Growers Experiences

Coca Growers Sharing Their Ideas & Experiences


Hey David, just to keep you updated, 17 out of 20 germinated, the tallest is about three inches by now :)

One month old Erythroxylum novogranatense coca plant

One month old Erythroxylum novogranatense coca plant


I don't know if you still remember me, you send me a pack of 20 Seeds about half a year ago.
I just wanted to keep you updated and send you some pictures. It's been 5 1/2 months since they sprouted, 17 plants are still alive. The have an average height of 13-17cm.

I kept them outside in a shady place, but temperature got a bit too high, thats why some leaves are curled or burned. They're back inside now.


Six-month-old Erythroxylum novogranatense coca having 13-17 cm height

Six-month-old Erythroxylum novogranatense coca having 13-17 cm height

Six-month-old Erythroxylum novogranatense coca having 13-17 cm height

Six-month-old Erythroxylum novogranatense coca having 13-17 cm height



As you requested earlier, here is my log file on the E. novo seeds you sent me. I have now 2 young novo plants that look healthy and keep making new growth.

  • August 10, 1999: received
  • August 11, 1999: germination from one, second one started but then died
  • August 12, 1999: transplanted into small red round pots (diameter about 5 cm) inside the plastic bottle frame
  • August 16, 1999: 4 cm 2 leaves opening
  • December 18, 1999: 9 cm 6 leaves
  • January 16, 2000: transplanted to bigger square black pots (8 cm side) and some of the stem is put inside the the earth to make it stand more steady, height now about 12 cm, still 6-7 leaves but they are getting a lot bigger now. One leaf is about 2 cm in length and and 0,8 cm in wide, the other are smaller but still getting bigger. The progress is very promising according to my opinion. BTW I have removed the vermiculite and sphagnum moss. The humidity is still very high and I don't have the problem any more from a kind of mold on the vermiculite. Lucky enough it didn't hurt the coca seedling.



Hi D,

........For six months I have grown my seedlings under a 400 watt metal halide lamp at approximately 35cm from the plants and never allowed the temperature to exceed 30 degrees Celsius, light was on for a duration of 16 hours within a 24 hour cycle. However I always found that all the plants leaves were always a pale green almost yellow it colour. The leaves would grow fast however they would always remain small and die of in about two too three months. I suspected that the problem was more to do with light spectrum than fertilizers, growth medium or watering problems.

It was only after I found a few paragraphs in History Of Coca by W.Golden Mortimer, M.D. page 330 Influence Of Chlorophyll, which explains the necessary light spectrum for developing coca seedlings. "From experiments to determine the relative efficacy of different rays of the spectrum it has been found that in light of low intensity seedlings turn green more rapidly under yellow rays, next under green, then red, and less rapidly under blue. In intense light the green formation is quicker under blue than under yellow, while under the latter condition decomposition is more rapid."

Originally I chose the metal halide because it was high in the blue spectrum which is better for vegative growth where as red light produces more stem growth. However Just recently I have been giving the seedlings natural sun light and artificial light provided by a 75watt incandescent reflector globe which is higher in red and yellow spectrum. From this I have found that the leaves now look healthier and are a much stronger green colour. It seems that natural or at least low intensity light is best for seedling growth. I think if I were to continue growing under discharge lamps, high pressure sodium would be superior to Metal Halide as it is more efficient producing more lumens per watt and produces a better spectrum with more red and yellow than blue. I felt that this might be useful to others who might be considering growing under lights especially metal halides...........



Hello D,

.......Well, the lamps above my seedlings that you saw on the picture below are common fluorescent lamps, white spectrum. It's not really different from the results obtained with "Gro-lux"(at least with the common gro-lux - I have never tried "Gro-lux wide spectrum"). To be honest, I have recycled 2 lamps, one of 18W and the other of 14, so that you have seen two lamps "joined" toghether... (at the point where you see the water resistant tape..); If I had, I will use a 30 W white spectrum lamp. The "total" lamp (18+14) is at about 12 cm from the highest point of the "re-assembled" bottles and about 24cm from the seedlings when I open the bottles.........



