Stalling Young Victorias

by Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge

The critical stage for Victoria seedlings is from sprout through the first few floating leaves. If they make several floating leaves, each increasing in size, we say they are "over the hump" and likely to survive. They become much tougher than in the beginning.

Because we finally have a high survival rate based on the ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS, we are able to make some observations of stalling them in their growth at various pot and pad sizes that may be helpful to those who need to hold plants in small spaces until their setting out dates.

We plant our seedlings when they have hastate leaves and roots in 3 ounce plastic cups. Once they have several floating leaves, they can be stalled in this size only for a few weeks before some that would otherwise survive begin to decline. Other individuals can be held longer in this size. 

It appears, as we write this in mid-winter, that plants moved up to 8 ounce cups or 4" pots can be stalled indefinitely at this size. This may not prove true in summer. They stall for us at the following pad sizes:

'Adventure' & 'Longwood Hybrid' - 4-7"
cruziana - 5-6"
amazonica - 4-5"

Water temperature and nutrients can be reduced to keep the plants small. Water temperatures in the low 60's at night to low 70's during the day are adequate for all but amazonica, which should be kept somewhat higher. Adventure, Longwood and cruziana will bud and bloom at this size but buds should be pinched off if the plants are to be grown out. They will decline and die after blooming at this size.

If moved to 6" pots, plants seem to stall at the following sizes:

'Adventure' & 'Longwood Hybrid' - 10-14"
cruziana - 7-9"
amazonica - 10-14"

Reduced fertilizer and water temperatures in the low 60's at night to low 70's during the day are adequate for all at this size.

All our propagating tanks are outdoors. At all sizes, we cover them when the air temperature is expected to be under 50F. This seems to be the point at which the pads are damaged by the cold air. We remove the covers as soon as the sun hits the tanks to prevent excess condensation from spotting the pads. Greenhouse conditions may provide different results.


V. amazonicas stalled
in 3 ounce cups above
and 8 ounce cups below 

Buds from plants stalled
in 8 ounce cups

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