seagrape plant

Seagrape grown from seed part 2

If you haven’t seen the first part of this post, it is best to start at part 1 here.

Seagrape plant aka coccoloba uvifera

The seagrape is a beautiful tropical plant native to central America. When I realised that I couldn’t get one anywhere in the United Kingdom, I decided to try growing from seed. Part one of this post shows the seed planting process.

A quick recap:

The seed was planted in July 2018, into a self watering pot.

coccoloba uvifera seedling
27th August 2018: The centre of the stem shows the first signs of growth of the plant’s first real leaves
coccoloba uvifera seedling
7th July 2019: Leaf count is now seven, and every new leaf is bigger than the last

January 2020

In January 2020, I decided that it was time to repot into a larger self watering pot.

18th January 2020: The plant was getting a bit too big for the original self watering pot, so it was time to move to a slightly bigger one
18th January 2020: The rootball of the seagrape plant isn’t particularly big, so it was easy to gently soak the plant in water to loosen the soil from the roots for repotting
18th January 2020: The plant in the new, larger self watering pot!

May 2020

13th May 2020: With longer days, the plant started showing a lot more growth progress, which is to be expected from a sun loving tropical plant

June 2020

Just wasn’t a very good month for the little seagrape seedling. Things started off ok……

8th June 2020: The seedling was looking better and healthier than ever, and I had noticed that it responded so well to the increased sunshine with longer days, so I decided it might be a good idea to take advantage of a particularly sunny day by putting it outside in the direct sunlight.

Since the seedling was showing so much growth and seemed to be enjoying the sunlight so much, I thought it was a good idea to put it outside in the direct sun for a few hours. This was a BIG mistake!

9th June: Seagrape plant sunburn 😦

The leaves were burned by the sun! What is worth noting here, is that this plant typically suits full sun in very tropical areas. However this particular plant had never been in full sun before, as it had always been kept inside. I think what happened is the sudden, extreme change in light shocked the plant. I do believe that if I had been a bit more careful and gradually introduced direct sunlight, maybe 20 minutes per day, it would have been ok.

I must admit this was so sad to see. At this point, the plant was two years old, I had grown it from a seed, and I was so proud of it. I was so devastated that I had potentially killed the plant for one silly mistake.

14th June: The sunburn has spread and the areas that were burned are now crispy and dry

After this, a few of the leaves dropped off the plant. I was sad, but was reassured that there were still some leaves which were green, so I knew the plant could still photosynthesise and grow.

August 2020

9th August 2020: As you can see, the plant continued to grow new leaves which were even larger and healthier than the last. This picture shows the older leaf with sunburn marks which managed to survive.
9th August 2020: The side view showing the height of the plant, with another new leaf on the way

September 2020

30th September 2020: A few more leaves have grown and the plant has bounced back from its sunburn earlier in the year. This side shot shows the white mark on the stem where one of the suburned leaves fell off.

October 2020

By the time October rolled around I knew that it was probably time to repot into a larger pot.

13th October 2020: As you can see, the roots were completely entangled with the self watering rope.

I decided that it was a good time to repot, before the roots became too big for the holes at the bottom of the pot.

I had been reading a lot online about Leca (clay balls) as an alternative to soil and decided that it was worth using this opportunity to give it a go with this seedling. I am going to do a more detailed post about Leca in the coming weeks, so if you are interested in knowing about Leca leave a comment below this post with any comments or questions!

13th October 2020: Before repotting
13th October 2020: After repotting with Leca. Eventually I made a slight change by repotting into a pot which wasn’t glass, as I read online that it is better for the roots to be in darkness.

Now that the plant has recovered from the sunburn, it is getting to the size where I can’t really call it a seedling anymore. It’s more than two years old after all! I will be updating this post as it continues to grow, and will update on my experience using Leca as well, so to keep up to date you can follow the progress on instagram @greengrow1687

If you are looking to buy your own seagrape, here is a link to where I regularly update sources I find online of various rare plants online, including this one.

If you liked this post, you will also like this post showing the incredibly rapid growth of the very rare (and expensive!!) variegated monstera adansonii plant.

2 thoughts on “Seagrape grown from seed part 2

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