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Heliconia rostrata

Lobster Claw

One of the best known and most popular species with a large, dense and pendent inflorescense with bright red, parrot-beak-like bracts rimmed with yellow, flowering all year round.

 
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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

...difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Treat like a banana, soak the hard seed for 3 days, keeping the water warm (i pop a plastic dish in to a heated propagator), alternatively you could refresh the water.After soaking, rub the seeds between two pieces of sandpaper. Plant in a mixture of 25% peat, 25% sand, 25% Perlite, 25% vermiculite. The mixture should be sterilised (i pop mine in the microwave). Once cooled, plant the seeds about half 2cm deep, and place in a warm propagator (about 30C). Germination normally takes about 7months - and so far, I have had 20% germination in this way. But other species of heliconia have germinated well using this method. KEEP HUMID. Plants love humidity, I place place the seedlings in small pots on a gravel tray, covered with a propagator lid.
Submitted on 07/05/2003 by Richard Evans richard@exotic-gardening.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
These seeds are easy like most heliconia. First, soak the seeds for 2 or 3 days, then place in a well-drained sandy mix and keep it moist (not soggy). Keep at a temperature of about 30-32 degrees Celcius. A heat mat and thermostat are priceless. Be patient for the stragglers because there are always the few that want to wait a couple of months to make an appearance. Remember that most heliconia, ginger and bananas are believed to release something that stops the germination of other seeds so putting your seeds all in one pot is probably not a good idea. If you are still having trouble getting these seeds to germinate they also believe that some heliconia are triggered to germinate not only by day temperature but by night temperature as well. Try slowly lower the night temperature day by day until it is down to around 8 degrees cooler than the day temps. There has never been a heliconia I couldn't germinate following these simple steps. From my rarepalmseeds rostratas I got 170 seedlings out of 200. They are now growing rapidly in the greenhous...
Submitted on 04/08/2003 by Regan Tourond reganis@littlegreenthumbs.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

 
       
 
We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches


Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.


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