they are large enough to be moved on from the 406-hole type plug tray.
Some CP growers say Byblis liniflora does not need any special treatment such as the method I use. I agree, however, I believe the method that I use produces better results with a more rapid and a much larger overall percentage of germination. Additionally, I believe some Byblis liniflora varieties need GA3 treatment for successful germination.
Photo 2: Byblis guehoi seedlings 18 days after sowing to 200-hole type plug tray. I sowed Byblis guehoi seed that Mr. Allen Lowrie was distributing all over the world this year. 70% of this species seeds germinated within 2 weeks.
Photo 3: small plants of Byblis guehoi approx.6 weeks after sowing to 200 hole plug tray.
Photo 4: close up of photo 3.
May you enjoy growing Byblis species.
By the way, from my experience with hot water treatment before sowing, I have discovered the following:
70 degrees C: almost all seeds did not germinate 60 degrees C: all seeds germinated
I did not use deep dormancy seeds, so this was an experiment just for reference
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2014 5:46:29 GMT by sweetpea: photo links changed (same photos): 2014/11/29
What a great thread; there's some really awesome info here which should come in handy since I've got some B.filifolia seeds waiting for spring to come around and I didn't have any really confidence inspiring info to help me achieve a good germination rate. All the other threads on Byblis germination don't specifically mention B.filifolia.
Hi Bob, would you say this holds true for D.stolonifera too? I put some seeds in a pot about 18 months ago with no joy. They are still there as the other side of the pot contains D.spatulata and an errant VFT seedling that is yet to be transplanted.
Photos 3 # 4 are incredible! In my experienece with B. liniflora, no matter what technique I use - presoaking, cold storage, nothing at all,.. they are consistently inconsistent as to whether they germinate, how long it took, or what percentage. Actually, my best effort was my first, with no sophistication whatsoever. All I did was put 23 seeds in a sealed, slightly moist plastic container, by a window sill. They all germinated in about 10 days. And then I killed them!
But Captain... the Dilithium crystals... the engine... she's gonna blow!
Here is my theory about Byblis liniflora seeds. Either the form of the species or the growing conditions affects the germination rate.
Firstly, most of the seeds in the collections here originated from the same plant. The first seeds went out to several growers. These growers grew the seedlings out and gave seeds to other growers. I asked around for different seeds only to find that all of them can be traced back to one collection. All the growers do not find sowing fresh seeds helped.
Secondly, since all the seeds are formed in similar conditions, germination rate may be affected by the way the seeds are formed. Perhaps the heat or humidity or light levels affect the formation of the seed coat. All the seeds from different collections had similar germination rates with refrigeration, followed by 10% bleach.
So my take on the matter is, do what works for you for seeds formed in your conditions. If you get new seeds from another grower, check what worked for him and try the same treatment. ;D
I have been using the standard CP mix (1:1) sand peat with finely ground LFS top dressing. I surface sow with out any pre-treatment. However, I do hold the pots in 80-90 F and very high humidity until the seeds germinate. I think the high humidity and high temps work much the same as the hot water treatment or the water soaking
So far it has been working. But I have started to see seedlings popping up in all sorts of places (seems given a chance the seeds can scatter to nearby pots). My oldest plants are over a year old now and I can see new seedlings popping up in these pots also.
I lost a large number of the seedlings last December and January when the humidity averaged around 85% daily. I did not try using any fungicide. Since it is the hottest and driest season now, I have sown a new batch of seeds.