Floating Seeds

katladie(z8Louisiana)January 30, 2006

OK, I checked FAQ's and did a search and came up empty handed. Someone told me once that when you soak your seeds the one floating will either be the ones to germinate, or the ones that won't germinate. I don't remember which. Anyone ever hear of this?


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sorry, this depends entirely on the seed. Some seed will float no matter what.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 11:44PM
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happyhoe(z6 OH)

Yep, there's this little thing called surface tension that keep some seeds afloat nomater what. If you soak seed long enough they all will sink so it isn't a great test.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 12:16PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Old eggs float....maybe that's what you heard. Maybe???

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 12:35PM
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Thanks guys, I really don't remember what it was. I am paying closer attention to the germination results on my seed this year so maybe I'll figure it out.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 8:41PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Kristl Walek from Gardens North writes....

Do Good Seeds Float and Bad Seed Sink?

"While cleaning seed I observed that some of the seeds floated in the bowl of water they were in, and some sank. I assume that the "floaters" should be discarded because they are likely "empties" anyway."

While in some isolated cases it might be true that floaters indicate a seed without embryo, it has not been my experience over the years testing many thousands of species, that this old "rule of thumb" has much basis in reality. I would never reject the floaters for this reason alone.

It is perhaps the case that many of these notions are simply accepted without thought, on the basis of common sense and further investigation is deemed unnecessary. However there are other reasons, aside from the lack of an embryo that would cause a seed to float.

And the only way one ever finally does answer the question is to take the experiment through to its logical conclusion- and that is to sprout both floater and sinker. Doing this will lead to surprising results.

Unfortunately, often the myth, rather than the science is what remains.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardens North

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 2:21AM
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Thanks for the link and the info crazy gardener. I enjoyed looking at the seed selection.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 11:10PM
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