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sagiXsagi

Ephedra sp. cultivation notes and discussion

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3/6 one nevadensis sprout - 8 days is not a bad time , I hope its not the only one in the whole tray to sprout. 

4/6 another nevad and one viridis. yeahhhh  north american ones on the rise! 

5/6 another nevad and two more viridis sprout, it seem's (hopeful?) the sprouting rate per day is raising

 

Well with a rate of 3/5  sprouts for nevadensis so far, it seems not all seed was dud,  and viridis with 3/18 might just be pretty viable. I am pretty sure that I filed the viridis, but not the nevadensis. 

 

*I am not using a heating mat this time round, its pretty warm now (edit) temps are raising from 3/5 to 5/5 while these notes were written

*substrate for this sowing is what I initially used with good success: used soil from cactus pots with lots of perlite. 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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a retrospective view on a year or so of growing ephedra: 

 

(special thanks, especially to horsey and everyone who contributed in this outuput with sources, seeds, plants, cuttings, photos, experiences, respect is due) 

 

growing from seed: 

 

1. reviewing all notes from this thread, there seems to be a reference to presence of light when germinating. I thought it was worth noting. 

 

2. filing seems to help. artificial heat like a heating mat seems to help and is actually required when germinating seeds early in the season, which is the most recommended period to sow. sowing in warm wheather also seems ideal.  

 

3. whether you use shallow trays at first, like me, or use bigger pots from start, the upper layer where the seed germinates should be free draining, with lots of perlite or gravel or other draining medium - it can be less draining deeper in the pot. the positioning also seems to be of a matter here, pointy edge down, eye up with 45% angle ideally seems to work for me so far. 

 

4. most seedlings seed to die from rotting in the base and/or from mechanical abuse when being very young. sowing too deep or too shallow can also contribute in more possibilities the seedling rot or cannot carry its own weight. on the second occaion, using small pebbles or something can help a seedling to establish. 

 

5. so there is a first, initial stage immediately after the sprouting, when you have to to let the soil dry up a bit in the surface before rewatering , and the new borns become seedlings and start to acclimatise.. they are both prone to over- and under-watering in this stage. I think that getting them to direct sun sooner is better than later... then there's a point after some months, that would differ with each one's approach but also according to species, 3~4 months I would say, that the base starts to harden a bit, slightly resembling woodification. that is not a point on from you water freely though... you continue to give them careful waterings and take care to water when the substrate is really lacking moisture... 

 

6. foeminea and cf fragilis seem to be faster and easier to grow than most, but all the former general advice on how to deal with ephedra seedlings also applies here. actually most of my knowing initiates from a large batch-sowing of cf fragilis... 

 

TBC

Edited by sagiXsagi
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This thread makes me happy :)

 

Respect to youse who made it. I may never find time to be an Ephedra collector but if I ever did this would be the first thing I check. Love Ephedra spp

 

Excellent summary too sagiXsagi, thank you

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Excellent indeed!

i grew some from seed this last year as well.

got four out of a hundred still alive!

greatest danger is as you said, ..

possibility of over/under watering and damping off/ drying up.

growing ephedra sinica 

 

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latest additions are two awesome plantlets of distachya var helvetica and minima. I was again tempted so I took 3 suckers from the minima. They are still being acclimatised to more light as they developed chlorophyll-less growth in the package and are gradually greening som days now. The pots they came in are pretty small but amazingly, but both show signs of buds, it is unripe fruits for the distachya and not really sure if flower or underdeveloped fruit in minima. Feel lucky about that! They were also transplanted in tube pots. 

 

the species list so far:

foeminea

cf fraglis

"fragilis" weber

distachya

distachya ssp helvetica

nevadensis

viridis

chilensis

sinica

equisetina

gerardiana

minima

 

but its still early to tell much about many of these (they are new acquisitions and/or at baby or young seedling stage) 

 

Only one of the gerardiana suckers I took is still alive.. I assume I let them on the dry side 

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got some running from the 'pheds gerardiana going down and some 'chunking/beefing up'2017-06-14 17.25.49.jpg2017-06-14 17.24.43.jpg2017-06-14 17.24.54.jpg2017-06-14 17.25.14.jpg... I wonder if they'll try to move in to the lawn eventually?

and some growth happening on the distchya2017-06-14 17.24.12.jpg2017-06-14 17.24.32.jpg

and equisetina2017-06-14 17.25.29.jpg , which indicates via drooping when it wants a drink :3

 

also sowed about 5 or 6 nevadensis seed that were so fresh they were still green buds as a gift with a purchase..

