GROW­ING fROm seed

Landscape (UK) - - Reader's Letters -

Hepat­ica seed is best col­lected when it is ripe, between four and six weeks af­ter flow­er­ing, and sown im­me­di­ately ‘in the green’. It is sown thinly, and cov­ered with 5mm of horticultu­ral grit The seed trays are wa­tered well, then stood out­doors in a shady spot. The seed needs a pe­riod of cold to pro­mote ger­mi­na­tion Seeds are planted in well-drained com­post made up from two parts John Innes Seed Com­post, one part multi-pur­pose com­post or leaf mould, and one part Per­lite They are cov­ered with pot­ting grit to de­ter moss Plants are pro­tected from pro­longed win­ter rain, but kept moist at all times Seeds usu­ally ger­mi­nate the fol­low­ing spring, ap­prox­i­mately 10 months af­ter sow­ing. Some Asian species can take two years to ger­mi­nate Seedlings are left in their trays for the first sum­mer, pot­ting in early au­tumn with ap­prox­i­mately 15 seedlings spaced evenly in a 5-pint (3-litre) plas­tic pot Af­ter a fur­ther year, they are pot­ted sep­a­rately is com­pressed very lightly with fin­gers

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