Seed from some of the best Sarracenias (Pitcher plants) taken from the National Collection. Will include a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes. Approx 30 seeds per packet.
Like the seeds of other carnivorous plants, these need special treatment to give them their best chance at growing.
They must be provided them with a lot of humidity to get them to germinate. It is recommend that seeds are sown in transparent pots that have lids to keep in the moisture. It is also possible to use regular pots with glass or plastic domes over them to serve the same purpose.
Pure peat moss is best as a growing mediumas it is sterile and is less likely to grow moulds. You may also dust the seeds with a fungicide beforehand to help with this. You can mix in a little silica sand, or washed river sand, and perlite if you have some handy.
So here goes!
Step 1 – Soak chopped up sphagnum moss in a diluted solution of insecticide and fungicide. This will kill any pest that may be present in the media. A lot of plantlets die shortly after germination because of pests and fungii. Place about 1 inch of sphagnum moss in a tray. If sphagnum moss is not available, you may use coconut peat. Other growers have had great success with coconut peat.
Step 2 – Pitcher plant seed growing requires stratification. This means that the seeds grow best when put in a cold location for several months before they germinate to reproduce the chilly winters of their native habitat. Moisten the planting medium first, then sow pitcher plant seeds by placing them on the medium surface. Place the pots or trays in a warm area for a few days, then in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks. After the appropriate amount of stratification time, move the entire pitcher plant seed growing operation to a warmer area with bright light. Place a transparent cover on the pot or seedling tray to keep the humidity high.
You may sow the seeds on your current Pitcher Plant pots where they are thriving or place the seed trays in your greenhouse or shade-house if you have one. If the environment suits the mature plants, it would be appropriate for seedlings.
Step 3 – Make sure the potting media (sphagnum moss) is always wet. If possible water them from the bottom using the tray method. If you pour or spray water on top of the media, the water might wash the seeds into the media. The little plantlets might then have difficulty reaching out of the media if they are buried too deep. Watering from the top when the plantlets have germinated will also injure or break their tiny and fragile stems or roots.
Step 4 – Now, all you have to do is just wait. Leave the seeds alone. Germination will occur from 3 weeks to a few months depending on the freshness of the seeds and how well you treat them. Growing pitcher plants from seed requires patience. Allow the pitcher plant seeds all the time they need to germinate. Keep the soil moist and the plant in bright light.
Step 5 – Once the seeds germinate, allow more air circulation around the plantlets, but do this gradually or the seeds will wilt and die. This is more applicable if the seedlings are placed inside a terrarium or seed tray where humidity is very high. Air circulation will prevent fungii from attacking the babies.
Step 6 – Transplant the plantlets into individual pots when they start to crowd each other in the seed tray. Be careful not to disturb the roots any more than necessary.