Seed Germination

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Joanna Savage

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Seed Germination
« on: November 06, 2012, 09:17:33 AM »
A friend, an MGS member, is unexpectedly away for the European winter and has asked me to try to germinate her MGS seeds. It's a happy task. Scabiosa cretica, Salvia candelabra and Cistus creticus were up within a week and this morning there's a Euphorbia rigida showing its head. Interestingly Scabiosa cretica and Salvia candelabra, gathered  from my garden a couple of months ago are doing nothing. I wonder if that means they need to go through a cold winter before they will germinate. Any suggestions?

It would be interesting to hear how others are faring with their seed germination.

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oron peri

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 09:58:28 AM »
Joanna,

I start sowing Mediterranean species in mid October, or when night temperatures drop under 17c.
The combination of humidity and high tempertures creat favorite conditions for fungus that destroy the seeds. There for i find it is always better sowing at the same time it would germinate in its natural habitat.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 11:46:45 AM by oron peri »
Garden Designer, Bulb man, Botanical tours guide.
Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 10:22:17 AM »
Oron
That is really useful information..thanks
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 11:46:57 AM by oron peri »
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

Joanna Savage

  • Sr. Member
Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 06:28:31 AM »
Thank you for that help Oron.

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John

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 12:32:59 PM »
I would also say that if in doubt sow fresh though perhaps if you have plenty of seed you could keep some back or indeed store it in the fridge with some silica crystals to keep them quite dry. Many seeds keep for a long time this way often years.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 05:58:05 PM »
That is also very interesting John.  I am always reluctant to sow 'too fresh' but maybe I am wrong.  I do have a problem with damping off over the summer and Orons post was really helpful too.
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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John

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 06:09:57 PM »
In the Med autumn is the obvious time to sow seeds (generally) as this is the start of the growing season.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 06:11:52 PM »
Yes John! But in my eagerness to get the seeds germinated I forget the word 'obvious!
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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John

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 06:22:11 PM »
Still give it a try! By all means experiment too. I can comment that with Cyclamen I get exellent results from freshly sown seed whereas if the seed has been dried for a period of time germination can be ratic or even poor.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 10:49:19 PM »
I have seeds of Phoenix theophrasti from the MGS seed bank. How should I deal with it and promote germination? I have the same question about Lentisc. Old cyclamen seed is recommended for repeated soaking before planting to remove inhibitors. I soak each batch in warm water overnight, repeating the process three times before sowing. This is recommended (or was) by the Cyclamen Society.
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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John

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 11:44:10 PM »
Phoenix theophrasti I have grown twice from seed now and I sowed it quite fresh once the fruit had dried. I got 100% germination. So get it sown as soon as possible. Lentsik I have never tried so can't help there but again I would guess fresh. Yes also to your suggestion of dried Cyclamen seed soaking it should help and I usually add a drop of detergent to make sure they soak up the water well.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

Alice

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 01:12:24 AM »
Phoenix theophrasti from the MGS seed bank germinated quite easily for me. I usually add seeds to hot water and leave them to soak overnight.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

Alice

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2013, 05:24:20 PM »
I came across the following website recently. It has a lot of information about the germination of different seeds. It also covers various other interesting topics.
http://tomclothier.hort.net/
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

Jamus

  • Jr. Member
Getting strong seedlings
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 08:34:13 AM »
I agree Umbrian (with your comments in the separate thread introducing me and my garden), and thanks for the words of encouragement. I have been very successful with raising plants from seed, but much of this is due to the facilities I have at my disposal. A warm sunny glasshouse and nice sterile seed raising mix make a world of difference. My tips for getting strong seedlings is;

Sow in small shallow trays with sterile potting mix
Cover thinly with vermiculite or pumice or fine perlite or some similar inorganic grit
Keep in a warm spot
Spray with a mist bottle every day or every other day
Once seedlings are up and are looking like making first true leaves, prick them out into small cells, very carefully.
I do not delay pricking out and usually separate them when they are still tiny little things.
Use a very gritty, open, free draining mix to prevent damping off.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 04:13:46 PM by Alisdair »
Long hot summers, mild wet winters. Rainfall approx. 600mm pa.
Summer maximums over 40 degrees, winter minimums occasionally below freezing.
Gardening on neutral clay loam and sandy loam.

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John

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Re: Seed Germination
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 10:35:43 AM »
Thanks for that Alice , it's a nice little link to some basic but useful information.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.