Saturday, 16 September 2017

Growing Piper From Seed

Growing Piper From Seed

Piper need two pre-requisites for growing from seed.  They must be scarified (use a salt-petre soak for a few hours or similar).  They must be surface sown and be subjected to daylight of a good quality.

They are pioneer species in the forest, living for perhaps 15 years and growing rapidly in that time before the larger trees close the gap in the canopy that allowed them to grow in the first place.  The seeds will lie dormant in the ground for many years until the conditions are correct for germination and this will be reflected in the time to germinate if the pre-requisites are not met.

After scarifying (they will likely float, so perhaps a better way is to wrap the seeds in a paper towel soaked in salt-petre solution), sow the seeds on the surface of a good seed raising mix, water gently with a sprayer and then seal in plastic bag or place in a propagator.  Germinate at 20 - 30 Deg C, somewhere bright.  Germination can be very slow and erratic, 50 % or more is a good rate of germination in most Piper species (50 - 60% average)

Growth after germination is rapid, so be prepared to pot the seedlings up when they are large enough into individual pots of a rich soil. Give them a bright, airy location to keep them growing well.

As it is lack of light and competition for root space that limits the life of these plants in the wild, those grown in pots or in gardens should have a much longer life than those in the wild.

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