 

 

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wow awesome ! totally different picture from my pampered potted softies (refering to geradianas)  , they look healthy as fuck and green maybe they dont have as many active nodes as mine, but they seem pretty fatter and taller, mine more yelloyee, especially if we assume the gerardianas we have are same strain and were of the same age when we got it ...

 

I have used more sandy soil - which I rarely use - at the surface when I transplanted- and this has caused me to be pretty anxious about it drying up which it very easily does... .. so I water them a lot, and one of them already showed the first immigration sprout at the edge of the pot ... like the oldest sinica has done for me a couple times... the concept of worrying about your homegrown ephedra to to dry up :P , even if seemingly established and happy, well that's pretty funny, I should get pebbles for them , but I have to get it the right size ... 

 

Truth be told, I have done a couple from seed and from a lousy cutting from ebay but I  have to admit it doesn't look so difficult if you receive an established plant from a nursery  which is so good that I (I do this a lot) take a couple of suckers which are next to the pot side, but let's keep our modesty - i only did a 1/4  . 1/3  success for the suckers of geradis, and that is so far, if the 4rth doesnt die... plus greek summer could kill gerardis.. so lets wait...  I think would love to attempt to transplant the 2 ones in the smaller pot to bigger ones... 

 

Feeling really blessed that the attempt to getting to know these plants growing habit has some fruits, I feel a reel connection with this genus, another strange xerophyte I am fascinated by , like cacti and mandragora ... I am starting to seeing obvious signs that E. chilensis shows a hardness and branching tendency from much earlier age and in different pattern than seedlings I have observed, including E.sinica.  Some of the chilensis stems almost resemble the year old cf fragilis which is pretty impressive.. I am waiting to verify that there is a woodification tendency early on, that would pretty awesome .. 

 

I should say, even if it might be considered controversial, that its not THAT hard as most people in ethno communities think... I thought I had understood mandake, but its more complicated than that with their reverse season and bulbus roots and root cuttings etc 

 

while ephedras , in one year I am into it seem more "normal" in its handling, seem to even have the same circle even species from europe and species from asia , which is what makes watching them different species growing along side, from europe, asia, america awesome... but hey, some of my planties are young and newcomers, I really hope my nevedensis or even  younger nevadensis and viridis to grow healthy and show species trains from early age as chilensis did... 

 

I have to say that "fragilis" weber, which was damaged but not killed by a snail seems to have the same behaviour as the major  weber which sprout but also died , and of course the seed batches seem identical... personaly? besides the mess behind "fragilis" and possibly many mediteranean species , I hope this is actually is major = nebrodensis, which would explain why the fuck its so slow to grow compared to a supposed "fragilis" that it is... 

 

 

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got some progress pics on the 2 nebrodensis seedlings I forgot to include too now you mention it :)

2017-06-15 15.12.32.jpg2017-06-15 15.12.40.jpg I hope one is a boy , .. and the other is a girl ..

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two of my gerardis which were quite ill looking, yellow and all, I gave them again a more generous dose of fert, I think I saw a change today like they began to green, I will update on this.. 

Note that at this time the heat is peaking. 

 

the other one though, the green one, is ... flowering!!!!!!!!!!!  how happy ... plus one of those I received from a dear friend from german nursery, came with already forming cones, so I am having the opportunity to see distachya's helveticas seed and fruit, it became red yesterday today even more... 

 

chilensis + sinica also coming aloing nicely

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some photo updates + comments

 

have taken most out of much direct sun due to extreme heat wave

of course  largish cf fragilis seeldings suffer the most... especially them being 2-3 in each pot 

 

this is this 2nd wave experimenting , where I test to extremely dry greek summer in pots! I thought I should pot the cf fragilis in the ground in september, I was wrong, mid summer was fine too, I lost a bunch in small pots due to lack of watering, extreme hear wave and lol hehehehehe ... ephedra my ass...  

 

in the pics you can see

 

some of my E. chilensis seedlings, these ones seem have a tendency to harden  stems , smaller distance between nodes, and also branch earlly.. almost a shrub - small tree habit . they are perhaps half year old

 

and in another pic distachya helvetica which came fruiting from the nursery , lets say, THANKS FRIEND!, but they mostly the fruit matured while the plant was acclimatising to sun,,, well I got to see the fruit and also a couple fresh seed. plant is recently repotted to tube-like pot

 

and the... coning gerardiana , notably not the one in the largest pot , but the greener one, other two still are a bit yellowy 

 

as I imagined, extreme heat and dry summer is a slight problem in handling even ephedras ... especially the mediterranean ones,  like cf fragilis which are not especially xerophytic it seems, hehe ..