Other data: the temperature in the grow room is between 25 and 27 Celcius during morning and 20 / 22 Celcius during night. In the tank, the temperature is between 28C / 30 Celcius during day and 23/25 Celcius during night. I use a 15W heating cable under the tank (outside). The device is without thermostat, since it's only 15W and it's outside under the tank; I don't obtain an elevation of more than 3 / 4 Celcius using it. I bought in a pet shop. N.B: all these arrangements are for the first 5 - 6 months of life of the plants; after this period I will put them in a cooler environment (wait for other temperature data....) with natural light. I will try to acclimate them, so I will be able to grow "only" in a green house without any particular environment (for example, if the plants are still ok with 10 Celcius, *even if in vegetative pause* I will not use the heat cable or similar arrangements for the temperature...)

Now the seedlings receive about 14 hours of light daily, and I have appreciate the use of a systemic fungicide on the seedlings on regular basis every 7 days for the first 2 weeks, then I have stopped it's use. (I have obtained 98% of success rate with the fungicide use...). I have used Benlate but it's not yet made from Dupont; I'm sure there are a lot of other systemic and low phyto-toxic fungicide..........



The following fertilizer formula is contributed by a creative novo grower in Europe. He doesn't want to reveal the country where he resides, so I will keep this anonymous too. The formula contains Auxinone, a product based on NAA (1-naphthylacetic acid). NAA is an auxin (plant hormone) which is used to stimulate root growth. Proprietary brand hormone solutions are now commercially available from retail outlets, for example 'ESI-ROOT' combines Indol-3-yl-Butric Acid with 1-naphthylacetic acid (IBA and NAA) is marketed at various concentrations. However, be careful with the use of IBA, NAA or any other auxins. As a general rule, when you are in trouble about the concentration, use less (1/2- to 1/4-strength according to the labels on the materials). Less dose is still effective, but excessive dose has a paradoxical effect that can inhibit growth! Other products based on NAA are for example: LIQUINOX START and Multicrop Plant Starter.


  • 1ml of Auxinone (or other NAA-based solution) in 5 litres of water
  • 3 teaspoon of sugarcane and 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of "Peters" general purpose fertilizer (it's a non-organic, liquid fertilizer having N:P:K composition of 20:20:20
  • About 20 cc of tropical fruit juice high in vitamins
  • Water (pH ~7,5)
  • 1 teaspoon of Benlate(Benamyl), Natriphene or other systemic fungicides with low phytotoxicity


Prepare the NAA solution (for example, Auxinone), then take a bottle and fill the bottle with a mixture of a small amount of water, the fruit juice, sugar, honey and Benlate. Close the cap and shake the bottle until all is "mixed" well, then put the mix into the NAA solution, add 1 teaspoon of Peters general purpose chemical liquid fertilizer (or any other non-organic, liquid NPK-based fertilizer having N:P:K composition of 20:20:20) and 2 liters of water. In this way, you will have 7,5/8 liters of total solution (if you are in trouble about the doses, better more dilution than less...). Shake a little again with a stick, then put the solution in a "sprayer-bottle" and begin watering your plants. The day after, spray with clean water to wash the residue from the leaves. Apply the above formula every 3 days, then 5, and finally every 7 days. When the plant is two weeks old, stop the use of fungicide

The good thing about this recipe is it's dilution and the combination of "juice" vitamins with NAA; the effect is incredible.. you can see the plants REALLY green in about 24 hours; moreover, honey and sugar are great nutritions for delicate plants like orchids and "surfactants" for other nutrients; honey is a softly fungicide too...


It's very important to use this formula as soon as prepared (30 minutes, 1 hour), because the oxidation of vitamins and nutrients in the juice will make it's final result "poor", not so stronger as the "fresh" mix... (the fresh mix is a little "orange", the old one is grey...). Also, you should water with a mix of 50% common water (pH 7,5) and 50% distillate water...

