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Spotted
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Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

I have a variegated spider plant, with the green stripes down the middle, that I started from a offshoot of another, last year. It’s being quite busy right now producing flowers and has about 8 stems hanging off of the one plant, that are all flowering. I’ve loved these plants since I was little, and I like how they look when their stems are covered in little spiderlettes. My plant isn’t producing spiderlettes though, it’s producing seed pods with one spiderlette on the end of each stem.

My question is, is there a way to encourage my spider plant to produce more spiderlettes rather than seed pods? And, since I have opened up a couple of pods, (I have about 25 seeds out of a couple of pods right now) is there a special way to start growing spider plants from seed? I’m going to put the seeds that I have ready, into soil today. I plan to treat the seeds like any other plant, but I have over 50 seed pods still growing on the plant, waiting to be ready. If the seeds I am starting today don’t start, I should have plenty to play with.

I have a couple of friends who have asked to plant trades, so that is my interest in getting more spiderlettes going as well. One plant including a Christmas Cactus start. Another includes another type of spider plant. (Varigated with a white stripe in the center.) (I'll be looking for a plane green spider plant next.)

Any information or pointers would be appreciated. Thank you.
Last edited by Spotted on Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Spotted
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* A little up date since no one has replied yet. I've decided to make it a little experiment. I have three seeds in a pot, that have been in the soil for a couple of days. They dried out before I planted them.

* I also have three seeds in another pot that had turned black, but I didn't let those seeds dry out before planting those.

* There will be seeds out side in the air, to dry for a few days, that I have given my mother. When I mentioned my experiment, she wanted to try it too.

* And there are still over two dozen seed pods I'm leaving on the mother spider plant, that will stay there to see what they do when left on the plant.

I'm actually keeping a journal of what I do, and documenting the dates I start seeing sprouts, basically out of my own curiosity. I'm sure I could post it here, if anyone did want to see it.




(An interesting note. I spent two day out at the county fair this week, helping my friends show their animals. I noticed that the still exhibit room had hanging baskets as one of the categories for showing plants, so if all continues to go so well, I'll be re plotting this mother spider plant, (Ideas on re potting are always welcomed.) and I'll be entering my spider plant, in a plant show next year. My Aloe too. I've never entered a plant show before.)

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Spotted
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An interesting note for those who are reading this thread at all, even though I'm the only one to post here so far. I planted seeds from my spiderplant back when I posted, here, last, and only now am I getting my first sprout out of the three seeds that I planted. So it is possible to grow a spider plant by seed. Even if growing them from cuttings are easier.

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Kisal
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I have a plain green spider plant. It isn't producing seed pods, though, or I'd be happy to send you some.

Although I like the variegated spider plants a lot, I really don't much like this solid green one. It's too big for it's space, and I don't have anywhere else to hang it. I don't remember the variegated ones getting as huge as this thing is. I'd throw it away, except my housekeeper gave it to me. It would break her heart if I tossed it. :roll:

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Spotted
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Oh nice. Yeah. I don't know what the laws are about sending live plant or I'd send you some cuttings from my variegated ones if you want. I could send you a few seeds if you would like. I just took off about 25 more seed pods the other day and opened them. So far only one of the three seeds I planted over a month ago, have sprouted, but you could try if you want I could try to send you some.

As far as the size, I just received a cutting from a friend of mine off of her spider plant and that one has stayed sort of small. The one that I have is getting bigger, and the plant that I received the cutting from for mine, is huge. So even the variegated spider plants seem to have different types. I was actually told that I could control my plants size by trimming back the roots, or cutting it in half. *Shrugs.* I haven't tried cutting my big plant in half yet, only the pups, but the pups that I separated that were haven't died yet so who knows. It's something I'd research first, but I'd like my variegated plant to get larger, so I won't be doing that for at least another year.

