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what is the best way to sprout a heliconia seed, and how long does it take the same question for passion fruit plants

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Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:49 pm
Location: Tropical North, Australia

As far as I know, Heliconias grow best from rhizomes, which are like the off-shoots of the plant.

We grew some by digging into a big clump of established heliconias and getting out some big stems and as much of the roots as possible. We then re-planted these stems and watered regularly. A few weeks later, the stems either kept growing or grew rhizomes of their own, which then replaced the original stem.

As for passionfruit, you can grow them from seed, but I think they take a while to get established. I read in a gardening mag that you should soak passionfruit seeds in the juice before attempting to germinate them.

We are growing passionfruit too. We just went and bought a couple of (Panama Red) vines from a local grower, and put them in the ground. They're doing real well after 2 months. Not sure how long it would take to grow them from seed.
A fledgling gardener's attempt to grow food in the northern tropics of Australia:

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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Heliconia seeds are notoriously difficult and slow starters. The best method I've found yet is to soak them overnight in water with a drop or two of hydrogen peroxide, then suck on them (yes, put them in your mouth) for about 5 minutes while contemplating the lovely plants they'll become, then pop them into a bit of moist peat in a ziplock baggie and forget about them on the top of your fridge at the back (where it's nice and warm). 5-10 weeks later you'll see sprouts if the seeds are viable.

For passionfruits, soaking them in the juice of passionfruits for a couple of days before sowing is best, but you can also get away with soaking them in lemon juice. Then plant into moist peat or vermiculite (your choice), and once again, forget 'em on the top of the fridge at the back. 3-5 weeks to sprouts.

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