The second version of the formula, is to use a basic fertilizer for flowering plants (rich in P and K) instead Peters (my Peters general purposes fertilizer is "blue", while fertilizers for flowering plants are generally red, probably for K and P); this is because P and K are useful to thicken the cellular walls and this make the plants more resistant to lower temperatures. 1/10 of the common dose and I have used only 3 times, once a week... it seems sufficient (I know, we have to maintain an acid soil)

Now, I have three 1-year-old novo plants (I have 3 plants, they were from your second sending, november 2002, and they are the only plants I've obtained from your generous sendings, before I use Auxinone-juice-fertilizer-honey and Benlate formula *with your big last sending* ). I'll try to mail you soon new they are about 20 / 22 cm (still growing). They are watered every 3 days with common water, the soil was made with peat moss, humus and perlite; I used a very acid peat moss... pH around 3,5 and I hope I will not have problems at least for some months (until spring, when I should transplant that 3..), plus consider that when I use Fe EDDHA or tropical fruit juice, the pH is getting lower.. (plus, especially after fertilization, I use a solution of tap water + distilled water 50/50).



Hi D,

Yes I received the seeds, thanks for a lot of extra seeds, he are growing well at moment, the seeds arrived very well and germinated very easy.

In this moment I have that under a HPS lamp (250W) and with natural light (but not direct sun), for 12 hours (light/dark) and his progress is very fast, the plants have 9cm and 4 leaves, the plants have only 27 days (I begin the account when I put the seed under the light) and I need change the pot because the root are exit for my little 7 cm pot.

After the last fungus attack, I still have some older novo plants survived. They have 3 months and 11 days and the best plant has 25 cm tall and over 30 leaves. I believe that the dead of the others plants at 7 months was cause of fusarium attack (the symptoms was similar: in the stem I observed little holes (damps). Next, wilting of new shoots, followed by leaf defoliation and finally death of the plant). I am think to put some fungicide to prevent that this time.

I am using a natural sun light (a window to south face) and a supplement of HPS 250 watt light at 70cm of the top of the plants. No fertilizers used, yet. the humidity is 50% day and 60-65% night. The temperature is 25 C day 22 C night. Some plants receive the direct sun and the leaves turn yellow and finally fall, I changed the place of this plants but he has problems to give leaves other time, and in some case the plant dry.

The medium has of start: 300 mg/l N, 300 mg/l P, 400 mg/l K. The compost is based in "turba" and the pH is 5,5.


Hi D, Here are the infos I promised you and a few pictures of my installation for your web site :

  • 10th october 2003 (which is autumn for us) I received the seeds in Paris France
  • 13th october 2003 first seeds start to germinate in humid paper towel (T= 20 C)
  • 15 january 2004 (which is winter for us) I have four living plants with 4 to 5 leaves each, the tallest is approximately 8cm.

They grow in a universal compost that is always humid. I use a 30w Biolux fluorescent light at aproximatively 10 cm distance from the plant. T = 20 to 25 C. This installation is in a 80/50/40 cm closet with reflection paper (cf the pictures I will send you later) with a lot of other plants which keeps the air humid. After a slow start the novo's are growing faster now. I'll take them outside in the sun for spring after the last freezes (around april-may).



Hello D!

.........As for my novo seedling status, a little of everything I've now about 60 seedlings, many of them are in good condition, others are a little bad for excess of fungicide, others are a little weak as well, as they suffered fungus attack before summer, just before I found the cause.

Yes, as I told you, by increasing temperatures (which here means also reduce humidity), the specks in trunks problem improved alot, almost dissappearing the problem. After that, the only little problems have been due to any excess taken by me, as excess of light, excess of protection agaisnt wind, excess of fungicide in some cases and so on.

Well, the fungicide I use for pythium is propamocarb 72,2%, commercial name Previcur. It's used only in very young plants, up to 2 months old or so and the treatment is watering the plants with a solution of it soaking the root. After these 2 months, in which you must treat every 15 days, the risk of pythium becomes low, as the risk of another fungus inceases, from 2 months old on, fusarium oxysporum mainly, and thus, you must change the kind of fungicide for another different one to struggle against these new ones pathogens............



Hello David,

Thank you for your last advice, but my Novo plants are not doing so well. It has been a cool, cloudy Summer here in here and the plants don't get strong light. I still am hopeful. All the plants are still alive, although most of them look very sick. I've noticed something about Novo's reaction to cold, damp weather. I have my aquarium outside along side the building I live in and keep it covered with plexiglass to keep bird droppings and other things out, but it has a 3 cm gap and it is not sealed tight. One night here the temperature went down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (That's around 10 degrees Centigrade) and all of the more healthier Novo plants had protected themselves by folding their larger leaves directly over the younger, new growing shoots on the center of the plants. Looking at the plants that next morning, I thought that they were all going to die. But as the day warmed up, the leaves unfolded and the plants returned to their normal state. It was very strange to see this. The larger of the leaves folded upwards and then down over the growing shoot.