Zephire
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Thanks for your post

Dear Spotted,
Thank you so much for updating your little seed adventure. I have grown spider plants once before now and all those ones produced were little spiderlettes. The three mother plants I have now flower and produce seeds along with the spiderlettes. I had been collecting the seeds but didn't know if they would be of any use. Thanks to you I know that I can plant them and get some sprouts, hopefully!
Did you do anything special to the soil you planted them in? Did you just use regular old potting soil?
I have my three mother plants outside on my patio. There is a high roof over them and they seem to be doing well even in the cooler temperatures of the California Valley winter. I brought all the babies inside though. I have about 50 babies right now that I'm trying to find homes for. They are all the mostly green with the white stripes on the outside of the leaves. I have one plant I got seperately that is white with green stripes on the outside. That one isn't doing as well as the others though.
I look forward to hearing more about your adventures!
Love blooms in the soul!

glindow
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Spider plants are an interesting variant and I actually inherited one from an old job I had at a greenhouse for awhile. It continues to cling to life and keeps producing the babies and runners that are the staple of any spider plant. We have shoots all over the sun room.

My main reason for this post though is to point out a couple of things I remember from my horticulture classes in college. The main one being that all spider plants are propagated only from the little baby spider plants and are genetically identical to the mother plant.

If you grow the plants from seeds, and I think you need to let them dry naturally on the plant for best results you will probably get either a green plant or a white plant, but not a variegated plant. The greens ones will do nicely but the white ones will simply die.

I would also suggest that if you want your spider plant to get big, trying giving it some nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen is what makes leaves and grasses grow the most and should have a noticeable affect on your spider plants growth.
I have a B.S. Degree in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

I have a personal website too, but can't link it since its not exclusive gardening content. :(

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Spotted
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I posted this experiment a year ago. Thank you to the people who replied and gave me more information. Since last year there has been some interesting developments.

When my spider plant had seeds, I was letting the seeds dry in the pods, till the pods split open and the seeds were easily removed. The seeds would then be stored in a tin bottle cap next to the base of mother plant to make sure that they were dry further. In late January, my entire plant stand was knocked over. My plant was spread across the floor, the pot on one side of the room, the roots and dirt n the other. Somewhere in the mess, the seeds had scattered as well, and without thinking, I put the plant back in it’s pot, and the seeds were swept up with the dirt. When I refilled the pot.

I’d thought that I was going to have to start my experiment again with the saving the seeds and drying them. The tin bottle cap had been completely full and it would take me several months to get that number of seeds again for my experiment. Out of frustration, I never started collecting the seeds again but I didn’t have to. A month later I was watering my plant when I noticed a tiny sprout at the base. I pulled back the longer leaves to see what it was, and noticed several other little sprouts. They are all spider plants.

Over the last few months the spider plant babies have only grown about 4 to 5 inches. Part of this I assume is from being under the mother plant in the put and not receiving enough sun. The other I assume is because my mother plant is already so large the space for roots probably isn’t that much. I’m transplanting everything in there, in a few weeks, when the weather starts getting nicer.

Mean while I have to confirm what people already said a year ago in this discussion. The plants are all green. I assume if there were white ones that they died off before I had a chance to notice them. And spider plants can be grown from seems. I have probably 40 still in the same pot with the mother plant. Mean while the mother plant is still making lots of off shoots. It’s number of stems has tripled since the experiment started.

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applestar
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Adventures in horticulture! :D
What a great outcome to your experiment! :wink:
I didn't know about the seeds producing all green plants. Thanks fore the update, which brought this thread to my attention. Maybe I'll try growing spiderplants again - my mom has them, but the kitties love to munch on them and will even go after hanging ones, so I'd mostly given up on growing them.... :roll:

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Re: Grren and variegated plant

*Kisal... I noticed that with my solid green spider plant as well. It does take up a lot of space, so when I had a babies from the solid green, I plant both of them in one pot with the green in the middle of the pot.

*Spotted... I noticed one of my mother spider plant has produce some seeds and I have no clue what they were until I read your forum. Thanks.

*Glindow Would you know why some spider leaves turn brown on the end?

