by Rinat Ziganshin (Siberia, Russia)
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My name is Rinat Ziganshin, I am 18 y.o.
I was born and grew up in Central Asia, in sunny Uzbekistan, likely all know, where such juicy and bright fruit as fig, apples, grapes and peaches grow. It's a mild-temperate climate area closer to subtopical, equal probably to zone 7-8 USDA. In Winter temperature dropped rarely down to -10°C (15F).
|For some reasons, I had to move from there to cold Siberia, and here winters are as cold as -30°C (-20F). I was wondering if if was possible to amuse myself during long cold evenings, when it's so little of a sunsine, still dark by 8 am, and already dark after 5 pm...|
The decision was made that I needed to create tropics or subtropics on my windowsill!
I got some seeds out of dried fig fruit (dried fruit, snack type) and sown them.
I was waiting for the germination about 3 weeks or hardly more, the seeds sprouted in October.
They were sitting next to a frosty winter window...
I waited for another 1.5 months, and plants have grown up, I realized they need more room!
|The solution came across my mind and I decided to make a miniature Hot House. I took 50 liter (15 gal) fish tank, it seemed to be enough. To provide a warm 'tropical' climate, I used a regular aquarium heater placed in a jar with water.|
|Here they are, the real Tropics on a Windowsill! The plants just loved it and started to grow fast and vigorously. Occasionally I opened the top glass, so the condensed water did not drip on fragile small leaves, fed up with a weak solution of liquid organic fertilizer.|
|The new mature type of leaves started to appear.|
This experience was a great reward for my efforts. Then I started to use more concentrated fertilizer soultion and it made my plants stronger and bigger.
After couple of weeks the stems became woody and started branching
|That was the best reward and Ablolute Holiday for 'Tropical Papa' (me) :-)|
|Sometime in January I re-potted my 'babies' into larger pots with potting mix, and since then they develop even more actively.|
My experience is not limited just with fig trees. I also grow many other tropicals from seeds!
|Jacaranda was planted in summer 2003, now it's already 70 cm (30") tall!|
|I got this coffee plant as a tiny seedling.|
Strelitzia was sown in the spring 2003, and now look at it!
Solanum was sown in the spring 2003, when it sprouted it looked just like a tomato. It grew very slowly, bottom leaves yellowed all the tome, but finally it turned out to a nice plant that now looks like real Solanum.
And I got much more!
My advice for everyone who lives in cold climate is - try, and just in a couple of years you will have perfect mature exotic plants!
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