Author: INSEARCHOF

Ordering info for Canadian residents

UPDATE August 10
Thank you to everyone who helped make this import possible! While I might do another import in the future, I do not plan to do so annually.  

Plants will be available for purchase starting in April during regular sales.  If you are ordering from Canada, just click the ‘Canada’ option for shipping at checkout.  I will personally hand carry plants into Canada and ship out from Vancouver, BC at the end of June.  Plants will be packed the same as for US customers- well rooted in pots unless otherwise noted (view more about shipping practices here).  You can order any of the plants available to US customers except Orchids. 

All plants are guaranteed regardless of carrier error, issues with importing, etc. 

The delay in receiving plants allows for 1. reduced shipping cost by $50 order by not having to get individual phytosanitary permits. 2. reduced shipping cost by using domestic vs. international shipping service 3. protections against delays in transit, getting stuck at customs, etc. 

It also allows more time for Canadian residents to view plants and put together an order (and to add plants to existing orders!) and for me to get all the paperwork together. 

Since this is my first time doing this and there are still a few unknowns, shipping will be $50 flat rate per person for now.  If it ends up costing me significantly less than that to process your plants/travel fees etc, I will refund you after the fact.  

If you are a Canadian resident and place a second order before the window for Canadian purchasing closes (probably around June 1) please put a note in the checkout section to combine orders and I will manually refund the duplicate shipping cost that day. My goal is to make this as easy and affordable as possible.  If you have any questions, comments, or input regarding how better to do this, please get in touch.  

Please note that shipping to Canada will only be available this Spring, and not also during the Fall sale. The June shipment will be a trail run, but I hope to offer plants to Canada annually as long as there is interest.  

I ordered seeds, now what do I do?

I ordered seeds, now what do I do?

Congratulations on your entryway into seed sowing! Growing from seed can be a rewarding experience and one that demands patience.  The information below can likely be used for a variety of tropical plants but is primarily intended for Begonia seeds.

Medium
There are a variety of mediums that can work well for germinating, listed below. All mediums should be provided in a depth of at least 2″.

Peat– my favorite substrate for starting seeds, I have used unsterilized peat successfully, but think the seeds are better off using a sterilized peat that is microwaved or has had boiling water run over it.  Make sure to pre-saturate the peat before putting into the germination container as it takes some kneading to get the right consitency.  Peat its hydrophobic so make sure to work it until you get an evenly moist substrate.  Spread peat evenly and pat down very lightly to create an even surface.

Sphagnum– works very well for a variety of plant groups.  It should be finely chopped by hand or in a food processor/blender to ensure even spread.  This should also be sterilized, mostly to prevent the sphagnum itself from coming to life (can outcompete small seedlings). Sphagnum should be soaked for at least a day prior to use to ensure it saturates.  After it’s fully saturated, squeeze most of the water out until it stops dripping.  Pat down sphagnum very gently in the germination container.  You want to close up any possible holes that seeds could leak down into.

Perlite– the smaller grade (1 and 2) work best for germinating, as the larger grades allow seeds to drop in crevices where they might not get enough light.  Once plants have put out some more mature leaves they should be fertilized to prevent a nutrient crash.  I do not think perlite needs to be sterilized prior to use.

Perlite & Vermiculite- mix evenly and let soak for an hour or so prior to use.  Spread evenly.  I don’t think either of these need to be sterilized.

Temperature
Aim for temperatures around 75F.  Ideally, nighttime temps don’t drop below 70F or so.  I have germinated seeds with nighttime lows of 65F in the winter, but, it seems to slow them down and in some cases it might prevent them from germinating.  You can safely get up to 80F, but anything above 85F should warrant caution.

Light
The intensity of light seems to be less significant than the duration.  I use 1200lumen LED lights at a distance of about 12″.

Water & Humidity
Pre-moisted any growing medium you wish to use.  It should be evenly damp, but not wet.  The medium should not be allowed to dry out.  Maintaining high humidity is important, and seeds should be kept in an enclosed space (ideally a small one) that keeps humidity 90-100%.  Watering or misting the seeds before they have germinated is undesirable as it may wash the small seeds into the substrate, preventing light from reaching them and making germination impossible.

Sowing
Begonia seed should be light dust on the substrate’s surface.  Do not plant the seed, or attempt to push into the substrate.  Additionally, do not water or mist following sowing as the seeds may fall into the substrate.  A small deli cup size is sufficient for 20-50 seeds.  It is best to sow many seeds as the abundance of seedlings increases humidity and creates a more desirable growing environment.

Germination 
The time it takes for seeds to germinate varies greatly.  Begonia cathayana, for example, germinates in around 10 days, while versicolor takes 4-5 weeks.  Some species take longer.  You will likely not see growth from any before day 5, and most likely not for a bit longer.  Only after 8 weeks should without germination should the effort be deemed unsuccessful.