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I have never had good luck with the varigated ones, but I do have 3 monster green spiders that all were started from a couple little ones that I got for my Mom a long time ago, as well as a bunch of the off shoots that are sitting in H2O now waiting to get potted. I never knew that they produced seeds, I always thought that they reproduced by the offshoots taking hold in the ground. When I have had to up pot them, I have literally chopped down the root ball 1/3 - 1/2 from what I started with, they really don't seem to mind getting their roots chopped. Either these are real hardy plants or my thumb is way to green cause I can't seem to kill them no matter what I do. In the spring I do give them a shot of miracle grow to get them started for the season. Good Luck

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applestar
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Random thought since this thread resurfaced -- I expect most people give spider plants high nitrogen fertilizer which would probably tend to promote plantlet's rather than seeds. There may also be some kind of insect pollination involved....

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Kisal
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Interesting that you think that. I don't give my spider plants any fertilizer at all. Maybe I should start, just to see what happens. :lol:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

greenstubbs
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Like I said, I give it a shot which is not much, a weak solution, half of the required directions, etc. etc.. Which for me is alsways around the 1st of Apr. so I just gave them their shot for this year. I know Miracle Grow makes plants grow crazy, that's why I don't use much of it.

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I also have a variegated spider plant! It just started with the vines, seed pods and shooters!! I am so excited. I was wondering about how long it takes for a shooter to be able to be planted. I plan on taking the seeds and planting them as well as the shooters too. I've never had problems with my plant. It's grown so well, and is huge. :D This is the first time its ever "vined" and I'm not sure how long to wait. I don't want to kill any shooters.

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Spotted
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Just checking in and my old thread caught my eye.

I do need to repot my monster plant and divide it. Its off shoots have off shoots and I do still have a few of the ones that came from its seeds. Though the leaves staid thin and not quite as attractive as the mother plants.

As far as when to trim off one of the off shoots, wait till you see little nubs of roots. One you see those you can either trim it off and place the roots in water or you can prepare a small pot and wire the spikelet close to the soul watering it like a normal plant. Then clip it off of the mother plant once roots have established them selves.

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19ashe86
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off shoots

i have tried to keep varius spider plants alive of various sizes/stages but no luck

ive decided to try again with 3 shoots from my aunts solid spider. i have them in water and they are rooting nicely...

any advice for when i put them in a 4 in pot in a week or 2?

i want this plant to do well and get big fast so i can put it in a basket

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19Ashe, I would go directly to the hanging basket (make sure there's a hole in the actual bottom of the pot, not just the hole in the recess 1/2" above the bottom of the pot.) There's no way a spider plant can fit its' giant, carrot roots in a 4" pot. Once the babies' roots start to elongate, they are ready for soil.

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19ashe86
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REALLY?

should i really pot such small plants in a basket? i was told/read that spiders need to be sorta cramped to produce the airplane off shoots

purpleinopp
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Spider plant will produce babies and flowers when it is sexually mature, and the weather inspires it to do so. As a plant with large, carrot-like roots, it will have difficulty reaching maturity in a small pot that does not have enough space to house these roots. The bigger, the better. The common size hanging basket, about 10", is really not big enough for a spider plant's roots, and usually they need to be repotted yearly with a root trim for one to stay in this small of a pot.

If it starts looking poorly, you'll probably find a situation like this in the pot:

Image

Roots look like this after untangling a bit:

Image

Sorry, this will not rotate after uploading, too lazy to do again. This is how I trimmed it to go back in its' same pot. It doesn't like this, and takes a while to adjust, losing some leaves before starting to grow pretty again. By using a bigger pot, if possible, your plant can stay comfortable, nice looking, in it for the longest possible time, assuming the soil doesn't break down into mud too soon (if using organic ingredients in pots.)

Image

Chlorophytum is quite sensitive to poor drainage/soggy soil/lack of air pockets around roots, so use a mix that is chunky and porous, that you can water often without having mud. If it is unhappy, the leaves will droop and get yellow/brown tips.

