Hi, today I’m going to be showing you 3 things – one is my hybrid-ponics rooting system, it’s not hydroponics, it is
hybrid-ponics, soil & water, then I will show you some growth comparisons of
my raintree seedlings & 3rd is I will show you how to germinate these tough seeds of raintree, using a process called scarification so, this is my hybrid ponics set up, the
way it is kept on my balcony. the newspaper roll prevents algae growth in the water by blocking sunlight. I will now take out the seedling into this mug
of water so that I can then begin cleaning my water container thermocol I’m taking out is used to
block the light coming from the top the inside walls of the container has a
brown residue from the roots which is easily cleaned using an old paintbrush weekly once now I add two caps of dissolved NPK
fertilizer to freshwater and stir. time to get the Raintree seedling back home add some extra water making sure the
water level is a bit below the pot bottom soon I will explain the benefit
of this hydroponic system of growing in soil and water. these are 2 seedlings
growing in bonsai soil mix in a bigger pot. they are just 2 months older than
the one I showed earlier. the holes on the sides are for air pruning and root
aeration. this seedling is the exact same age as the one with roots in water. as a
test I melted only four holes on the bottom plenty of drainage holes, instead of just one hole usually seen in small bonsai pots this seedling was potted differently as
part of my experimentation … tada the roots have successfully escaped the
bottle into coco peat. time to prune the extra roots instead of using the older cap on the
left, having just 4 holes, i am replacing it with a new cap on the right,
having more holes now it’s time to clean up the discarded
roots and put the cocopeat back into the pot these 2 seedlings are 3.5
months old and were germinated at the same time. what I want to show you is the
comparison of the trunk thickness in this fun experiment. the trunk on the
right is twice as thick as the one on the left despite the same age and pot
size the amount of soil in both these pots is
the same but it is this extra root mass and the fertilizer for it it that is
responsible for the extra trunk thickness. in my experience the roots grow faster in
water than in soil and a dense root structure absorbs more nutrition and
hence, the plant grows faster. now these 2 seedlings on the left are older by
just one month and compared to the one on the right. when I hold them
side-by-side it is easy to spot the thicker trunk of the seedling on the
right. I am surprised that this much volume of soil still has not produced a
trunk of this thickness, though both were given the similar NPK enriched water and
similar frequency. please note that this is a fun experiment and not a science
test. on comparing the trunk thickness of these 4.5 months old
seedlings, I noticed that the bigger pot on the right produced a thicker trunk
than the smaller one on left and these 2 seedlings are of the same
age but there is a huge difference in their trunks. the point I am making is
that these extra roots absorb extra nutrition and hence result in faster
growth. I kept it short by pinching the tops more frequently than the ones in
bigger pots. I can periodically cut up this sacrificial roots with scissors and
end up with a pot looking like this, with no hint of its past history at all. it
would appear that a tiny pot has beaten a a bigger pot in terms of growth rate and
trunk thickness. you might judge the seedlings growth by a tiny pot size but
what is missing is the extra story over here and there is no transplant shock if
I do it this way. the raintree seeds do not germinate easily due to a tough
waterproof outer coating. the pointed end of the seed is where the new
root will sprout from and for these hard seeds to germinate,
the waterproof outer shell has to be damaged first thru a technique called
scarification. one way to do this is to nip the round end of the seed with a
nail cutter or plier. you can also scrape it on a rough surface. as seen here i had
already clipped or nipped outer shell and made it vulnerable to water. make
sure you do this on the round end opposite to the pointed end, else
you might easily damage the seed the pointed end is where the root will come
out and germinate from. so, scarify the back end. here is a side-by-side
comparison of the 2 seeds and a close-up view of the scarified seed. I
will now soak this clarified seed in water and this one is not scarified but I am
putting this also in water for comparison. i have tried soaking the normal seeds up to a month and there has been no change at all because the water could
not penetrate the outer shell of the seed. but this scarified seed will swell
up in 24 hours and the outer seed coat will simply break apart and can be
scraped away with your nail and you will see a small root tip coming
out from this pointed end. so that is how you germinate a Raintree from seed. if you
simply put them in water or soil it is not going to germinate. the seed coat is
totally waterproof. maybe if you put many seeds one odd seed might germinate but
scarification is the better way. I read on the internet that the seeds that float
are not good for germination I have not verified this and blindly
followed it but I intend to verify it at a later time the seed is placed into a mixture of
coco peat and rough sand. the medium is not important. you can put any medium in
this and within a few days I should have the roots coming out from the bottom. lots of holes have been drilled or melted this is sand.
I’ll be keeping it in this for the time being. just press it in, when the roots come
out I will lift it, cut it, put it back again again more roots will come out, i lift,
cut, put back again. so once I have multiple roots coming out from the base
then the plan for this is to go into a container like this. this is a one liter
bottle or 1.5 i think, ya this is 1.5 so, the neck has been cut and this
was the cap of this bottle so, once the roots have formed I will put it
into this and the roots will grow vertically down and once the roots reach
the base I will cut it off again and then the side branching will start. so,
pretty soon I will have a very dense network of roots here and my tree should not
exceed this height. the seedling will definitely come till this height and then
only start giving leaves so that’s the minimum. so I am going to keep
it at that size so that’s the plan