 

not quite cactus

 

 chilensis  6 months.jpghelvetica.jpggerardiana_plate_flowering.jpg

Edited by sagiXsagi
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planted out the 2 nebrodendrons2017-07-15 21.00.20.jpg2017-07-15 20.59.58.jpgfingers x'd 

had a cocktail of fresh distachya, equisetina, fragilis, gerardiana clippings in some dried sinica... brewed up with a splash of cloudy fizzy lemonade and honey ... divine!

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Just keep the cats away from them.  Mine were all eaten by my bobtail.  She sought them out specifically.  No other plants has she eaten, just the Ephedra..

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G'day lamonsta welcome aboard! and thanks for the heads up :)

they've not been doing too bad outdoor so far but its dark at the mo so maybe pics wont be so awesome but I'll give it a go 

Nebbo's2017-08-20 00.24.03.jpg2017-08-20 00.23.59.jpg

'Stachyo's2017-08-20 00.24.50.jpg2017-08-20 00.24.28.jpg

Equizbo2017-08-20 00.25.10.jpg

Gezbo's2017-08-20 00.25.56.jpg2017-08-20 00.25.40.jpg2017-08-20 00.25.22.jpg2017-08-20 00.26.11.jpg

Fraggles2017-08-20 00.26.42.jpg2017-08-20 00.26.30.jpg

the ones I still forgot's names from sagiX2017-08-20 00.27.36.jpg2017-08-20 00.27.07.jpg

were they foemina?

 

Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ
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^^ foeminea (cf fragilis) 

 

here a some update: 

 

I eventuallly took them in a less sunny spot during the extreme heat of greek summer.. they showed signs of liking it. In fact their behaviour resembles a bit that of cacti... 

 

here are some pics:  chiloensis, gerardiana and two sinicas

DSCN3311.jpg

DSCN3312.jpg

DSCN3313.jpg

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Great plants and great thread! I hope to learn a lot from all the first hand experience contained in this thread. Well done to you all :)

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lamonsta>>>

did you cat really eat your ephedras? please say more, both about the cat and the plants ! hehehehe , would love to hear the stories, love cats... 

 

got some great news, had my own foeminea seedling flower at 14 months... I havent been paying much attention to my ephedras just keeping them alive.. and de-weeding, when did this happen??? hehe , pity...  now with weather cooling they seem much more well

 

the formerly larger gerardiana in the larger pot I did some transplantings and attempts to propagate my ebay sinica, I think they're gonna do fine... 

 

I am getting fruits in one gerardiana, actually this is strange because I didnt see any flowers in any of the three - this is the second attempt, first time they didnt really do anything... and also seeing flowers at a male foeminea " seedling" at 14 months .....  that I already said

 

and hmmmmm..... hey thunderhorsey, you were saying about hybrids? 

 

could the gerardianas, which should , most possibly be clones from the same plant be pollinated by foeminea male flowering ?? and thats the reason for them not making the fruit/seeds, that its not compatible, but its tricking it to fruit?  just thinking aloud here...  

 

all this makes me wanna go back to all my material and read up on gerardiana flower and fruit.. 

 

A RETROSPECT THOUGHT FROM A NEWB EPHEDRA GROWER: 

well they once you get them growing, you might see that despite they are a xerophyte, they might respond to extreme heat and drought similar to cacti, as in stress, but they are not in habitat , they are in pots, and this makes these plants extremely sensitive, during extreme heat mostly from under watering or mis- watering, somewhat

 

PICTURE:  gerardiana in what seems to be a fruit... 

DSCN4670.jpg

Edited by sagiXsagi
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Great thread. Well done sagixsagi and well done thunderhorse, very inspiring content here : )

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Nice to know of some flowering going down on the ephedracity front..

Thanks Bardo always a pleasure mate..

 

not much to add other than update pics - sorry about the fragilis pic it was hard to take a pic crouching under a tree so didn't bother retrying and it's not as if they changed much anyway..

 

nebrodensis2017-10-12 15.18.49.jpg2017-10-12 15.18.38.jpg

 

equisetina2017-10-12 15.19.06.jpg

gerardiana v' sik'2017-10-12 15.34.23.jpg2017-10-12 15.34.17.jpg2017-10-12 15.34.41.jpg2017-10-12 15.34.29.jpg

distachia2017-10-12 15.33.30.jpg2017-10-12 15.33.44.jpg

foemina2017-10-12 15.33.09.jpg

fragilis2017-10-12 15.34.59.jpg

 

Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ
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It's a female cone sagi, they make cones not flowers. That's two ovaries you can see there, which are potentially two seeds.

