Question about knicking the seed?

flowercrazy44(z4-5 ONT)March 2, 2006

I have some canna seeds here from a trade and never grew them before and they were telling me to knick the seeds and I am not sure quite how to do it. Any help would be great. I am posting another question about gourd seeds also as I am not sure how to grow them either.



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I've used metal nail file to roughen outer seed covering...have to be sure and stop before any damage done to inside. Nail clippers work if you can pinch just a bit of the seed covering. josh

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 10:54PM
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ornata(London UK (8/9?))

Have a look on this forum at an earlier post on growing Canna from seed. I use a small knife to chip off a small area of the seed coat.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 4:28AM
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ornata(London UK (8/9?))

Sorry, Patricia - that post on Cannas is actually on the "growing from seed" site.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 4:30AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

when i need to 'stratify seed' [there is the term if you want to google it].... i could never control a knife on a small hard seed ... i like my finger tips ...

i used a common emery board on dried seed ... just rough a spot ... i think i did this on morning glories ... any reduction of the hard seed coat .. is all that is needed... i would be loath to go so far as to scratch the interior of the seed ... i then put them inside a napkin on a china plate under a plastic bag ... and within a few days they break out and get planted .. i like knowing it worked.. rather than burying it and wondering for a month ...... i do NOT know if this would work on canna ... just how i did the process

and i would use a brand new emoryboard ... to reduce any pathogens .. i suppose a piece of sandpaper would be no different ... probably the concrete driveway too ... anything to scratch the hard coat ....


    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 2:23PM
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flowercrazy44(z4-5 ONT)

thank you so much for the tips as I am going to try the sandpaper method first and see if that does anything. They sure have a hard coating on them.
Again thanks

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 2:43PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I use an emery board, too, or a small metal file from my husband's tool chest. Be gentle, though, you just want to nick it/buff it enough to allow the water to penetrate more easily, not sand it down :b .

Depending on the seed, I sometimes soak it in room temp. water for a little while after filing, hastens the uptake of water into those darn hard seed coats. Can't remember off the top of my head which seeds I've used this trick on though. Sorry.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 3:59PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Actually, stratification is quite different from scarification, which is what Flowercrazy's question was about. Stratification goes to endogenous dormancy while scarification goes to external dormancy.

Seeds have two dormancy mechanisms. One is endogenous or internal dormancy & is a function of physiological activity (or inactivity). The other is an external dormancy as a result of the seed coat being varyingly impermeable to gasses and water. These seeds will not germinate until protection of the seed coat is physically breeched. Breaking, scratching, or mechanically altering the seed coat to make it permeable to water and gases is what we refer to as scarification. In nature, this often occurs in fall seeding. Freezing temperatures or microbial activities modify the seed coat during the winter, or scarification can occur as seeds pass through the digestive tract of animals.

Growers often scarify seeds by soaking them in fairly concentrated sulfuric acid (honest) for times that vary by species. Vinegar is a weak organic acid, and a safer (but less effective treatment) and can be used for species that do not have an extremely hard seed coat; the technique would be the same as with sulfuric acid, but a longer soak.

Mechanical methods might include filing with a metal file, sandpaper, nicking, or even cracking via a gentle smack with a hammer. Hot water scarification is also often handy for many species.

Remember that scarified seeds do not store well and should be planted immediately after treatment.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 4:56PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Thanks, Al, that was interesting :)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 1:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yep .. you got me .... scarification ... i blame the kids.. lol ...


    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 2:18PM
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tastefullyjulie(Lewiston, NY 6)

Thanks Al, I thought I was losing it

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 11:35PM
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roxy77(Houston Z9)

Sand paper works great for me, a little rub and a soaking outta do it for ya! :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 2:38PM
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