I've seen the newer pictures on your website of Novo plants that others have grown and now I am jealous. I was hoping that my plants would be at least 30 cm tall by the end of this summer, but the best of them is only about 10 cm. I'll keep trying though.

I'll talk to you later.



Hello D

Yes, I have good news to report the seeds have arrived, just like you said, two weeks exactly. Thank you for the bonus seeds, as nine out of twelve seeds have already sprouted. You provide a wonderful service, so that, the people living in the far north of the world can enjoy some green earth from far down south.



Hi D,

I just wanted to let you know that 8 seeds out of 13 have germinated and have started to extend their stems out of the ground! I am expecting one of them to start opening its first leaves in the next few days.



As it got pretty cold here very quickly, i moved the pots into a plastic box with a heating cable on the floor. This keeps the temperature in the range 25-35C. I use a standard 13W fluro tube during the day in the box and turn it off at night time.

The mould that i wrote about has not been a problem since i planted the seeds, so i have not used any chemicals so far.



Hello D,

The seeds showed up today (Monday April 26, 2004). The envelope showed no signs of being opened before it arrived here. After carefully sorting through the contents of the zip-lock bag, I have eleven sprouted seeds and three seeds that show no signs of life (Thank you for the extra seeds). The sprouts on the seeds are long, but not straight. I did my best to plant them as you have instructed. I'm using a mixture of peat moss, beach sand, and perlite that I pre-moistened and put in the oven to sterilize. After planting the seeds, I thoroughly watered the cups by placing them in a pan of distilled water. I start all my seeds in this manner and it usually works. I'll let you know how it goes as time passes by.




The seeds arrived in perfect conditions...12 seeds begin to germinate in the pack...wath is the substrate you send? i advised you when i send the money...friday or sunday. have any marihuana seed's of your country?



hi D,

here are a pic, not the best quality but size and green is recognizable. The two with seedling dessication haven't made it. till now 21 have leaves,it seems that two more will come. I have placed them in an aquarium and closed the top. it is not fully closed so RH is not getting above 80 % . the top is opened at least once a day to air it.





excuse me not to have answered you front, I had gone in vacancy. I received seeds, they were already germinated here a photograph which proves their good health. Know or I could find the second variety (e.coca)? Still thank you for all.




I send you a pic of how the seeds are doing after a month and a half. No chemistry, just water, sun and 26 degrees all the time, 80% humidity. They have grown into small bushes and one seed germinated yesterday, I forgot where I have planted it...It is now 45 days after I planted it and yesterday it came out!

Thanks again, its fun growing. I did not have time to order more seeds but I plan to send money in a greetings card as you suggested, it will be cheaper.





Seeds arrived today. Most of them are sprouted, here are pics of the others. Six in a waterfarm, with 250 MH Lamp over it, and the others in a window Box.





I send photo, seedlings have appeared, but still leaves are not present. I while hold them in hothouses.





You will be pleased to know that I Recieved the seeds on Saturday. I was very impressed by the packing, a really great job. All of the seeds had germinated which put to rest any of my worries about viability. I split the bag and soaked the pellet of moss in rain-water untill it disintergrated and I could separate the seedlings.

I planted them all and now wait for leaves. Thank you so much for the extra seeds they were a really unexpected suprise. After seeing the packaging and the note I can't tell you how refreshing it was to realise that I was dealing with someone who really cares about plants.

I hope we can remain in contact as I would hope to have future dealings with you.

with kind regards and many thanks.



hello again,

Sorry but I am travelling for near towns for work and I can´t time to connect to internet. Yes I received the seeds, thanks for a lot of extra seeds, my wife are helping to care the plants and he are growing well at moment, the seeds arrived very well and germinated very easy. How are you? I hope that the orchids are prospering well, is a very interesting flower.

