Plants grown in full sunlight are smaller than those grown in shade or indirect sunlight, but they have a beautiful red to maroon coloration which is absent on those grown in diffuse light. To get large plants with red coloration, grow the plants in indirect light to obtain large robust plants and then, gradually expose plants to stronger light to develop the dramatic coloration.
When growing Cephalotus under artificial lights start with 1000-1500 foot candles with a 12-16 hour day.
The only pests we have had are aphids and Botrytis. See Chapter 8 for treatment.
Feed as per instructions in Chapter 7. Miscellaneous
Plant Cephalotus in wide pots. If given plenty of space horizontally they are more likely to send out secondary rhizomes which produce more plants.
The flowers must be cross pollinated in order to produce viable seed. Using the procedure given below we have harvested considerable seed from our plants, even though some individual flowers produce none. The flowers open a few at a time over a period of time of up to a month or more. Begin pollinating when 2 or more flowers are open by gently rubbing a small camel's hair brush over the pistil and stamens of all the open flowers. This procedure is repeated every other day as long as the flowers are open. When pollination and subsequent fertilization has been effected, the ovules will start to swell. The ovaries will be visible as a green, hairy structure growing out of the flower. When the swelling is visible stop transferring pollen to these flowers. About 6 weeks after cessation of flowering the first seed should be mature. The seeds are egg-shaped and brown. Each seed is enclosed in a pubescent fruit. (Photo 3-13)
Seed does not seem to store well so it should be stratified and sown as soon as possible. Our experience indicates that a stratification period of 2-3 months at temperatures of 40-50°F (4-10°C) is required for seed to germinate. Stratified seed is spread thinly on the appropriate planting medium for germination. The seed can be covered lightly with medium or left uncovered. Seed is kept moist and at a temperature in the range of 70-90°F (21-32°C). Seed usually germinates within 8 weeks, but we have had some germinate almost a year after planting.
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