Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Transplanting Meconopsis seedlings. 

Grow seedlings in a deep pot (7 1/2 cms). and use a loose peat based (or peat substitute) compost and it helps if Perlite (inert expanded rock) is added to keep it light and airey and so that the compost almost falls off when the are pricked on. With rare or scarce seedlings pot on into individual 7 cms. pots and with larger numbers prick on into well filled seed trays. The potting on compost should again be light and airy but should contain some nutrients in the form of slow release granules or a standard fertilizer like Growmore. As soon as the roots fill the pot and the plants are about 6 cms. high they can be planted out where they are to flower. They can also be kept in the pots for up to a year and then planted out but, if so, it benefits them during the growing season to be watered occasionally with  half strength Tomorite (tomato fertiliser).
Hold seedlings by the very tips of a leaf and shake compost in around them. Watering them will pack the compost round the roots.
There are a number of exceptions. Meconopsis punicea and M. quintuplinervia need sowing as soon as ripe (see description of proceedure under M. punicea in main website) and M. delavayi tends to develop a rot if handled and should be grown on in 71/2 cms. pots for 2 years and then the whole pot planted out. This species forms a tap root and should
not be disturbed. The germination of this last species is generally very reliable and only 3 or 4 seeds should be sown in each pot - again see main website for more details.