Martin Fidge - Growing liliums from seed

Martin Fidge - Growing liliums from seed

This presentation deviated from the usual format.
We're now about 18 months into dealing with COVID19. Having worked through periods of complete banning of public gatherings to various forms of control, we're currently limited in numbers, distancing, masking, and tracing. Martin's presentation has proceeded with all of the above. Our gathering was limited in numbers so that not many more than half of our normal numbers were able to attend.

The growing process…
Collect seed and separate chaff from viable seed. Chaff can be removed by blowing on spread out seed - the lighter chaff will easily blow away.
The difference between chaff and viable seed can usually be seen by viewing the seed against back lighting. Traces of internal content should be visible, where chaff will appear un-textured.
Growing medium: 50% vermiculite, 50% (fine) coconut fibre. Wash the fibre (more than once) to remove any traces of residual salt.

Martin favours adding seed to damp growing mix in a sealable bag. After a few weeks viable seed will produce roots. The seed is roughly the size of a grain of rice, and new roots are very fine and hair-like.
This seed can then be (carefully) transferred to a freezer for several weeks to simulate a complete winter season. Removal from the freezer will then stimulate the seed to complete growing, and possibly flower much earlier.

The potting mix needs to be somewhat better draining than normal. One of the preferred suppliers of a suitable “Off-the-shelf” product in South Australia and Victoria is Bio Grow. Martin also adds crushed charcoal to this mix.

Deep pots are preferred, since if the bulbs are to provide adequate support the tall flower spikes, they need to be set well under the surface. Feeding roots will grow above the bulb, and these need to be kept both moist and cool to promote healthy stock.

It should be noted that Martin has found that small lilium plants are very sensitive to some chemicals - notably fluoride, - sometimes found in fertilisers added to potting mix, and in "scheme" water. It is therefore wise at this early stage then, to use rainwater on the seedlings.

This presentation deviated from the unusual format.
We're now about 18 months into dealing with COVID19. Having worked through periods of complete banning of public gatherings to various forms of control, we're currently limited in numbers, distancing, masking, and tracing. Martin's presentation has proceeded with all of the above. Our gathering was limited in numbers so that not many more than half of our normal numbers were able to attend.

The growing process…
Collect seed and separate chaff from viable seed. Chaff can be removed by blowing on spread out seed - the lighter chaff will easily blow away.
The difference between chaff and viable seed can usually be seen by viewing the seed against back lighting. Traces of internal content should be visible, where chaff will appear un-textured.
Growing medium: 50% vermiculite, 50% (fine) coconut fibre. Wash the fibre (more than once) to remove any traces of residual salt.

Martin favours adding seed to damp growing mix in a sealable bag. After a few weeks viable seed will produce roots. The seed will be roughly the size of a grain of rice, so new roots will be very fine and hair-like.
This seed can then be transferred to a freezer for several weeks to simulate a complete winter season. Removal from the freezer will then stimulate the seed to complete growing, and possibly flower much earlier.

The potting mix needs to be somewhat better draining than normal. One of the preferred suppliers of a suitable “Off-the-shelf” product in South Australia and Victoria is Bio Grow. Martin also adds crushed charcoal to this mix.

Deep pots are preferred, since if the bulbs are to provide adequate support the tall flower spikes, they need to be set well under the surface. Feeding roots will grow above the bulb, and these need to be kept both moist and cool to promote healthy stock.

It should be noted that Martin has found that small lilium plants are very sensitive to some chemicals - notably salt, and fluoride. It is therefore wise at this early stage then, to use rainwater on the seedlings.