I don´t have never plant of one year old, the illness (fusarium?) kill every plants (that extent very quickly). I only have the new seeds plants, the plant of 25 cm tall is of the last novo var novo seeds and he has over 4 months now. Sorry for my bad english, perhaps sometimes I explain very bad. I believe that the dead of the others plants at 7 months was cause of fusarium attack(the symptoms was similar). Every plants died when he have 7 months old, I had plants in a greenhouse and in a room of my house, the summer was very, very hot (the temperature arrive at 42 C), the plants suffer symptoms of less of water, but I watered them every day. The plants of greenhouse infected first and I take one plant and I put that in the room of my house for observe the evolution and the plants of the room had infected very quickly and die, too (I dont had move the plant infected to good plants, a mistake). The dead plants symptoms (the first seeds): In the stem I observed a little holes (damps), and followed by wilting of new shoots, leaf defoliation and finally death of the plant. He had over 40-50 cm tall. I begun to use fertilizant one month before of infection, Do you believe that the cause of infectation was fertilizant overdose?. I am think to put some fungincide to prevent that this time. What do you think about use fungincides in novo plants?

Today the E. novo var novo has over 4 months and the best plant has 35 cm and a lot of leaves. I am using a natural sun light (a window to south face) and a supplement of HPS 250w light at 70cm of the top of the plants. No fertilizers used,yet. The humidity is 50% day and 60-65% night. The temperature is 25 C day 22 C night. The medium has of start: 300 mg/l of N, 300 mg/l of P and 400 mg/l of K. The compost is based in turbe ("turba" in spanish language). The ph is 5,5. In general the plants are well, but I have one plant that grown well, but some leaves a week look like burning for the tips and slowly every leave dry and fall, that happen constantly and the plant are lost a important lot of leaves of that form. For the moment I put this plant in quarantine. I don´t see the reason because other plant in the same condition grown well, this plants dont grown more in this direction and grown for other side.

I have also three plants in another room, but without the HPS lamp (and the temperature is over 20 C ever), this plants have 4 months, too and he has only 10 cm tall and a few leaves (5 or 6) and small. I think that the low temperature cause the very low growing.

Thank for your tips, are very interesting, please if you have more information that you consider interesting please send me, I saw the web, is a excellent help. Here are a photo of my plants:




Hi D,

Well, here's a few pics of of the new home. I've got them in the top shelf of a mini greenhouse. The humidifier kicks on for a two minutes every two hours, and I've got a ceramic heater in the bottom that kicks on when the temp drops to about 65 F (17 C). That sound about right? It's hard to create the right environment here - it's really dry and gets cool at night.

As far as lighting goes, I've got my greenhouse in a room that gets tons of ambient sunlight, but no direct sunlight. This is because the plants on the lower shelves are Psychotria Viridis that can't handle direct light. They're over a year old and the tallest one is about 5 inches high! And, they took between 8 and 10 weeks to sprout from planting! Definitely testing my patience, but it's always worth it. Anyways, do you think this will be enough light until they grow a few leaves?

Have you know of people having success growing indoors in an environment like mine? Most internet literature on e.novo describes her being hard to adapt.

Thanks for holding up your end of the bargain!




Hi D.

As I promised here are some pictures of my one-year-old novo plants. I will wait until spring and then I will try to graft E.novo on some local shrubs. Weird? lol

Also, please tell me how much leaves should I ingest. 20-50 grams? Dried?




Hi D

How are you?, I hope that you don't waste your time answering my questions. I see your web and I am sure that you have a lot of work. After 20 months from seeds, my plants (thank's for that other time) are now 2 meter tall, and have a lot of flowers, but not seeds. Is that possible at this age?. Is the pollination possible with only one plant? (or is it necessary a cross pollination?). I tried pollination with small brush sometimes but don't work, I will try other time, but it is not important because my room is full plants right now.

The room have around 12 m square, with a south-facing window having a 1-m x 1.6-m dimension. In combination with sunlight through that window, I am using 250-W HPS Philips Son T- Agro (12 hours on/off) with a cooling tube in the lamp to avoid over-heating on the plants. At first I put the lamp 40-60 cm over the top of the plants, but the leaves turned yellow. Now the lamp is around 100 cm (1m) over the top of the plants and the leaves turn green again. To avoid direct sunlight, I put a thin curtain in the window. NOTE: At first I had the plants in other smaller room without window (only with hps) but the plants turned yellow, too.

