Raising Ramonda and Ericaceous plants from seed.
It is always a challenge to grow some of the fine powdered seed of some of the plants that we covert, such as Cassiope, Rhodothamnus, Ramonda and Shortia from seed. I have been ordering Ramonda myconi Rosea from seed for ages and struggle to get it up in the conventional ways. So I have decided to give it go this way and see how I go. Ramonda myconi and R. myconi alba is in Australia, but we have decided that there is no one with Ramonda myconi Rosea in Australia that we know of and seed is the only answer. So here goes a good potting mix with plenty of leaf mulched mixed through, fill pot leaving about 3cm on the top of the potting mix for the sphagnum moss or peat. I am using sphagnum moss this time if this does not work then I well try peat next year.
Finley chop the sphagnum moss like you would when chopping herbs in a cup, with a very sharp pair of secateurs.
Spread sphagnum moss evenly over the top of your potting mix, label seed, date, and where it came from, and spread seed over sphagnum. Now there are two ways of watering the seed in you can use a spray water bottle and water your seed in with that, or you can carefully water in with a hose fitted with a fine nozzle, starting away from the pots and then moving the hose over your seed, no need to drown the seed just a short spray at this stage. Some people recommend sterilising the potting mix first, other's pour boiling water over the potting mix in the pots before putting the sphagnum moss on top. I haven't done any sterilising as I want the leaf mulch, which is supposed to contain bacteria to aid in seed germination, to do its job.
Carefully place your prepared pot in a zip lock bag, and zip it up, you would hate to knock it over at this stage with all that preparation, hang the bag in a cool shaded place for the seed to germinate, try and resist looking at the seed for at least 3 to 4 weeks or longer if you possibly can and apparently you prick the seed out as soon as there is a little bit of size to the seedlings, if left in the bags for too long dampening off may occur.
Alternatively you can cover the pots with cling wrap and place on the window sill and have the same success rates. Cross your fingers with both ways and hope for the best. I will let you know how I progress
Little hanging pots of golden goodness.