Heimia Salicifolia (Sun Opener/ Sinicuichi)- 500 seeds
Heimia Salicifolia, aka Sinicuichi or Sun Opener, is a decorative perennial, growing to roughly three meters. Although it grows naturally in much of South America and Mexico, it can reportedly survive some freezing. However, it is best off being grown in pots that can be brought inside in colder climates. Heimia Salicifolia is one of several sacred plants featured on Xochipilli, a sixteenth century statue of the Aztec Prince of Flowers. It has long, glossy, oval leaves stretching from a stem that becomes woody as it matures. The plant develops yellow flower clusters between its sets of leaves. As the flowers fall, the bud contains a single seed pod. These spherical brown seed pods, which look much like a coriander seed, contain thousands of tiny brown seeds. These seeds are EXTREMELY small! Many new growers think the seeds have been crushed or are skeptical that such small seeds can produce a plant. Ironically, the seeds are so small that you probably couldn't crush them if you tried. They should appear almost as a light brown dust. Their size is their natural way of being spread since they can easily be picked up by the wind and carried to new areas where the plant has not yet colonized.
In nature, the wind would carry Heimia seeds, dropping them on the surface of the soil, where they would eventually sprout. No amount of burying is necessary. It is also a general cultivation rule that the size of the seeds determines how deep the seed should be buried. In the case of really tiny seeds, they should be surfaced sowed, meaning that they should simply be pressed into the surface of the soil allowing light to reach them. Before sowing the seeds, make sure the soil is misted lightly so that the seeds have available moisture to absorb. After sowing, you want to cover the container with a piece of clear plastic to seal in the humidity. If the soil is moist enough and you mist regularly, they will grow without the plastic, but it makes life much easier. Plus, with the plastic on, you may not have to water because the evaporating water will condense on the plastic and drop back to the soil. If at any point you notice the soil is drying out, simply remove the plastic and mist the soil with a fine mister. This will occur more often if your temperature is higher. Be sure to add the correct amount of water to your soil and then remove the excess water collected on your plastic so that it doesn't drop back into the soil and cause too much soil moisture. Although mature plants will take as much water as you can give them, I have an unconfirmed suspicion that the seeds can be drowned. A temperature of about 70 degrees F should be fine. Using florescent lights or placing in front of a sunny window will both work for germination and plant growth. From seed until it is a few inches high, Heimia S. grows painfully slow. Let them take as long as they need. It won't continue like this forever. In the meantime, just keep the plastic on and make sure the soil stays moist. Be sure to mist if needed. When the seedlings are about 1/2"-3/4" you can take the plastic off. Continue to keep the soil very moist. At 2 1/2" it is an ideal time to transplant. The soil you use in the new pots should be similar to the soil you used for germinating. Have your pots set up beforehand so that you can quickly transfer the seedlings without them spending much time in the open air. When transplanting, the most important thing to consider is to disturb the roots as little as possible. You're most likely going to have a million roots tangled together, so some disturbance will inevitably occur. Keep the seedlings out of any intense light and heat as they are especially vulnerable after transplanting. If at any point you notice wilting, make sure to water and put a plastic baggie over them to seal in humidity. You should water this daily. Heimia plants are amazingly resilient to wilting but enjoy as much water as you can give them. Heimia Salicifolia, once established, will prefer partial sun. If under-watered, H. Salicifolia plants will wilt drastically, looking as if they are dead. They may also drop leaves. If you catch it within the first day of this you can almost always bring it back by saturating the soil. Any dead material should be cut back, which will result in a fuller plant.