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Gemmae Sprouting


Tropical Fish Enthusiast
What do you all do to ensure that gemmae sprout? I have my 32 oz drinking cups in containers with a high water table, covered.
I've found that it doesn't take much. As long as the media stays wet and the gemmae have plenty of light, they should all sprout.
Unless the gemmae happen to be 'old'...
I just spread mine out in a pot, maybe push them into the soil a little bit (not under it) to get more contact and make sure they don't dry out.
Echoing what the others have said, they are relatively easy sprouters so long as they are generally fresh, and kept moist. I spread mine out on the soil, water the pots using the tray method, and give 'em some good (but not overpowering) light. Given those things, they'll start to show some stunningly quick growth. If for whatever reason, I feel there isn't enough moisture at the top of the pot from the tray, I'll mist the top of the soil a little.
I actually found my D. scorpiodes gemmae to be very slow-growing. Feeding helps a lot.
I'm having a difficult time with getting gemmae to sprout. I am keeping a high water table and have covers on most of the pots. Some sprout and some do not. Not sure is it's the gemmae or my conditions.
I've also had similar troubles. I'm guessing it has to do with where they fall. Some, I've noticed stay moist and continue growing. Others it seems don't have enough contact with the damp soil, and so dry out. I've also noticed that those few that fell in a spot that didn't get as much light as the others didn't sprout. Unfortunate, but 100% sprout rate is not something I ever expect.
I've had some that looked almost entirely dried out but then suddenly started growing. Be patient, and it wouldn't hurt to press them down a little bit to make sure they have good soil contact.
  • #11
I've got a top layer of LFS in about half my pots and a sand / peat mix in the rest. There doesn't seem to be a correlation, based upon choice of media.
  • #12
Trout makes a good point. About a month ago, I unpotted a bunch of random D. Capensis seedlings and reused the pot/media which had a little bit of moss growing in it to sow some gemmae (not recommended, but I was low on soil at the time and just decided to wing it, oh well....). Some of the gemmae fell on the moss and as such, did not sprout, while the ones exposed fully to the untouched/free media sprouted within a couple of days. After about a week and a half of no activity for a few (and after getting some more peat in the mail), I moved the unsprouted gemmae to some fresh media not really expecting any results, and they immediately took off and are doing fine. It may not hurt to try to push them into the moist media just a touch more, or to really make sure the top of the media is moist enough (sometimes the tray method doesn't allow quite enough moisture to the top, depending on what your environmental conditions are).
  • #13
Gemmae that I cover with a bag or plastic wrap sprouts in about a week or so. Gemmae that I leave uncovered, even with constantly wet media, sprouts in about a month.

- - - Updated - - -

Having a photoperiod that is longer than the photoperiod of the plants producing gemmae also helps speed up germination. My pygmies are under a 9-hour photoperiod, while my propagation room has a 15-hour photoperiod.
  • #14
The common denominator is more water / humidity.
  • #15
Bright light I think makes a difference.
  • #16
I just lay mine on moist mix, cover with a clear dome and wait. Under a florescent tube.
  • #17
When do you take the cover off, for good?
  • #18
After sprouting I let a little air in for about a week then remove the cover.
  • #19
Are you taking the cover off for part of the day and re-covering for a week?
  • #20
Are you taking the cover off for part of the day and re-covering for a week?

No, I just open the cover a crack and leave it cracked open then in about a week remove it completely.