Monday, November 10, 2008

Random plant event: Disocactus seedlings

UPDATE 4 Aug 2009: The plant in this post is in fact not a Disocactus. What it is, is a Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa. It was sold to us (where I used to work) as a Disocactus, so that's what I called it. I would rewrite the whole post to reflect this, but that would be an awful lot of work to go to for an old post that nobody is likely to read anyway, so instead I'm saying this. Sorry for any inconvenience and/or confusion.

First the Disocactus flowered. Then the flowers became fruits, from which I extracted seeds.

I didn't know quite what to do with the seeds once I had them, but I figured, well, what the hell, and decided to try to plant them. But how to separate them? (As shown in the fruits post, the seeds inside the fruits are suspended in a gooey, sticky, snotlike substance, making it very difficult to separate them from each other to plant.)

What I wound up doing was, I washed off a few seed globs into a drinking glass full of water and stirred them as hard as I could, until the seeds had mostly separated from one another. I then poured the water out onto some vermiculite and waited. That was about two months ago.

The first few seedlings appeared in late October; now we have at least twenty.

This is a lot more plants than we will ever sell, especially considering that we still have a good six hanging baskets and another 28 rooted cuttings of them. If they had cool flowers like Epiphyllum or something, then maybe we'd sell them eventually, but this -- this is overkill. So no idea what we'll wind up doing with them, but it's awfully sporting of them to play along anyway. I'll see if I can come up with a way to reward them for their effort, once they're a little more mature.

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