Sunday, May 26, 2013

Collecting Haworthia truncata seeds

Haworthia truncata

This is one of the most popular haworthias.  It's unusual for the very truncated leaves.  It looks as if someone has purposely cut the tips of the leaves off.  At plant shows in which this plant has been entered, I've had visitors believe that I HAD in fact cut the leaf tips off. 

While H. truncata does offset, it does so very slowly and thus propagation material is at a premium.  Combine this with the over all slow growth of the plant, and H. truncata is difficult to find in the succulent trade, and when you do find it, it is often quite expensive.  

What About Growing From Seed?

Unfortunately, H. truncata is generally not self-fertile, and therefore you need two different clones in flower at the same time to pollinate the flowers and produce fruit and seed.  While the plant shown at the top of this page often produces fruit and seed without cross pollination. I fortunately do have other clones and try to cross pollinate flowers as often as I can.  I pollinated quite a few flowers in late March and early April and have been collecting the fruit for the past two weeks. Today was seed harvest day.  The photo at right shows the dried fruits and the collected seeds - paper clip for size reference.   I'll plant these in the next few days.  Haworthia seeds germinate much better when they are fresh and seeds more than three or four months old germinate poorly, usually less than 20 percent.   Hopefully in a month or two I'll have a few new H. truncata plants to work with.

1 comment:

  1. I remember as I first saw a Haworthia truncata I thought the same - no way that's how the leaves grow naturally! :D Beautiful plant!
    I'd love to grow some haworthia in the future. At the moment I only can grow plants that fit in a 5x5cm pot. I do have one haworthia limifolia. It's been flowering two times last year and is flowering now. No idea how but everytime there was one seed capsule. I've collected the seeds but, if you say they are only viable when fresh, the seeds from last year are probably no good.