No plant can be at its' thriving best in such conditions that its' roots have no more room to grow. But when roots experience rot in large pots of soggy soil, it can seem this way. The pot size does not matter, the drainage properties and texture of the soil does. When plants must be allowed to get too dry to avoid root rot, they are under constant stress, always recovering from too much/to little water, and will not grow as well.

purpleinopp
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Forgot to say, in the first pic of the root ball, you can see exactly where the 3 extra holes were that I added to this pot. Ok, if you can't, consider it's a clock face. The holes are at 12:30, 4'o'clock, and 8:30. The more holes, the more the better, as big as they can be without your contents washing out, but don't put such a large hole that you have to block it with something, that defeats the purpose.

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19ashe86
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smallplantbigbasket

so i shouldnt be afraid to put small shoots into a 10 inch basket?

i think i'll let them form nice roots into actual dirt in the 4 inch clay pot then transfer them later into the basket

thanks so much for your help!

purpleinopp
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That sounds like a fine plan. When you see a root at a drain hole, time for the basket. Glad to help, been having a love/hate relationship with this plant since the 80's...

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19ashe86
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thanks

Thanks so much!! The tip about seeing roots in the bottom before I transplant is a good tip! How long do you think it will take for 3 small plants to fill a 4 inch pot??

purpleinopp
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I'd be surprised if it takes more than 2 months, but so many variables... temp, humidity, amount of light, soil nutrients. Hope you're not going to ask for lottery numbers next! LOL!

greenstubbs
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Purple- I don't cut mine back as much as you do. I did one year and it shocked it pretty good, it did come back. I normally cut off about 1/3 of the roots then repot itand does alot better.

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19ashe86
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thanks

thanks so much for all your help! for now i have planted it in a pill bottle i cut in half and made a large hole in for drainage. i then put a piece of screen in the bottom then dirt then plant the bottle is similar to this but cut in half
Image

i then put the bottle in a plastic cheapy champagne glass Image

that i drilled a hole into the base fo the glass so when i water it'll act like a funnel and drain the water intoa plastic tray i put under the plastic cup

purpleinopp
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19Ashe, You took the pills out first, right? LOL J/K. That should be fun. You'll be able to see what's going on inside there. The best way to really understand a plant is to spend time with it, observe, and especially propagate.

Hey, greenstubbs, good to hear from you. I put that pic to show how the roots are like carrots, and I totally agree with what you said, and glad you brought it up if it looks like more was trimmed, that was about 1/3 of the roots in that pic. The hand with the removed roots is closer, and the pic doesn't show well how big around the root ball still is, barely fits back in the hanging basket pot. All of the big "carrots" have to go to do that. I do that first, then even the rest up like hair. If one's not insisting a plant live in a too-small pot, these difficulties can be avoided.

This makes it grow back so fast, I don't mind if it gets uglier first since what prompted the repot was that it got unhappy... which I know because it got ugly. Like if it wasn't already ugly, it probably wouldn't get my attention as needing to be repotted. If I liked this plant more... or didn't take it such for granted, ...or if it was less willing to soldier through weird abuses, it would get more hovering and I would probably notice sooner and avoid having an ugly plant at all. Now that I've realized they're hardy here, I don't bring this stuff inside anymore, so the pressure is off of it to do anything but get hung out front when it does look nice. Most people don't want a shocked plant, how right you are, so appreciate the prodding to explain the pic more.

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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Thanks for keeping up with this post! I found it really useful when I was researching growing spider plants from seeds. There is not much out there! Much easier to propagate the babies. But still, didn't want those seeds to go to waste. It has been over 2 weeks since I planted my first pod (another video I saw said the best way they found was to put the dried pod directly in soil) and I still do not have a sprout :( But I'm just going to be patient. I planted full pods and individual seeds at various times in the last 3 weeks so we'll see what happens.

greengal
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

I've been searching for information about starting spider plants from seeds, but haven't found much.

I hope you don't mind me joining your thread to share with you my experiment with seeds.

I planted seeds found on the floor, windowsills and table from green, variegated and reverse variegated spiders. I therefore don't know which seeds produced which seedlings.

I had no idea what I was doing, so I made a make-shift greenhouse with trays, straws and a plastic bag.

The first picture was taken when I first saw growth, approx. 2 weeks after planting the seeds.

