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Clianthus maximus - NZ native kaka beak - 10 seeds - this version has white flowers. Critically endangered in the wild.

The secret to successful germination is to know that water must get in, so the seed coat must be broken.

First, soak your seeds in boiling water for one minute. Drain and soak in cold water until the seeds have cooled down. Only soften the seed coat, not cook the seed.

Fold one kitchen towel twice, place the seeds between the folds and lay the towel flat on a saucer. Wet the towel, but not so much that it is submerged in water.

After 24 hours the seeds should have doubled in size. Take them out of the paper towel and sow into containers with moist seed raising mix at a depth of not more than ½ cm. Repeat the hot water treatment for seeds that have not doubled in size and place back in the kitchen towel for a further 24 hours.

Place a sheet of glass over the container to keep the moisture up. Do not cover the seeds as some light is required for germination, but keep out of direct sunlight. Keep moist, but not soaking wet. Like a moist sponge - moist to the touch but not dripping.

Kaka beak seeds take some time to germinate. Protect from slugs and snails. One slug will happily wipe out all your seedlings. Prick the plants out when they have 3-4 leaves and plant in a 5cm tube. Seedlings are initially quite slow growing and it may take a couple of months before you are able to prick them out.

If you sow the seeds in early Spring, the seedlings should be ready by Autumn. If sown in Autumn, the seedlings will be ready in the following Autumn.

The best time to plant is Autumn - because the winter rains help the plant establish itself.

Kaka beaks prefer well drained soils as naturally they grow on steep slopes. A position in full Sun is best. When young, it needs protection from strong winds. Water if the Summer has been very dry. Established plants are drought resistant and is tolerant of coastal conditions.

If planted in the Autumn, it should flower the Winter after.
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  • Seller location: Thames, Waikato, NZ

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