Monday, May 5, 2014

Wild Blue Indigo, or a Second Chance

March 27, 2014
We had a few birthdays to celebrate, so finally I found the time to scarify and soak my Baptisa Australis, Wild Blue Indigo in water for 24 hours.
I plant them in sterile potting soil, mist, and enclose in a gallon plastic bag. I read another seed prep site that says soak for 48 hours. Woops. And leave the lights off to germinate in the dark. OK, I can do that. I keep a slight mist in the plastic bag tent.

I am slightly anxious, given the failure of my Hyacinth Bean and Shirley Poppies.
April 20 arrives and the house fills with relatives for the Easter holiday. Everyone has to comment on the misty plastic bags on the kitchen countertop. "Three weeks? And, nothing green?" accompanied by a head shake.

April 24, 2014 Success! A sprout has sprouted! And it has a dark cap on the top - part of the hard outer shell I had to scarify?

Other sprouts begin to appear.
They are a bit leggy, so WV Sprout recommends moving them closer to the light source. My husband wonders where all the plastic storage containers keep disappearing to.
OK, now there is more than one sprout per container. Did I plant more than one seed in each container? Or did they come from one seed?

Until the appearance of a second set of leaves, I am to remove them from the plastic bag, bottom water s few times a week leave a light on for eight hours a day.

May 5, 2014
Away for the weekend, and come back to a second set of leaves on several of the sprouts, and a new sprout! I guess that is what they mean by a 4-6 week germination period!
I will start using weak fertilizer for my sprouts, and hope they survive  my absence as I head to New Orleans for the Annual GCA meeting.

It's been a busy summer. Daughter number one had an out of town wedding at the end of June. The only plants that lived were my Wild Blue Indigo, or Baptisia sprouts, and boy, their gestation period had a good week plus fluctuation.

By now, they have grown two inches, and leaving town for three weeks plus, their chances outside were better than on my kitchen shelf. Yes, I could have asked some of the more talented members of the committee to babysit, but they probably didn't want to hear from me at the late night hour I realized my Baptisia needed my attention.
I planted it on the edge of a bed that receives good sun, but had a large rhododendron to shade it from the southern light. It's also very flat so water won't run off. I amended the soil a bit, made a well around to help with watering since I'd be gone, surrounded them with a barrier of straw sticks to protect them from the lawn mower's weed wacker, and left.

Return in July, sprouts look fine. Then it rains. Temperatures are erratic. And I'm in and out of town, neglecting the sprouts.

Wild Blue Indigo Wrap Up

First of August, one sprout remains.

Then I read WV Sprout's blog about how hard Baptisia is to grow from seed - only one success, but I propogated a difficult sprout!

I headed out to take another picture, and, alas, a tell tale hoof print was nearby, and no sprout.

So the deer won again. I wish I had been able to have one full blown success, at least one plant that survived. The dicey part for me was getting the sprouts to a point where  they were healthy enough to survive transplanting.

I'm game to try again!

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from Oregon. Hope the meeting is fun. Congrats on your success!