Kanna Seed Sowing and Germination
We use the following method for germinating Kanna seed. Our summer temperatures range from between +- 12 deg C minimum to 43 deg C maximum. Our winter temps are about -2 to 20 deg C. You may have to make adjustments depending on your conditions.
Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) belongs to the family Aizoaceae. We follow more or less the same procedure for the whole family. The seeds are very small. Therefore it is not a good idea to cover the seeds with soil or sand as this may smother the seeds and they may not germinate. The seeds often do not have a very good germination % at first. The seeds may (or may not) germinate better if aged a bit. Prepare a mixture of sandy soil and well rotten compost about 80:20 in e.g. a 7 cm plastic pot. . We add a few small pebbles on top of the peat for protection of the seedlings. This is optional. Sow the seeds on top of the peat/pebbles and wash them in with a light water spray. Keep moist until there is a reasonable germination. The seed should start to germinate within a week or two and probably will continue germinating over some more weeks or months. Some may only even germinate the next season.
Kanna seed germination some weeks after sowing in spring. Different sizes in seedlings indicate different germination times.
The best sowing time is autumn, but the seeds do germinate also in other seasons. We had excellent germination after a middle autumn thunderstorm. Humid warmish conditions combined with nitrogen rich rain water seems to be an excellent recipe for germination for many seeds.
Kanna seed germination a few weeks after sowing in autumn.
After the seeds have started to germinate keep them moist for a few months while the others still germinate. We water the seedlings about twice a week, and spray with anti-fungals about once a week. (Please note that once the plantlets get transplanted we stop spraying anti-fungals or any other chemicals.) Seedlings will have to be sprayed however or else you will lose them through seedling rot. You may cover the seed with a plastic cover to increase germination. Do take the cover off regularly (daily) for 10 minutes or so to avoid fungal growth. After some seeds have germinated remove the plastic else the seedlings will rot.
Plants that receive regular watering will grow quickly and also die quickly. After about six months the plants should have made a ground cover of some 30 cm across and usually die soon afterwards
When the seedlings are about 1 cm transplant them with spacing of of about 30 cm or more .
In the wild the plants only receive occasional rainfall and often grow slowly. These plants can live for many years but will take much longer to mature. If you grow your plants "naturally" the spacing initially can be less then 30 cm.