 

If fertilized they will make the fleshy bract/fruit,and grow out the seed.

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On 10/13/2017 at 1:45 AM, waterboy 2.0 said:

It's a female cone sagi, they make cones not flowers. That's two ovaries you can see there, which are potentially two seeds.

 

If fertilized they will make the fleshy bract/fruit,and grow out the seed.

 

have ever seen droplets on them?

 

yeah I call them fruits - Ι even call chilli peppers fruits sometimes... in any case I hypothesised that since its swelling it was pollinated earler... there was coning activity earlier but the heat fucked it... 

 

I havent seen any flower (strobili) on the geras, but today I saw something that is different than female cone, so I might have had one male and 2 females....  (well I split the one female into 3)

 

pretty amazing , I have only seens foeminea fruits and flowers (strobili) in person (recently got a distachya helbetica and minima which did some minimal fruiting from the nursery, but I saw only the end of it)   

 

also admit havent checked my archieves about gera infloresence.so I will come back on this... 

 

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the "ebay sinica" story (repotting and sprouting details + update) ..

 

couple weeks ago I transplanted this plant, after taking 2 rooted cuttings, I also re-aligned one fresh sprout going down ( you know these things are kind of like Haworthias or Aloes) and potted it so as it went up... it was 2-3 days until the sprout indeed came up fast and healthy, but after coupe days, 4 more sprouts also earthed! 

 

I am super excited about this, sinica, despite reported to be one of the harder species, seems to like my climate better, say, than gerardiana, at least as far as stressing is concerned...

 

my seed growns are also going fine, both are now putting out new sprouts and dosens of eyes are visible at the base...

 

the fresh cuttings also seem to be going well- I think I am seeing eyes swelling , but they may be swelling for a month or so before sprouting I guess, this is not the easiest cutting to take care... what is encouraging is that the season for all species seems to have come... so its the growing season...

 

all cuttings and transplantings should take place now, this stage,  for the roots to have their time to develop and support and encourage vivid growth.. 

 

********

 

here maybe it should be also noted that I am switching to a richer soil as transplanting.. for both the geradis and the sinicas that went to a bigger pot.. switching from more sandy and draining to my typical plant soil plus perlite "recipee" 

 

all species, perhaps also because of being potted, seem to me very happy and growing after the dry greek summer came to an end and the wetter and cooler season came...  and all of them seemed pretty stressed from extreme heat , especially in direct sun ( I already have said that I eventually moved them to a shadier spot during the summer and they immediately straightened... ) 

 

future plans include planting out a couple fragilis/foeminea plantlets in ~900 m altitude in my own land.. I dont really plan on sowing anything, haven't checked my stock for a while, I dont know what (if) I have something interesting left to sow ephedra wise ... 

 

of course I am still and always looking for good fresh viable SEED from any species around the world

 

Also a note - E.chilensis seems to be the real deal in that it seems to be forming a small , almost bonzai like tree- structure... for that it seems like one of the most beautiful and potentially best looking of them all.... 

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On 10/20/2017 at 4:09 AM, sagiXsagi said:

 

have ever seen droplets on them?

There's a link somewhere on here about a species that forms droplets/nectar stuff possibly Mediterranean but memory not strong , especially on full moons.... Some speculation about a pollination reason.

 

There was a link to an article and some nice pics .


They were saying it was something like it was looking at a field of diamonds at night.

 

I recall joking( not so joking) about licking them off.

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First ephedra fragilis seedling pushing its way up out of the dirt. First of 4 hopefully :)

Planted in approx 3 parts coarse river sand 1 part organic compost 1 part general potting mix.

Each pot was sealed in a snaplock bag for humidity. No heatmat, just left on a windowsil

Planted on 24th October. 

20171107_090301.jpg

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On ‎15‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 7:29 AM, lamonsta said:

Just keep the cats away from them.  Mine were all eaten by my bobtail.  She sought them out specifically.  No other plants has she eaten, just the Ephedra..

Just imagining how fast your bobtail must have been whipping around after that xD

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Update, Ephedra fragilis.  still only 1 out of 4.

But it is looking happy as far as I can tell. 

20171109_081720.jpg

 

Update: unfortunately this one died. :( damping off I believe. 

Will try again soon

Edited by Dicko
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