Now I believe that HPS is especially important in the winter when the sunlight photoperiod is only 8-10 hours. In my zone in Spain the climate is very bad for novo growth. In the winter, night temperatures can reach as low as -13C and for some weeks sunlight intensity is very low due to the fog), and daytime temperatures never exceed 2 or 3 C. I rarely open the window of the room in winter (except for ventilation sometimes), and I have a stove with temperature control that will turn on when the temperature is lower than 15C.

In the summer, the temperatures are between 15-40C and sometimes the temperature inside my room can reach as high as 36C (but it happens rarely so I don't avoid that for the moment). I have the window opened or half-opened in the summer. The annual rain fall in Spain us very low so I often have problems with low humidity. To raise the humidity a little bit, I place the plants very close to each other, and I pulverize that sometimes. To be more precise, the room temperatures are between 15-36C, but in average, it is 20C in winter, and 27C in summer.

Right now I have these plants in big (40 cm diameter) plastic pots, and I use the local compost called “compo sana universal” (it is easy to get in Spain). I only add some organic materials a few times in a year (a fine cap in each pot) and I fertilize the plants every 2 months in summer (good time) and before entering the winter. I use 12-12-17 NPK fertilizer, or 15-15-15 fertilizer.

I never put the plants outdoor (due to my climate). I tried to do that in the past (in summer and in the shade places), but the plants died.





Hello D,

I just want to say that my eleven “n” plants are doing much better now than in summer. I took your advice and tried to give them morning sun. I also stopped watering them. Watering them too much was my problem from the beginning. The new plant’s roots were soaked and never received oxygen. I should have never soaked the peat-moss growing medium like I did. The peat-moss holds a lot of water and takes forever to dry out. I now let the soil dry out between waterings, but I still mist the plants daily with bottled spring water. I water every two weeks using one gallon (about 4 liters) of cheap bottled spring water mixed with one teaspoon of “Rapid Grow” crystal fertilizer (this fertilizer has a lot of micronutrients including chelated iron), and one liquid ounce (30 milliliters) of a Vitamin/Enzyme solution called “HELP.” I purchased this product some years ago and I decided to use it on my very sick plants. I don’t know if it’s still available, but I’m sure that something similar to it can be purchased. I’ll list its ingredients for people to know exactly what I used:

  • B Complex……………...0.0008%
  • Carbohydrates…………..1.8%
  • Copper (Chelated)….…..0.07%
  • Gibberellic Acid………...0.0007%
  • Humic Acid…………… 3.0%
  • Indoleacetic Acid………..0.0015%
  • Indolebutyric Acid……...0.001%
  • Iron (Chelated)…………..0.3%
  • Kelp Extract……….……2.0%
  • Kinetin…………………..0.00003%
  • 1-Naphthylacetic Acid….0.0014%
  • 2-Naphthoxyacetic Acid...0.0005%
  • Sodium Lignosulfonate…5.0%
  • Zinc (Chelated)………….0.7%
  • Inert Ingredients………...87.12407%
  • Micronutrient sources: Copper, Iron, and Zinc chelated from Hydroxytricarballylic Acid.

I completely immerse the plant’s container until all air bubbles stop coming up and then let them drain. The plants look very good. I have them indoors now, because it’s too cold here in Autumn (8C). I keep them in a small aquarium with aluminum foil on the outside of the walls for reflecting light and have a 20 watt Gro-Lux type bulb over them. I have them near a window facing east, so they get some sun in the morning.

Let other Novo growers know that when your leaves are wilting, turning yellow and falling off; and when new growing shoots turn black and die before getting big, consider cutting back on the water. I water every two weeks and I watch the plants for signs of wilting.

Thanks again for your valuable service to the world.



D, I haven't got words.......anticipating some sprouting I conjured up 18 pots..... figuring that will be more than ample the first baggie yielded me 14 seeds....... ALL SPROUTING !!!!

Thank you so, so much........had to run & arrange for more pots last 10 more are very generous, thank you so much. It is now 7 am & I'm going to plant the next baggie now.

