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Obstacles

  • If the cultivation soil is too wet, the seeds start to rot.
  • If the cultivation soil is too dry – even for a short time – the germination process stops and many seeds don’t carry on even if you moisten the soil again.
  • The temperature recommendations we give are based on experience. However, the seeds react individually and often more sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
  • The estimated time for the germination we give is an experience-based average and can’t be taken too much into account. Even in nature there are sometimes long delays and it is possible that your seedling will come up much later than expected.
  • It is also possible that the germination rate that we get from our suppliers doesn’t match the actual success rate, but we always strive to rule that out by taking samples.
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Why the green thumb needs time and experience

Mother nature is generally wasteful with the amount of seeds produced in one year. If all seeds would germinate the planet would be overgrown by a short period of time. That enormous amount of seeds comes from the fact that there is only a small number of seeds that due to various reasons actually germinate successful and become a strong plant. By optimizing the propagation conditions and making use of some helpful tips, you and us try to increase the success rate by margin, but even that doesn’t guarantee a 100% germination and sometimes it happens that there are no seedlings coming up at all. Gardening experts know that the way to developing a green thumb comes with many failures. Don’t get discouraged by that and try out more different methods of cultivating a plant to become more successful with propagation. In the following we summarized the most common obstacles that delay your success or make it harder to reach. The word „too“ is thereby of great significance. How exactly do you define too moist or too dry? You don’t! That’s precisely the point, it’s the experience that counts and experience grows just like your seedlings.

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Prevention is better than coping!

You can spray the leaves and the soil for example with a swill made of plants. For that you place 100g of fresh random herbs in 1 litre of water and leave it for 24 hours. After that, you can boil it up for half an hour, let it cool down and run it through a sieve. The swill can now be diluted with 2 litres of water and filled in a water-sprayer, so you can protect your green and blooming favorite plants quite effectively.

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Plant protection / Pest management

The most pests like the white fly, spider mites, red spider, aphids, scale insects…. occur due to dry air in the room. Sufficient airing and / or regularly water-spraying your plant with lime-deficient water to create a higher humidity will certainly help with these pest infestations. There are also a few species that are being avoided by pests or throw them off, like the Apple of Peru for example. You can place this kind of plant between the others. With fast-growing plants you can also get rid of persistent pests by cutting your plant back. It will grow again and you can save the trouble of fighting the infestation with pesticides.

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Hibernation

During hibernation it is important that your plant stays free of fertilizer and also gets less water than usual. Some species shed their foliage and can be kept in a cool and darker place. Other plants do need light and some warmth. However, the main thing with all plants is that you don’t want them the grow during winter to avoid developing weak sprouts that most likely die off. Even typical plants that would thrive in their natural habitat throughout the year, will stop growing in a different climate area where there is less light and lower temperatures in the wintertime.

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Nutrient supply / Fertilizing

A very important part of cultivating a plant is fertilizing. Above all, when your plants don’t grow as nicely as expected or the blossoming is rather weak, it is most likely due to lack of nutrients. Especially fast-growing and lush plants need plenty of special nutrition. We always recommend fluid fertilizer as the best form of care since the plant can absorb the nutrients almost instantly and the watering ensures a better proportioned distribution than by using granulated fertilizer. Fluid fertilizer contains a balanced ratio of minerals, and you can see that it is made of dissolved salts when the fluid dries in the soil. Most important for your plants are the minerals that contain nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) – a combination that is commonly known as NPK-fertilizer. The content ratio of these main components is usually stated in percentage. The minerals are being absorbed by the plants together with the water and being used in combination with the basic substances from the photosynthesis to build various compounds that ensure a healthy growth. A sufficient supply of nutrients is mandatory to cultivate a healthy plant. Therefore, we advise you to follow the instructions on the packages of our seeds and fertilize accordingly. Without fertilizing the plants show in nutrient-poor soil deficiency symptoms rather quick. A nitrogen deficiency for example can be noticed especially in older leaves that lose their strong green colouring and start to turn yellow. Since the nutritional needs are different from plant to plant, there are general fertilizers, like common fertilizer for tub plants, as well as specified fertilizers.

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Planting out

With plants that can later on be kept even in cooler climate areas, you should consider taking a few safety precautions for a successful cultivation. Young plants that were cultivated indoors need preparation time to become stronger before they can be planted out. You can keep your plant for about a week in a wind-sheltered, shady, but bright place at first, so it can become accustomed to the outdoor conditions. In doing so, your plant will become stronger and develops a thicker protective cuticular layer of its leaves, which makes it also more resilient to the higher UV radiation outdoors. If you transplant directly from indoors out in the open you must expect your plant taking UV radiation damage in the leaves and sometimes even the stem – it might get sunburn so to speak. Additionally you should move your plant indoors overnight for the first couple of days, in case the temperature is sinking below 8°Celsius.

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Repotting

Plants are only being repotted after the old pot is completely rooted and has become too small. You will notice that when you have to water the plant more frequently than usual because there is not enough earth in the pot anymore that absorbs the water. Choose a pot that is 2 or 3 sizes bigger than the old one for repotting. For palm trees it would be wise to use a pot that is rather high than wide, since the roots of these plants grow rather deep than spreading wide. Repotting is usually due every 2 to 3 years with normal growth. Some plants may have more sensitive roots (for example palm trees) than others, so make sure not to cut off too many root springs while repotting and also restrain from giving fertilizer for 2 to 3 weeks afterwards.

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Plants falling over

The delight about the first seedlings can wear off very quickly, when the plants suddenly start to fall over without any noticeable reason. Mostly that happens either because the seeds where planted too narrow and now the roots interfere and hinder each other, or it happens because of warmth, moist soil and high humidity – all the conditions that were actually ideal for propagation at first. To avoid the problem simply keep the soil a bit more dry than before, make sure the pot gets some air now and then and / or use a special remedy to strengthen the roots.

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Seed germination

Depending on the particular plant it can take just a few days or as long as a couple of months until the seedling emerges from the seed and builds out the cotyledons. This seed leaves bring sometimes the seed coat above ground and emerge fully only afterwards. Between the cotyledons the first real leaves, called primary leaves, already show. How fast a plant is growing depends on multiple conditions. At first the seedling grows due to the natural nutrients stored in the seed that are being transported to the basic parts of the plant and being used as growing materials. A big seed contains a lot of nutrients and the seedling grows accordingly big right from the start. After the cotyledons are being developed, it is mostly the necessary light for the photosynthesis, the temperature and the watering that determine the further growth. Even if the seedling seems to suddenly stop growing, the plant develops then its roots more intensely to create the base for optimal nutrient supply, which is necessary for your seedlings to growth above ground as well.