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    Thread: Growing Calea Z (non-bitter) from seeds

    1. #1
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      Growing Calea Z (non-bitter) from seeds

      Hello!

      This is my first time growing Calea Z from seeds, I've looked up alot about growing it
      Somewhere I read that they germinate better when you leave the seeds in the seed pod and grow it like that, in my opinion that's not the way to go (see pictures) I had 5 seed pods (average of 20 seeds per pod) and I've planted 4 of them in the pods and 1 of them i took apart and planted the seeds seperately (see last pic, i already took out a few to re-pot). The ones i planted seperately sprouted a little faster than the pods and i mean just look at the pods, its a mess!
      I'm afraid of killing the sprouts if i take them apart, any advice on this? like should i take them apart ASAP, or let them grow a bit and get stronger?

      I also wanted to know how to preserve the leaves when I cut them off, I can't find it anywhere on the internet. Do you just dry them out like other herbs? and can you still eat them instead of smoking or making tea after drying them?

      and one more question, how big should they be before I stop using the plastic wrap over the pots?


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      * Moved to Lucid Aids

      You could try carefully pulling out one of the clumps and separate them. It may be best to do this sooner before the roots get too long and tangled to separate. It may be helpful to use a plastic toothpick to help separate the roots without breaking them.

      The leaves should be dried like most any other herb - hung from a string with clothespins, or something like that. They can be eaten dry, but it may be easier to consume if they're reconstituted before eating.

      If you are around to spray them with a water bottle a couple times daily, it is safe to remove the plastic now. The idea is to keep the very top layer of soil damp while the seeds germinate and roots begin to grow. If you're away at work/school/etc., it may be best to keep them covered or partially covered until they're 1-2 inches (3-5 cm) tall. Be careful that it's not too damp as mold may begin to grow.

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      Day Dreamer HumanDoing's Avatar
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      Thanks for these tips, very useful!


      Another question occured to me, do you know if the leaves lose potency when dried?

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      That I am not certain of. What I do know is that heat and light are the enemy. My best advice is to store them in a jar inside a cabinet/cupboard away from the stove.

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      Ah alright, good to know!
      Thanks again.

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      Yes, the seeds need to be taken out of their pods and planted in a medium. As you can tell by their winged seeds they are meant to exit their pod and drift somewhere to the ground where they would normally germinate.

      Ideally you should plant the seeds further apart and give them space to send out roots that won't interfere with other seedlings. At this point I would go ahead and attempt to carefully separate them. In a production setting I simply kill off the crowding plants or transplant them to ensure that there exists a single plant per plug or cell. Considering your situation I would transplant them carefully into a plug or pot with more space but not too much space.

      I can't seem to make out what you're growing the seedlings in but I would advise that your container have adequate drainage as so not to drown your seedlings. If you're keeping them in containers know that there exists a "saturation layer" at the bottom of every container whereby water does not easily leave except when used by the plant. By growing a plant in too large of a container it will not be able to use up the water fast enough to avoid anaerobic conditions, despite drainage holes. Proper ventilation is also important. Too much moisture encourages diseases like damping-off, or decaying tissue of a seedling cause by a pathogen. Plant roots and leaves need oxygen. I have lost many seedlings by not removing their domes to offer proper ventilation. It's generally safe to omit the cover/dome when the seedlings begin to grow true leaves. True leaves are the second set of leaves that form after the cotyledon (first) leaves. Also keep in mind that wind stimulates plants to grow stronger cells and by not agitating their stems via wind or other movement each day then they will form weak stems.

      In regards to harvesting leaves, remove leaves with a sharp blade or pair of pruners. Clean cuts heal faster than jagged ones. I would tie a string around the leaves and set them out in the sunlight to dry. If you worry about insects or other pests being attracted to your leaves then put them in a paper bag or pantyhose. Where there be little sunlight or impatience, using an oven on its lowest temperature setting works too. You can do it without if you worry about degrading the active molecule(s) when drying herbs, though I would research if the active molecules(s) in Calea ternifolia Kunth (syn. Calea zacatechichi) leaves are affected by such slight fluctuations in heat and light. Hanging foliage to dry inside probably works but takes longer.

      This may be overkill but it's kind of my thing. Good luck!
      Last edited by Evolventity; 01-03-2016 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Providing appropriate authority to botanical nomenclature.

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      I've planted 8 of them in different pots, 4 per pot (since they're so small anyway) see pictures
      do you think this is too little space, or maybe to much space for them? I was thinking, if they get really big I'll get a few more pots.
      I wasn't actually planning on having this many, my original idea was to hope atleast one of them would grow, and then make a second one from cuttings, and leave it at that.
      But then I found out that the non-bitter varient actually grows really well unlike the bitter one haha

      I water them once or twice a day (if dry) with a spray bottle, so I'm pretty sure they won't drown
      I'm not sure what you mean by "saturation layer".
      At the bottom of the pot i've put some small stones, and there's a hole in the bottom so I think drainage wouldn't be a problem.
      How would I get proper ventilation to the roots?
      I've removed the plastic wrap last week.

      I've read about that before, having wind blow on them to stimulate the roots to grow stronger, I don't want to expose them to the cold wind from outside because I think it'll kill them.
      One guy suggested having a fan blowing on them lightly, do you have any other suggestions?
      You said "agitating their stems via wind or other movement"
      What other movement are you talking about?

      thanks for all the advice!
      and also thanks for those tips on drying, i'm gonna research that


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    8. #8
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      I couldn't find much about drying the leaves, but there's an online shop called botanicspirit and they sell dried calea leaves. In they're disciption it said "dried in strict conditions to ensure high alkaloid content", I asked them how they dry the leaves and they told me 'they are shade dried. On racks, bright location but no direct sunlight.'

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