For a mix I'm using 5 parts commercial seedling germination mix, 5 parts worm castings & 2 parts volcanic rock dust. I dampen this whole mix with fulvic acid. Moulds & fungi can not take a hold with this - I grow peyote seedlings in high humidity enviroments as well, without ever having to use any fungicide.....

The mix drains well & breathes well. I'm taking photos & will keep you posted.

Blessed Be!

Hiya D, how are you doing?

Just a quick hello, all is great this side - the plantlets are all OK, I've got 22 survivors & they are all growing happily. I'm leaving the plastc bottles (sans caps) on the individual pots for now, until the stems are sturdier. One doesn't want to take chances on pests nibbling on the plants while they are still fragile. Fed them a combo of fish emulsion & blood/bone meal based fertilisers (both local organic certified products) along with fulvic acid, on friday. They really look happy this morning......

Speak soon - happy growing!

Hi to you too, D

Me thinks the combination of biologically alive substrate (worm castings) keeps the fungi at bay, naturally. I've germinated two lots of peyote seed in ice cream tubs with plastic covering to keep humidity high - same story - no fungus.

A sterilized substrate is an open invitation for molds & fungi to move into the perfect habitat (with no competition) that has been created for them. The worm castings is 100% humus, with enough microbial action to prevent unfriendly stuff from taking root. The fulvic acid is a bit of turbo-charging to chelate the minerals in my rock powder......

I top dressed 1/2 the seedlings with a mix of bat-guano (8 parts) / rockdust (4parts) / 50:50 peat moss & sunflower seed husk mix (8 parts) / worm-castings (8 parts, today. Also acquired some more fulvic acid awa kelpcharge (agricultural seaweed extract) yesterday, which will be added as a soil drench / foliar feed in about 14 days.

We are in winter now, with daytime temps in high teens to low 20's Celcius(usually very sunny) with the low cloud cover & high altitude (1555 m above sea level acc to my friends GPS) causing the heat to radiate away at night, with a sharp drop in temperatures. The plants are in an area with skylights & big windows (at my friends house where I'n staying at present - soon to move to an agricultural small-holding), next to an indoor heated pool that keep the temps constant in the mid 20's.

No Relative humidity to speak off, but the cut-off cooldrink bottles fixes that......heheheh. I usually mist every second day & breathe into the tops to load the atmosphere around the plants with carbon dioxide - one of the reasons it is good to talk to your plants.......heheheh.

Light, Love & Laughter

Greetings D!!

It wasn't damping off, but some insect chomping away approx 5 mm above the soil surface....after spraying with neem extract & individually containing the seedlings with transparent bottles, instead of having them in a communal humidity chamber (inverted transparent rubbamaid) there has been no further losses. The stems of some still shoe the damage, but they haven't been eaten any further & the leaves aren't hanging - I suppose those will be my "bonsai" plants.......heheh.

All in all only one didn't germinate - I noted a brown discolouration on the root tip of one of the sprouts & methinks that's the one that didn't hatch. So currently I'm standing with 21 germinated plantlets, some with damaged stems, but seemingly OK, 3rd leave set appearing on some whilst a few are still struggling to shake their "helmets". All in all it has been most gratifying & effortless to hatch these babies.

My growth mix contains loads of it, along with worm castings added to a commercial seedling germination mix (which incidentally is the source of my pest problem, according to my local nurseryman - it seems mass-production leads to incomplete composting & other nasties. From now on I'm only using compost I know....pref made myself) The alive grow mix doesn't suffer from fungal infestations, but obviously other nasties got imported via the germination mix, nevertheless the small lesson in quality control is well heeded.....

Have a wonderfull week, look forward to hearing from you soon.



Hi D!

It's finally finished! All I need to do now is polishing it and then I can rise the humidity and expose the plants to the new environment. Do you you think I can start serious fertilizing by now? What can I do to help the plants getting a thicker stem? How about pruning? Can I cut the main growing tip after they developed branches? Will this result in a bush like shape or will it rather harm the plants?

Meanwile the plants have grown quite big and the stem-issue is solved as well. They grow realy compact and have developed lots of leafes. I use a 400W Sylvania HPS lamp right now. More is not possible for me (it heats my living room up to 30 degrees celsius.

