How you can grow coca seeds indoors. We all wish we could grow coca plants in our part of the world. The best way to get the seeds is straight from the bush when they fall to the ground. You can keep them damp, in a dark place, for up to 2 weeks before planting. Store them in damp sphagnum. But, check them regularly as you do not want them to rot or sprout prematurely. They are not a seed that can be dried out before planting. Obtaining seeds straight from the plant is probably not that practical for most people so you will have to source them some other way. They are available on the internet.
Germinating coca seeds
The best material for germinating coca seeds is fine grade vermiculite. You can use Styrofoam cups, but 2-inch plastic pots with holes in the bottom also work well. Plant seeds no deeper than 1 inch into the potting mix. Raise the pots to prevent them sitting in water, and so there is good drainage. Coca plants at any age are not a plant that like being constantly wet. Starting coca seeds in pot can be better than on the flat as the root system suffers less damage when transplanted. You will see seedlings within 2 to 4 weeks if the seeds are viable.
Put your seeds in a place that is constantly warm. An even better idea is to put them into a terrarium that has a layer of gravel on the bottom. There is no need to seal it as the seeds need plenty of natural air circulation to encourage them to grow. Make sure they get enough light or they will not sprout. You may need to put a grow light over the terrarium to help them grow once the seeds germinate. If the seedling get too little light, you risk fungus attacking the plant stems of the tender, young plants.
It is important not to over water coca plant seedlings. Watering every day is not necessary unless they dry out quickly in the environment you are growing them in. Using the correct potting method with good drainage means the water will drain off. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they do not dry out. Keeping your plants in a humid environment can lead to a fungal attack.
Transplanting coca seedlings
When your seedlings reach around 2 inches tall it is time to replant them into plastic pots. Clay pots are not good at this stage as they can dry out completely even within 1 day. The shock of your seedlings drying out can kill them. Remember, planting a seedling in a big pot is not necessarily good. It can shock your plants. You are better off graduating the size of the pots as the plants grow in size. If you have germinated your seeds in a Styrofoam, the best size next is a 2-inch pot. Then increase the pot size by 2 inches every time you transplant them in the future.
Best potting mixture
Transplant your seedlings into a good healthy soil made up of something like 25 percent each of sterilised loam, perlite, coarse sand, and milled peat. Do not continue using vermiculite at this stage. It tends to hold too much water and will cause fungus growth. Add organic compost for extra nourishment to the soil.
Feeding your plants
Soluble organic plant food is the best option for coca plants. They require a good nutritious drink at least every three weeks. As the plants mature you need to add iron chelate to the soil every six months. Make sure you follow the directions when adding to the soil. You will have to flush the soil several times after adding the dissolved iron elements or you risk the plant roots burning. A plant covered in yellow or bleached looking leaves is a sign of iron deficiency. You must also know that the coca plant does turn yellow and drop all its leaves every now and then. Do not worry about it. This is normal for the coca plant if it is a healthy plant in all other ways. You will see new growth not long after this happens.
Repotting coca plants
How often you transplant your coca plants depends on fast they grow. The best way to gauge whether your plants need repotting is to check the holes on the bottom of the pot. If you can see the roots, it is time to transplant it into a new pot. Carefully remove the plant from the pot and plant into a pot a couple of inches larger. You should always only increase the size of the pot gradually to get the best results. Grow coca seeds indoors in the proper pot sizes.
Watering your plants
Coca plants do not like water that contains heavy salts. Use rain or bottled spring water. Only water coca plants when the soil is dry. You can check by poking your finger into the soil. If it is dry, it needs water.
Growing Light Conditions To Grow Coca Seeds Indoors
Grow coca seeds indoors in warmth. Coca plants grow best in warm sunny conditions when grown inside. Full sun coming through a window can damage seedling under 3 inches high, so avoid it until they can cope with the light. Do not put them into full sun outside until they are 3 feet high. Protect your plants when they are outside in summer until they are strong enough to cope with the conditions. Keep them in a shady spot, under a pergola, for example. Gradually move them towards a more exposed position. Coca plants can be successfully grown entirely indoors using grow lights and under the right conditions.
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