- a compilation of tips from the Fuchsia mailing list!
I let the seed pods ripen on the plant until they begin to feel soft, then I harvest the seeds from the pod right away. I usually plant the moist seeds immediately, but sometimes I dry them for a day or two and store them in a sealed container for a few months.
When the berry is ripe (squishy like a ripe grape), open it and scrape out the seeds on to paper towel. Let them dry out- takes 1 day. You'll get some 'jell' with the seeds so move them as they dry so that they come loose. Plant them immediately on top of warm, moist soil- they germinate in light altho I know people who cover them slightly and it works. Hope you get some good ones.
Hi, hope this is of some use. It has been taken from what I call Fuchsia Compendium which will be posted in full on the Bournemouth and Poole web site soon.
HYBRID - the offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock.; especially, the offspring produced by breeding plants of different varieties or species. Think of the word hybrid as meaning mongrel.
HYBRIDISING - the transferring of pollen from one plant to the female part of another hoping that you will be successful in raising a new hybrid. The dominant factors in hybridising are ; red sepals over white sepals, purple petals over white petals, and tall plants over short plants.
Choose a mature bloom put a piece of Tuba Gauze over and pull it up until the bud is exposed, pop the bud and cut off the filaments. Pull the Tuba Gauze back down to protect the bloom for a couple of days for it to become mature. The gauze protects the blooms from accidental cross pollination. The stigma should now be sticky and receptive to take the pollen. Recover bloom with gauze or use a small piece of silver paper that has been pre- formed over a match head. This can be placed over the stigma and lightly squeezed to hold in place. This will protect stigma from other stray pollen. If the pollen is not compatible the ovary shrivels and drops off. Tag the bloom with the relevant information of parents, writing the seed parent first, and the pollen parent second. Do not forget to do a reciprocal cross. Not every ripe berry will contain viable seed or even any. See also Germination of Seed and Propagation.
HYBRIDIZER - a person who has an aim and plan to introduce new varieties by cross breeding. Which is different to a person who only knows the seed parent. I classify them as Seed Gatherers.
GERMINATION OF POLLEN - this occurs after the pollen has adhered to the stigma and requires the stigma to be receptive and the temperature should be around 70F 20C.
GERMINATION OF SEEDS - germination can be erratic from a few days to several weeks. Sometimes the seeds germinate when you have almost given up hope. Sow seeds onto the surface of soilless compost that has been gently firmed so as to give a smooth surface. Cover with vermiculite that is saturated with water but only thick enough to hide the colour of the compost. This allows the seed to have enough light and be in contact with moisture. Do not water until seed has germinated. A temperature of about 60 F- 65 F 16 - 19 C will complete the process. Another way that is successful is to so fill a half seed tray with compost sow the seed and lay a piece of thin polythene on top of the seed. Do not be in too much of a hurry to remove the covering after germination . Gradually acclimatise them to the atmosphere of your greenhouse. This is the way I do it which is in contrast to other methods. Try all the different ways and use the one that suits. IMHO DJL.
SEED - you can collect your own seed from berries. Remove the seed when the berry's skin starts to shrivel by cutting the berry into segments and teasing the seeds out with a needle. Sow immediately or store in a small air tight container. If you do not want to collect your own several of the Seed Houses now sell them. see Germination of seed and Propagation
SEED GATHERERS - We all I would imagine have done this. Sown the seed watched over it, tended it and when it comes into flower, disappointment. The chances of striking lucky at random is remote, but it is still good fun. This habit leads on to thinking about hybridising, and I would suggest to any one, to start by being a seed gatherer, and learn how to grow and tend them before spending a lot of time and effort on crossing, re-crossing, back crossing and reciprocal crossing then finding seed to only loose the end product because you haven't got the germinating/growing part right. See also Germination of Seed and Propagation
PRICKING OUT - wait until your seedlings have a pair of true leaves before pricking out. Transfer them into small pots taking care not to damage any part, as this plant cannot be replaced and with a lot of luck could turn out to be a show stopper. Use good compost as you want to give these plants a flying start. Do not ignore the weaklings as they may become the best. Do not discard the tray of compost that was used to sow your seeds as some take a long time to germinate.
PROPAGATION - the increasing of stock from cuttings or seed. If you want to grow more of say 'Swingtime' you have to take cuttings. If you grew from seed taken from 'Swingtime' you would get many various examples of fuchsias. The simplest way is to take tip cuttings which consist of a pair of leaves and the growing tip. Insert these into a container of cutting compost; one part moss peat to one part perlite is ideal. Put out of direct sunlight and in a warm place. They do not need heat just warmth19 C. After about three weeks they should be rooted. Put into the smallest pot that will contain their roots, water and place some where cool until they have settled down. Pinch out at the first opportunity to encourage bushy growth.
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