Germination station for our Victoria waterlilies is a standard 10 gallon aquarium. Here Mark Gawron, Senior Gardener -- Island Garden observes conditions for the germinating seed: the temperature is maintained at a steady 89F. Note the bit of water lettuce floating in the corner of the aquarium to keep algae growth down.
Mark inspects the Victoria seed on a daily basis for germination. He exchanges the water in the baggies with fresh water from the aquarium every other day.
A germinating seed looks like this -- the long, thin leaf is a filiform leaf. This seed is almost ready to be planted.
The seed will be planted in a small cup in the larger aquarium. See our new light above which helps this whole process because our natural light conditions at this time of year are not enough for these Amazonian plants. A timer turns this light on for a couple extra hours of light each evening.
Mark mixes peat moss and a couple lumps of natural clay and puts it in the bottom of a cup. He places clean sand (washed to remove excess salts) over the peat & clay. The cup is placed in the "nursery" aquarium to warm up before the germinated seed is put in place.
The germinated seed is quickly transferred to its new home, allowed to drop into its new cup to grow.
A staple is used to secure the germinated seed to soil for continued growth. (This shot is looking into the aquarium.)
This Victoria was one of our first planted. It germinated 12 days after nicking. It has a nice filiform (long narrow) leaf and its first hastate leaf (the arrow shaped one). This plant has some nice roots you can't see as well. Soon the floating leaves should be emerging. When the floating leaf emerges it is time to transplant them again.
Stay tuned to watch the continued growth of these magnificent plants...
Photos by Alan Branhagen taken at Powell Gardens
Friday, January 25, 2008
Posted by Kansas City's botanical garden at 10:14 AM