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Growing Protea

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How wonderful it is when you see new seedlings popping their tiny heads above the soil. It is an exciting moment, especially when you may have waited months, or sometimes years, for that seed to break dormancy.

The latest round of success here at Exotic Gardening Farms has been King Protea. Mind you, this is not the first time I have attempted to grow these beauties. I have had some protea germinate only to lose them a short time later. This time I am getting a nice rate of germination and so far, so good. The young seedlings seem to be getting stronger with each passing day.

I have had these seeds sitting around for at least two years. Everytime I decided to germinate them, something would happen that would halt the plan. So, right before Christmas I decided nothing was going to stop me this time and I prepared the smoke water with Jerry’s help. I soaked the seeds for 24 hours, then planted them in a mixture of gypsum, peat, perlite and vermiculite. I used cardboard egg cartons for the containers! Then I put the egg carton in a sealed plastic tub and waited. Over the past two weeks there have been three seeds germinate and grow. As they germinate I am cutting the individual cell off the egg carton and planting it in a small peat pot making sure that the roots of the protea are not disturbed and then moving them into the living room under a grow light.

Protea has been on my wish list for a number of years. I simply cannot tell you how thrilled I am to finally be able to get tiny plants. I know it will be a long wait until they bloom and keeping them alive may be a bit tricky but I am up for the challenge.

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