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Monday - September 27, 2010

From: Lucas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagating Eustoma exaltatum from seed in Lucas TX
Answered by: Leslie Uppinghouse

QUESTION:

Hello I know that Texas bluebells Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum are supposed to be difficult to start from seed. Does Mr. Smarty Plants have any helpful hints? Thanks!

ANSWER:

We will check the propagation notes for you in the Explore Plants section of our website. You can look up plants either by the common name or scientific name. We have chosen the scientific name Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (Texas bluebells). Once selected, you can scroll down to the end of the page and you will find this propagation information.

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: The seed is exceptionally small and somewhat difficult to germinate. The best results have come from surface seeding (since the seed requires light for germination) in flats at approximately 70 75 degrees. Field seeding can be done in spring or fall, however, spring germination usually results in the vegetative growth overwintering and not flowering until the second summer. Fall germination should produce flowers the first season.
Seed Collection: Collect seed in June, when seeds inside capsule are black.
Seed Treatment: The seed for E. grandiflorum is not commercially available, and thus, no large-scale seeding rates have been established. Note that the seed is exceedingly small one capsule can produce 1200 seedlings!
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: When the seed capsule ripens (in September or October), the stalk should be cut back to 2 3 inches above the ground. By mid September, the base will develop a cluster of 8 to 10 new shoots. These will remain as a cluster of leaves throughout the winter and resume growth in the spring. Plants that overwinter are usually much stronger and have more flowers than they do the first year.

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