Monday, January 28, 2013

MONIKA in Christchurch, UK

Monika is one the UK members of Sweden's Auricula Club and is relatively new to collecting auriculas. Here a friend can be seen helping out by removing the old dead winter leaves from Ray's self MONIKA.
MONIKA has just had her clean up and is now enjoying the mild climate on South Coast of England.
Ray,s self MONIKA
Ray's self MONIKA

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Propagating Auriculas by Division

Marie Crosse ready for division.

Propagating auriculas by division is easy to do. Propagating by division is the only way to create new plants which are identical to the mother plant.
The best time, I have found, is to divide the auriculas just after blooming. This is normally in late June, July (in Sweden); but can be in August for some of the late bloomers. I try and have all my auriculas that need dividing; divided by the middle of August, so that they have a chance to root before the frosts and minus temperatures come in September/October.
Marie Crosse diveded into three plants.
After blooming, lift the auricula out of its pot and gently remove the soil from the roots. This can be done by gently shaking the plant; but if the soil is reluctant to leave the roots and it is difficult to clearly see where to divide, I wash the roots gently in a bowl of water to remove the soil.
It is normally very easy to see where the offsets can be gently pulled from the mother plant. Carefully pull the offset/division from the mother plant. If there are any old bloom stems attached cut them off and trim away any damaged or rotten old roots.
Potted and labeled, three from one, Marie Crosse.
Plant the offsets/divisions in new pots (around 7cm to 8cm pots) using fresh auricula soil and give them just a small amount of water.
Place them in a cool shady place until they have grown some fresh roots as well as show some signs of growth. Keep the plants just barely moist, do not over water.
If an offset/division comes off without any roots, I have found it helps to use a little rooting powder on them.
Next week I will be writing about displaying auriculas.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Raising Auriculas from Seeds

Raising auriculas from seeds is relatively easy, you just have to keep a few things in mind and have a little patience. 
Seed tray with moist soil.
I collect my seeds when the seed pods have ripened in late summer/autumn. I sow some seed direct and save some for sowing in the following spring. The reason I sow at two different times is an insurance; just in case one lot fails.
I tend to get a better germination from the fresh sowing, but then I must get them through the winter. One winter I had an invasion of mice in the greenhouse; which dug up all the seed trays in search for food and not many of the small seedlings survived. The seeds for the spring sowing, I save in unbleached coffee filters which are put into an airtight box which in turn is placed at the bottom of a fridge.
Sowing seeds.
Which ever time of the year I sow I use the same method. I use the same soil mix as the one I use for growing auriculas in pots but add extra perlite so that it drains better and it also gives a lighter texture to the soil.
I place the soil in small seed trays or pots, depending on how many seeds I am going to sow. I lightly moisten the soil and then spread a thin sowing of seeds on top. I then cover the seeds very lightly with vermiculite and spray a little water on top, just too lightly moisten them. I do not cover the trays or pots.
Covering of vermiculite.
The trays or pots are then placed in a cool semi shady place in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them at a temperature of around 10C to 15C, any higher than 20C can result in the seeds going into dormancy and then they will require a cold period before they will geminate.
If they dry out and need watering, place the tray or pot in a larger tray and water from under (pour water in the larger tray not in the tray/pot with the soil & seeds).
Lightly spray to moisten.
The first seedlings can start to appear after 14 to 21 days but it can take a lot longer, 28 days is normal but it can take months for some seeds. (I’ve had some germinate after 6 months.) So do not be too quick to throw away a seed sowing as a failure, you never know, they may still start to germinate.
When the seedlings are big enough to handle, prick them out and plant them into small pots.
Hopefully after two or three years they should come into bloom.

You never really know what will come from the seeds that you have sown (especially if they have been open-pollinated) and its always exciting to see the first blooms appear.
Important to label with date & seed details.
Small seedlings pushing through.
  One thing I should mention is that auriculas do not come true from seeds. Any seed taken from a named cultivar will be different from the original auricula, in some cases they may appear to look very similar to the original but they are not identical to the original. I.e. seedlings sown from seeds which have been collected from an Ancient Society, can not be called (given the name) Ancient Society.
To have an auricula identical to the named cultivar and which can carry the same name, you must propagate by division. This I will cover next week.
Small seedlings at around 28 days.
 There have been experiments in cloning auriculas and I have heard various reports that the results are very mixed when propagating by this method. I have no experience on cloning auriculas; if any members have any experience of cloned auriculas and would like to share their information with other members, please let me know.
Next week I will be writing about propagating auriculas by division.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blogg inlägg från Anna-Karin Klubbmedlem

I mitten av maj 2012 var jag och besökte Ray och det resulterade i en liten samling av aurikler. Nu finns de i mitt växthus och med lite tur hoppas jag att min teater blir lika vacker som när den var ny.
 Foton och text Anna-Karin

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Ray's stripe JESSIKA

Stripes are exactly as the name describes, they have radial stripes formed by meal or colour.
Many of the stripes are somewhat uneven and have a ragged edge or outline; this is because the stripes are formed from two different materials (edge & body) which tend to grow at different rates.
The cultivars that have a more even form are those that have one body colour and the stripe is formed by farina.
Ray's stripe NATASHA

Ray's stripe SOFIA

Ray's stripe GERDA
An odd stripe is Merlin which is classified as a double stripe.
Stripes are interesting, easy to grow and do very well in Sweden.
Merlin - double stripe
Blush Baby
Lord Saye en Sele
 Next week I will be writing about sowing auricula seeds.