In early January I made a resolution for 2018 that I would grow as many houseplants from seed as possible. (You can listen to my full New Year's resolutions episode here). Fast forward a month and a half and I'm devoting a whole episode to the topic of growing your own houseplants from seed. In this show I look at what you need to get started; what water, compost and containers to use; how to sow and what to do once your seed germinate.
Why bother growing houseplants from seed? You get lots of plants for not a lot of money, and although it's not the easiest way of growing your collection, the plants you grow will be adapted to your conditions from day one, which is a great bonus.
If you possibly can, use a specialist seed starting compost/seed starting mix: ideally peat free. In the UK available brands include Fertile Fibre, Dalefoot wool compost, and Biochar. You can also try making your own: there is a great Garden Organic leaflet on how to do this here.
Worried about damping off? Make sure you allow for some air circulation, don't overwater and keep seed trays warm, perhaps using a heated propagator. There is a great RHS page with advice on damping off and how to stop it here. I recommend the Garland Super Seven, which I've been using for years, but there are loads of options on the market.
Get your seed on this weekend!
If you've watched my YouTube video about the #OTLsowalong, you'll know there are no rules when it comes to this project. Some people have already sown their seeds: others may wait for another week or month to proceed. But it would be great to think that everyone sowed something this weekend, February 17 and 18. If you do sow some seeds this weekend, pop our hashtag #OTLsowalong on your tweet, IG post or whatever so we can all see what you're up to - and don't forget to share your exploits with our Facebook group.
Question of the week
What happens when your Monstera adansonii gets so long it's draping on the floor, asks reader Rachel Markey. I suggest a hack-back is in order, plus a review of whether the plant is lacking a bit of light. The bits taken off can be used for cuttings.
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On The Ledge live show and houseplant chats
I am going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!
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