Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sea bean (entada rheedii) germination TEK

Sea bean (entada rheedii) germination TEK

 Sea beans have a hard shell to allow them to survive being washed up on beaches where they can germinate. Germinating them can be difficult, but hopefully, using this TEK you might enjoy the same success as we have.

 Drill into the bean at the point where it was attached to the pod (its belly button), using a flat tipped 5-6mm drill and a hand brace & bit. If you use a mechanical drill you may cause damage to the germ in the shell. We held the seeds in a vice, but took care not to tighten it too much as they can crack. Only drill as far in, until you can see the white pulp in the seed. (maybe 3-4mm deep, depending on the size of the seed).

 Take an OLD flask and fill it with boiling water. (it will have to be smashed to get the swollen beans out again, so dont bother using a new one!)

 Make sure that the beans fit through the neck of the flask! If they dont, you will need a bigger flask. (We use a flask because it keeps the water hotter overnight.)

 Our beans nearly got stuck on the way in! Once they have soaked for upto 12 hours in the flask, you will have to smash the flask to remove them, as they will have swelled up considerably. Do this carefully as a vacuum flask will often explode sneding shards of glass everywhere (as we found to our dismay!)

 The next step is to try to recreate the beach they will germinate upon. We used perlite, but washed sand will work fine. Make sure it is nice and wet and warm and mist regularly. Cover with Cling-film (Saran-wrap) to keep the humidity high. Make sure they are in a bright place, as they need the light to help them pop!

After about 20-30 days they will have cracked open, like a clam shell, from the hole you drilled. The root will start to find its way down and the shoot will head toward the light. Put them back in their 'faux beach' pot for another few weeks and then pot in a mix of compost/perlite/vermiculite (1:1:0.5). They need reasonable humidity, lots of light and plenty of fresh air as they can be susceptable to rot.

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