I also found a friend in England (I sold one of my plants to him). He also got seeds from you a wile ago :) We are having nice discussions about our new hobby and he sends me pictures of his plants sometimes. Its quite nice to see how they develop. And more important, I can compare to my plants and I can see if I do something wrong or not.




Just a note about the progress of my plants. All except 2 seeds germinated, and many of them show the beginnings of the 3rd leaf. Two still have seed heads. So far, so good. I have followed the examples of the pictures you kindly sent.

I found micronized sulphur as a fungicide at a local nursery. I thought it would be great for use as it is also good for lowering the pH. So far, I am hesitant to use full doses because I do not want to burn the plants and I see no signs of fungus, but I thought I would share the suggestion for micronized sulphur idea with you and your readers. Currently, I use tiny amounts.

I also am using a 400 watt HPS lamp, but keep the plants at least 4 ft. from it (about 135 cm). I thought using higher wattage would allow me to keep the plants further, thus avoiding possibility of burn. They will grow closer very slowly, which should be just right.

Also, I have a cooling unit that cools by evaporating cold water (indetectable mist) with a fan. This is a good combination, as it keeps the temps below 85 degrees F while providing humidity, and increases the air circulation all in one.

I'll send you another report in a few months, when the plants are larger.


Hi D,

I bought some seeds from you in November 2004. They were excellent quality. Eleven of the twelve germinated and after I gave some to a friend I had four really healthy plants.

I initially had some problems with fungus and also with slow growth indoors. Each day, I give them approx. 10 hours on the window sill and another six under a fluro. The fluro runs one GrowLux tube and one standard white tube. This works well and they've grown steadily, if somewhat slower than they would outside.

A friend advised me to remove the centre stem, when they were at the 4-6 leaf stage. He said that this will give two main stems and encourage the plant to "bush" more. It also provides a cutting to clone a new plant from. I'm going to try this with one of the smaller plants.

I fertilise them once a month, with Fish Emulsion and they love it. I find that I have to spray them with water every few days, to keep the leaves clean. Otherwise they get a buildup of dust on them. I've added a few pix.

Thanks again D for allowing me to enjoy these excellent plants.



Hi D,

Hope your vacation is peaceful. Please let me know your new website when it is up. I'm especially glad that no one is doing anything more serious than causing you to change web hosting services. Perhaps a site hosted in the Netherlands would be more reasonable.

My plants are very good. They are about 8 inches tall, and are beginning to make branches. The "branches" are just 1 or 2 new leaves beginning out of the axilla of older leaves, but I am very happy about the plants. All 26 are still alive and healthy. They are now in 5 1/2" pots, which will probably last through the winter.

One thing that might be interesting for your customers, is any experience with various plant "helpers". For example, sulpher is OK for them. I tried some prophalactic "serenade" which is advertised as a bio-fungicide -- that is it contains some bacteria, I believe, that stimulate the plants immune system and also combat the fungi. My main problem to date is fungus gnats, and I used another solution called "fungus knock out" (I think that's it's name) -- which also uses a biological agent as a larvacide. The product is not recommended for edibles, but it will be a while before I am eating the leaves. I also tried some micorrizal fungi, called fantastic fungi, which is also OK for the plants. It seems every week I am trying something new for the plants -- but they are really beautiful. Each time I worry because I do not know if the plant is allergic to the product.


Hi D,

Sorry for not replying earlier.I got the seeds and they were all germinated and just started to dry. I put them in soil and they started to grow instantly and kept growing to about 2 inches (5cm). I didn't worry for a while when the seeds didn't open,but after a fortnight they started to die at 1 per day rate. After 3 days I decided it was time to do something and cracked the shell carefully open, knowing it is not the right thing to do, but also didn't want to loose all plants. (Today I believed I should have opened them 1 week earlier and they would have been a much stronger plant.

Currently I got 3 plants left in soil,they are 10cm high,but fairly thin and weak. They stand in full sun and doing alright at the moment. I hope they will make it and watch over them a lot, but still thing I should have opened the seeds earliear. You got any idea why the seeds didn't open alone? I will watch them some more,but would be very interested in purchasing some more in a cloes future time to us emy experience and try to grow stronger plants.(is that normal that the leaves are light green and are quiet slow growing? Let me know if you need more vermicculite? Thank you very much for all your help. I am looking forward to more talks with you soon.



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