The second picture was taken this morning, 7 days later.

I have green and white seedlings, but all the info I can find on the white plants is that they will die.

The seedlings are starting to grow second leaves [including the white ones]. If they are dying they don't show it yet.

Please share your thoughts.

If anyone is interested, I'll update this thread and let you know what happens.

Thanks for reading!

Image


Image


PS: I know I planted too many seeds, now I have to figure out how to replant them without killing them.

purpleinopp
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

That's really cool! I'm interested...!

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Cola82
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Me too, even if I don't think I can have spider plants because my cats will eat them.

greengal
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Thanks for the reply, purpleinopp. I think they're cool too :)
I'm having fun checking them each day.

Thanks, Cola82. Perhaps check with your vet about the toxicity of spider plants.
I recently read that it's not a toxic plant to pets and at worst, they'd throw up.

Last night I watered the trays for the first time since planting the seeds.

This morning I noticed that some of the leaves look water damaged,
so I took off the plastic and have been checking on them all day.

To my surprise, I just found, one, and only one, variegated plant!

I guess it's not true that seeds from variegated plants will only produce green plants
as I've read dozens of times on the internet.

The variegated leaf is larger than all the other white plants, so time will tell
if others will turn from white to variegated as they grow.


Image
Last edited by greengal on Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cola82
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Oh I'm not worried about my cats. I had a pup in a cup for one night before they found it and tore it to shreds. I hadn't really thought about it because they leave all the other plants alone. So I suspect there's nowhere in the house a spider plant would ultimately be safe for long. :roll:

Very cool to get a variegated leaf like that, though. :D

greengal
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

The seedlings were out on the deck with the other plants, no covering, in mostly full sun all week.

The white ones are dying, the green ones seem to be fine with not one dying. The variegated plant is still going strong.

They're over-crowded, so perhaps this week I'll have to pot them.

The middle tray is sparce. I'm not sure why as I thought I spread the seeds equally in the 3 trays. The middle tray looks like it might have gotten more water than the other 2 as evidenced by the darker greenish color soil.

Suggestions on how to proceed are welcome!


Image

purpleinopp
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Even though I'm battling with trying to get rid of this stuff in my Mom's yard, enjoying the updates. Sprouting seeds are always cool, except maybe poison ivy. These babies sure are cute! Feelin' the excitement.

a1pha_fema1e
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Very cool!

greengal
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Hi Cola8, I read that cats are attracted to spider plants, somewhat like catnip.
Truth or myth?

I read that spiders grow like weeds in the right climate, purpleinopp.
Sounds like fun to me :)

Glad you're enjoying them, a1pha_fema1e. It's a new experience for me, so
I'm getting a kick out of the process.

I continue to google for information on spider seeds with no luck.
Twice I've read that people have grown variegated seedlings, but they
haven't posted photos, nor given any additional info.

The trays have been in sun on the deck all week except when it rained.
The deck is surrounded by trees. so it's not full sun all day.

This week the white seedlings have been dying and I've been cutting
them back as they do. I was surprised this morning to find that
most of them are gone, but there are new ones coming up.

The center row is filling in with new growth, green and white ones.
I guess they were planted deeper than the others.

Image

greengal
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Getting ready to separate the seedlings before the over-crowding kills them!

I transplanted some seedlngs by spreading them out in trays but decided to plant them individually instead. I 'googled', got ideas and then made my own little seedling pots. Now I can give them away without having to dig them up again.

I hope to transplant most of them over the weekend.

Image

greengal
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Re: Spider plant, Off shoots, and seeds

Two out of the three trays are done. The tray in the upper right corner is the last one to be done. It was the least populated tray.

I found 4 little seeds that had developed roots but were on the soil surface only, so, just for fun, I helped them shed the seed casing and planted them. They all are growing, as seen in the upper right corner, round pot. The other round pot is the variegated seedling. It hasn't been growing as fast as the green ones, but seems to be okay.

It surprised me how hardy the seedlings are. Even the tinest of plants survived all the handling.



Image

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