HOW TO GROW THE HARDY CRINUM FROM SEED

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Native to tropical and subtropical areas worldwide Crinums are not known for their hardiness, however if you live in a northern European climate and fancy growing these gorgeous plants in your garden you are in luck as there is one cultivar than you can leave to over-winter outside - Crinum x powellii.

Germinating crinum seed -
Crinum x powellii is a hybrid of Crinum bulbispermum and Crinum moorei both species native to the cooler regions of South Africa.

Seeds should be sown singularly as soon as they ripen. Using 3 or 4 inch pots, fill with a good quality, well-drained compost mix such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting', you may need to add some horticultural grit or perlite to improve the drainage further.

Make a small depression in the surface of the potting compost and place the seed in the depression. Do not cover the seeds as they require light for germination. It is not important which side up the seeds are placed on the compost.

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Gently water using a can with a soft hose and place in a heated propagator at approximately 21 degrees Celsius. Alternatively seal in a clear polythene bag and place on the windowsill of a warm bright room, but out of direct sunlight. Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged.

After several weeks, the first embryonic roots should emerge searching for the soil. Four to six weeks after that, the first green shoots should appear above the soil. Remove from the propagator or polythene bag and keep in a warm bright area potting on as required. Keep under protection for the first winter, reducing the water as the temperatures lower.

Plant in April or May once the threat of late frosts have passed in a rich, well drained soil. They will do best on a sheltered, warm, south-facing wall, water freely over the summer.

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